Lincicome: Matt Nagy should do the sensible thing and resign now

  • Bears coach Matt Nagy gets his point across during the second half of Monday night's loss to Minnesota at Soldier Field.

    Bears coach Matt Nagy gets his point across during the second half of Monday night's loss to Minnesota at Soldier Field. Associated Press

Updated 12/21/2021 11:24 AM

The only sensible thing for Matt Nagy to do now is to resign. An old coaching adage is that when you are being run out of town, look like you are the one leading the parade.

I will even write his farewell speech.


"Thank you for allowing me this time to say goodbye. I shall be brief. Today marks my final time with you. But I want you to know that when I cross the Dan Ryan Expressway my last conscious thoughts will be of the Bears, and the Bears, and the Bears."

Well, OK, a little bit of that I might have borrowed from Gen. Douglas MacArthur, but Nagy deserves a lyrical goodbye, for he has been decent all around, just not a very good head coach.

The Bears have had worse and will have worse again. That is what the Bears do. And old Bears coaches never really disappear or even, as MacArthur would have it, just fade away. They end up on TV as critics or in spots selling betting sheets.

The point is Nagy could save what little dignity he has been allowed to retain and would permit the Bears to get a step up on his replacement, not a quitter but a colleague, not that the Bears deserve any consideration after dangling him all season like a cadaver.

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Time is growing short. Two NFL coaches have already gone and Jacksonville and Las Vegas are feeling around for replacements. Surely the Bears must by this time have some idea of who they want next as a coach, what they want in a coach, and maybe even how to get the coach. And even if they do not, they will convince themselves they do.

I have no candidates to offer the Bears because it is not my job, nor my money, nor my legacy. It is my job to remind them that whatever they do, they will be wrong.

Nagy's fate has been foretold since the Bears gave away the season by drafting a premature quarterback who will never be anything more than a conversation piece.

The Bears don't want Nagy and he can't make them want him even if the Bears were to win out.

That's where Mike Zimmer, poor soul, finds himself in Minnesota. Beating the Bears once, or even twice, will not save his job either. But he has that most lamentable of curses, he is hindered by hope.


Not so with Nagy. He is gone. It matters only who opens the door.

Leaving now, Nagy would not quit but simply step back so the Bears can get on to their next mistakes, as inevitable as ... well the list is long, the names fade and I still have to get to the Monday night game.

The shambles that the Bears have become -- not due entirely to COVID protocol -- was on display for the rest of the world to see, or more likely to ignore, on "Monday Night Football," a relic of better times, much as are the Bears.

The Vikings, usually good for some relief from the Bears' annual struggles, managed to be not quite as awful as the Bears who played as if they had just read the rules from a cocktail napkin.

"Turnovers and penalties," Fields said. "We get rid of them and we win the game."

Get rid of Fields and maybe the Bears win the game. Don't forget red zone constipation or the fact that the Bears didn't score a touchdown until the last play of the game, a score so superfluous that with no time left the extra point was not even allowed. This gave the Vikings an eight-point win against a consensus seven-point spread. The NFL is in bed with gamblers and should have known better.

Justin Fields has had a longer apprenticeship than he deserves, and Nagy rather wistfully allowed himself to look ahead at the Fields he will not be around to coach.

"It will slow down for him next year, and then the year after," Nagy said. "In his third or fourth year, he is going to be really good."

One coach's opinion is another coach's pink slip. In this case the same coach, one who has suffered enough.

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