Rozner: Just that fast, Bears' Nagy under fire

  • It wasn't that long ago that the Bears' Matt Nagy could do no wrong. The bloom is off that rose.

    It wasn't that long ago that the Bears' Matt Nagy could do no wrong. The bloom is off that rose. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

Updated 9/8/2019 11:15 AM

Funny thing about being anointed as a boy genius -- or even worse, the next Don Coryell -- is that if you don't quickly live up to it, those who suggested you were the perfect hire will turn fast and run for cover.

That's where second-year coach Matt Nagy is today, under siege for his last two game plans as the Bears lost a very winnable playoff game to the Eagles and the opener to the Packers, the latter hyped as the most anticipated match since Rome vs. Carthage III.


Both times, Nagy was called into question, and just that fast the honeymoon is over, fans and media turning against him.

Some of the criticism is fair, but what he's found thus far is what John Fox encountered two years ago, that he wasn't sure if his quarterback could handle an NFL offense -- or read an NFL defense.

Fox has to be chuckling a bit now.

It's only one game into Year 3 for Mitch Trubisky, but it's also Year 5 for GM Ryan Pace, and if you're unsure about the No. 2 pick in the 2017 Draft, join the club of those who wondered from the start.

It might even include Trubisky, who looked shaken while meeting the media late Thursday night.

"I let my teammates down with the way I played. I could have done better," said Trubisky, who escaped with only a single interception when there could have been three or four. "I made some good throws here and there, made some good decisions for the most part, but I think it was just sloppy by myself and the offense as a whole."

His decision-making has been debatable from the start, and especially so on the end zone interception by former Bear Adrian Amos, who read Trubisky's eyes the entire play, before Trubisky overthrew Allen Robinson in double coverage.

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"That was a frustrating one. I wish I could have that one back," Trubisky said. "It felt really good when it left my hand and I thought I put it in a good spot. Maybe I should have went in a different spot.

"That's one where I've just got to protect the ball and try to find the completion, to allow us to stay on the field. I'm going to have to look at it on film, see what actually happened, and then see if it was what I saw on the field at the time."

Struggling against the blitz, Trubisky wasn't stepping into his throws. The result was poor pass after poor pass.

"The head coach and the quarterback, it's our job to understand that when you win, you usually get all the credit. When you lose, you get that, too," Nagy said. "That's OK. It's fine. We'll work. We'll talk together. We'll figure out the why part. I have zero concern.

"I just know we can be better than what we showed. Our fans have every right to boo. We get it."

While looking flustered at times Thursday night as game and clock management were again a problem, Nagy said postgame that the Bears will get past it.


"I'm in zero panic mode," Nagy said. "I'm in frustration mode. We had a great week of practice. This breaks my rule of a good week of practice and normally success.

"We don't hold onto this stuff, so just like last year when we lost the first game of the year, we came in to work and you move on. Losers hold onto that stuff and that's not what we are."

Thing is, it's not a blip.

Trubisky has made little progress with consistency in his time here and even if the Bears bounce back next week against Denver, it doesn't reduce concerns about the learning curve.

He has good games and terrible games. Handling pressure is an issue and poise is completely lacking at times.

It's not a new offense. It's not a new head coach. It's not a rookie quarterback.

This is an NFL veteran making rookie mistakes.

You can't call this a blip.

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