Hub Arkush: Time has come for McCaskey to make decisions on Bears leadership

  • Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy walks on the sideline in the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021.

    Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy walks on the sideline in the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 1/12/2021 6:09 AM

The Chicago Bears are 28-22 over the last three seasons, have been to the playoffs twice and Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy each have one NFL Executive of the Year and one NFL Coach of the Year awards respectively.

It is also worth noting that before Pace hired Nagy the Bears were 14-34 the prior three years.

 

But after back-to-back 8-8 seasons a significant portion of the fan base and Chicago media would like to see one or both fired.

Two issues have created the GM's and head coach's peril.

Pace traded the number three overall pick in the draft, two third round picks and a fourth to move up one spot to number two and select Mitch Trubisky over Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson -- a move that a number of folks consider to be a firing offense on its own.

The other is their 12--4 campaign in 2018 created such outsized expectations that many have conveniently forgotten the organization has had exactly seven better than .500 seasons in the last 25 years and 14 losing seasons.

There is no way Nagy should be fired and I'm near certain he won't be.

While Nagy has been stubborn at times and slow to make changes in completely rebuilding the culture at Halas Hall, earning the devotion of his players, keeping his team focused and together through good times and bad and showing steady improvements in a number of the areas he actually controls while winning more than he's lost he deserves at least one more year.

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The decision on Pace's future is a much tougher putt.

The apparent miss on Mitch is a fireable offense.

Adam Shaheen was a disaster and Anthony Miller is looking like a very costly mistake,

Trey Burton didn't work out, Nick Foles has been a bad idea to date, the Robert Quinn signing is looking extremely iffy at the moment and the combination of his lack of serious investment in the offensive line and missed evaluations of the big uglies has really hurt the offense.

But Kevin White miss was a medical miss and after this season in Los Angeles there are questions whether he missed on Leonard Floyd or not.

He does not deserve what he gets for Mike Glennon, who clearly was brought in as a one-year bridge to Trubisky, and not as the quarterback of the future.

So what is George McCaskey to do?

If the Chairman of the Board prefers change he will have to compete with six other clubs with openings at GM whose searches and interviews have already been going on for at least a week. And if he is keeping Nagy he will have to tell candidates they don't get to pick their own coach.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

For anyone starting fresh, there also will be the challenges of the most difficult draft class to evaluate in decades due to the impact of the pandemic, as well as salary cap nightmares that will haunt almost every team in the league.

Pace has not been a disaster.

Since Nagy arrived he's added Khalil Mack, Roquan Smith, Bilal Nichols, Tashaun Gipson, Allen Robinson, James Daniels, David Montgomery, Cordarrelle Patterson and Cairo Santos.

In fact, Pace has signed every member of the club that's been in the playoffs two of the last three seasons except for Kyle Fuller and Sherrick McManis, and early returns on his 2020 draft class suggest a possible home run.

The obvious concern is his team isn't getting better from here without fixing the quarterback position and there are real concerns over whether or not Pace is capable of doing that.

But is it either wise or fair to bring in a new GM who won't be the top candidate available and may have to go through year one with the possibility of another offseason lost to the pandemic?

It is a horrible idea to fire someone because you are disappointed and angry but have no idea whether or not you can find someone better, and that is where the Bears are now.

With all the havoc the pandemic has wreaked judging anyone on the 2020 season alone isn't just unfair, it's bad business.

It says here the wisest course of action would be to give Pace and Nagy at least one more year together and determine definitively whether 2018 was the real thing, or if the Bears are doomed for .500 to be as good as it gets.

• Twitter: @Hub_Arkush

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