Given the speed of the process by which the Chicago Bears interviewed and selected their new head coach Matt Nagy, it speaks to either two possibilities. They rushed their move in order to secure a coach before losing defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. Or? Pace had a plan laid out from the start and was simply following it step by step until he’d found the man he wanted. Based on recent information it appears the latter is the case.
It was apparent from the start that the Bears had an idea of what they wanted to do. While other teams simply set out an array of interviews with no design behind it, Chicago operated differently. They met with Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards to satisfy the Rooney Rule and then made one of their first interviews with Fangio. This was a chance to get a gauge on where the coordinator stood with the team.
No doubt that meeting proved fruitful as he soon came back on a new three-year deal. After that it was a series of offensive specialists from then on. Nagy was the last one in the pecking order and clearly made the best impression. He was hired shortly after the interview took place. Now the Bears coaching staff is all but completed.
That begs the question. If Pace did plan this out, for how long was he preparing?
Ryan Pace outlined everything months ago during middle of season
A source reached out to me recently indicating that this entire operation began sometime back in November. The Bears were coming out of their frustrating loss to the New Orleans Saints and were about to suffer their bitter defeat to the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers. A defeat that all but sunk their fledgling playoff hopes. Apparently Pace wasn’t waiting around for the results.
“Somewhere between the bye week and week 10 there was a meeting behind closed doors where Pace began telling people he’s firing (John) Fox and immediately began reaching out to people. He ended up having long conversations on how to go about the process.”
It’s not a surprise that Pace would’ve reached that conclusion. Even before the loss to Green Bay there were signs that John Fox and his staff weren’t getting it done. Particularly in regards to the offense. Mitch Trubisky hadn’t even thrown for over 200 yards in a game by that point. Things were predictable and utterly lacking in imagination. Given how important the young QB is to Pace’s future, that wasn’t going to fly.
Enter Nagy and his forward-thinking crew. Pace said he got 25 to 30 references for every coach he interviewed. It’s clear the former Chiefs offensive coordinator was his guy and the interview was meant to make sure. Now Chicago gets to see if that plan was worth it.