Rozner: Truly been a group effort for Bears

  • Bears head coach Matt Nagy, left, and general manager Ryan Pace appear to be headed back next season.

    Bears head coach Matt Nagy, left, and general manager Ryan Pace appear to be headed back next season. ASSOCIATED PRESS

Updated 1/9/2021 12:21 PM

It is remarkable the mental gymnastics some people will put themselves through trying to figure out the Bears.

Especially, which person to blame.


As the Bears head into their final game -- or maybe two if they pull off a shocker in New Orleans -- it's not as simple as putting it on one individual.

It's been a group effort that rivals some of the clumsiest stretches in Bears history.

Of course, you can always start at the top with George McCaskey and Ted Phillips, a pair of civilians that fancy themselves football experts, something they would have difficulty proving in court.

But they're responsible for GM Ryan Pace, who seems to be headed back for a seventh year of excitement. The Bears have leaked it to national reporters that head coach Matt Nagy will get a fourth year, and it seems absurd that Nagy would be staying to hire himself a new general manager.

This being the Bears, however, one should never try to predict.

In any case, Pace and Nagy seem to have found little common ground from a football standpoint, and they have moved assistant coaches in and out through a revolving door that has solved none of their problems and brought laughter from around the league.

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Pace brought in Nagy -- his hand-picked offensive genius -- to fix the No. 2 pick in the draft, but instead of remodeling Mitch Trubisky, the quarterback has been stuck in the same mud he was in when Trubisky arrived with his 13 college starts.

John Fox knew Trubisky couldn't see the field, read a defense or throw it more than 5 yards with strength or accuracy, but his vanilla offense was criticized and Fox was fired.

Nagy, with many more weapons than Fox had, then tried to make Trubisky into Brett Favre. He got the Favre interceptions without the strong arm, touchdowns and spectacular game-winning plays that made Favre one of the best ever.

After three years of trying to smash that rhombus into a round hole, Nagy has accepted what Trubisky is and is doing what little he can with this offense, allowing the QB to hand off or throw it 3 yards without the dangerous decision-making.


This causes his GM to shake his head, as the GM still believes he drafted Favre when he gave up picks to move up one spot and take Trubisky instead of Deshaun Watson or Patrick Mahomes.

Four years and $29 million later, Trubisky is the same QB he was on draft night.

As for that blame, it's all Pace. Trubisky is what he is and he didn't ask to be selected in that spot and he didn't force the Bears to pay him all that money to be a game manager.

You could make the argument that Trubisky is to blame for nothing, including all the bad throws he makes every week. A general manager in his sixth year should not be forcing a coach to play an inadequate quarterback when he's had that much time to find an NFL quarterback.

Find one. That's all. One quarterback. In six years.

If he had built a proper offensive line and found a coach who didn't need three years to figure out how to use a quarterback, with the defense they had -- one that now looks old and defeated at times -- and a solid running game, the formula was there to win with an above-average quarterback.

So, as you play the blame game, it's not all that complicated. Two men at the top lead the search and hire GMs and coaches, a GM who thinks he knows something no one else in the league knows, and a head coach who needed three years to see what his predecessor saw in three games.

It's all of them. They're all a part of it.

The one guy who's been remarkably consistent throughout this is Trubisky.

He's the same player Pace thought was the best quarterback in that draft, one capable of winning multiple Super Bowls, and he's the same player that struggled to read an NFL defense when he got here.

You can hardly blame Trubisky for any of that. He is, after all, what he is.

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