The Chicago Bears will be making a change at head coach next season, as the team has fired Matt Nagy after four seasons at the helm.
Both ESPN's Adam Schefter and NFL Insider Ian Rapoport reported the decision had been made Monday morning. NBC Sports Chicago's Adam Hoge also confirmed the news.
The Bears confirmed the news later in the morning, also announcing that General Manager Ryan Pace was also fired.
Nagy went 34-31 in four seasons with the Bears, and led the team to the playoffs in two of those four campaigns. Both of those runs ended with losses however, with a last-second loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2019 and a loss to the New Orleans Saints in 2021.
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Nagy, a former quarterback in the Arena Football League, served as the Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive coordinator for two seasons prior to joining the Bears. He was hired by Pace after the 2017 season as the replacement for John Fox, who posted a 14-34 record in three seasons and failed to lead the Bears out of the NFC North’s cellar in any of those three campaigns.
Despite Nagy’s reputation as an offensive specialist, the Bears’ offense was one of the league’s worst in 2021, coming into the final week of the regular season averaging 304.3 yards per game, fifth-worst in the NFL.
The Bears averaged 18.3 points per game this season, one of the worst totals in the NFL.
The coach was the subject of rumors throughout the season, with reports emerging before the Thanksgiving Day game against the Detroit Lions that he was going to be ousted following the contest. That did not end up coming to past, but in recent weeks more and more reports had emerged that Nagy would be let go by the team at the end of the campaign.
Throughout that process, Nagy insisted that his future with the team had not been discussed with ownership, and that the team was solely focused on the task at hand each week.
Now that Nagy is gone, the next Bears’ coach will be tasked with a huge responsibility in helping Justin Fields to build on what was an up-and-down year for the rookie quarterback. Complicating matters will be the fact that the Bears do not own a first-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, having traded that selection to the New York Giants in their move up the board to draft Fields in 2021.