Lincicome: By George, here we are again with the Bears 4 years later

  • Bears Chairman George McCaskey -- here listening to Matt Nagy talk in 2018 about becoming the newest Bears head coach -- fired him Monday.

    Bears Chairman George McCaskey -- here listening to Matt Nagy talk in 2018 about becoming the newest Bears head coach -- fired him Monday. Daily Herald File Photo

Updated 1/10/2022 7:07 PM

So, there they go, Itchy and Scratchy, Bert and Ernie, SpongeBob and Patrick, pick a pair. Put them together in the fashion of the day, Pa-Nag or Ry-Mat, wave goodbye and think of them never again.

When glory returns to the Bears, and it might, it must, the Pace-Nagy era will be -- what was it Andy Dalton said of his own small part in things -- a piece of the journey, something like that?


The Bears' journey is full of broken pieces, blind alleys, false flags, lost umbrellas, and the one constant through it all has a name: McCaskey. It seems that the fate of heirs is to disappoint, though the Rooneys and Maras and Hunts seem to struggle less with the NFL legacy.

Somewhere in George McCaskey's monotone recital Monday, he admitted he was not a football guy, a fan, he said, but he is the guy in charge of everything. This was neither news nor reassurance.

To think that George McCaskey is better suited to his job as descendant than either Pace or Nagy were as general manager and coach is to recall a twist on a classic movie line. You, sir, are an accident of birth and we are self-made men.

As long as the cardboard grandson runs the Bears from his seat of privilege and progeny more of the same must be expected, dithering, dawdling and see you in four years to do this all over again.

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Ownership, McCaskey said, is happy with him. And ownership gathers around the same dinner table.

But, wait, there's an outsider to help. Injecting Bill Polian, a respected football septuagenarian, into the renewal process is like polishing a used car to sit in the window with the Teslas.

But Polian has written a book and McCaskey has read it. All about Super Bowls and stuff.

"Our search will be thorough, diligent and exhaustive," McCaskey said, something that needs not to be said by anyone who knows what he is doing.

Pace and Nagy will always be part of the Bears family, said McCaskey. They are outstanding men of high character, which is true and part of the problem. What the Bears need are men of no nonsense and easy anger. Nice guys finish renting a U-Haul.

Nagy was an unforced error, hired for ability he did not have, to do a job he could not control. He stayed too long, did too little good but no lasting harm. May he get the re-employment he likely will. May he be happy and prosper, as if anyone here will give him another thought.


Neither Nagy nor Pace will be missed nor even resented. They leave no fingerprints and no shoes to fill.

Pace leaves a team that hung on to him too long. Any Bear player is likely to be thankful he was around. His poor judgment is the reason most of the Bears are in pro football. How valuable is a vote of confidence from a 6-11 team? That's like a gelding endorsing the surgeon.

Strange that somehow the fall of Nagy is that he could not get the best out of Mitch Trubisky when there is no best to be gotten, nor is there any confidence that he could develop Justin Fields into anything more than a semi-competent curiosity.

Fields now has the burden of having cost a coach his job without doing his own. And the question of whether Fields is the answer is still multiple choice. Good. Bad. Familiar.

Fixing things will take some time. Nagy spent a season insisting the Bears find an identity. The Bears' identity is a confused, incompetent football team on offense and linebackers only on defense.

The Bears played as if what they were doing conflicted with the head coach's vision, whatever that was. All of this has to change. The head coach doesn't have to be an offensive genius but he needs one to borrow from. He needs assistant coaches that other teams want to steal, not feel sorry for.

This is all still so fresh that any of the necessary details of putting the Bears back together seem frivolous, not that firing honest men can ever be anything but serious.

Next time, don't wait so long.

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