If the Bears Are Done With Matt Nagy, a Familiar Face is Ready to Step In


Matt Nagy is the reigning Coach of the Year. He’s overcome an erratic quarterback and banged up defense to get the Chicago Bears to 6-6 heading into December. They still have a shot at the playoffs, however small it may be. Other coaches might not have even gotten this far. Nobody can say he’s done a perfect job this year but the team clearly hasn’t quit on him. They’re still fighting and that says a lot.

Even so, some think the disappointment of this year with all the Super Bowl aspirations and the struggling offense have opened the door to Nagy possibly getting the boot. He was hired to fix the quarterback position and Mitch Trubisky has looked anything but fixed this season. Would the Bears ownership actually make such a significant move? Smart money says they won’t. Not with Nagy having three years left on his contract and not technically finishing with a losing season (yet).

However, their minds might just change with the right guy being available. Somebody who has Bears blood coursing through his veins. A man who won a ring in Chicago and was the defensive coordinator for the other team to reach the Super Bowl. His name is Ron Rivera and the window has suddenly opened for him to come home.

If that’s what the Bears want.

Rivera is loved in Chicago but Matt Nagy is the head coach

It’s certainly a fun scenario to think about. Rivera just concluded a highly successful run with the Carolina Panthers. One that saw him go 76-63-1 as their head coach, making the playoffs four times and reaching the Super Bowl in 2015. Sadly a 5-7 start to this season proved the nail in his coffin as Panthers ownership decided to get a head start on their search for a new coach. A shame given that the team was battling despite their star quarterback Cam Newton being out most of the year.

Rivera has never really gotten enough credit for the success he had. His defenses were almost always good and his ability to elevate Newton to the status of an MVP quarterback speaks for itself. The guy isn’t just some defensive-minded guru. He’s a legitimate football coach who built good teams that competed in an ultra-tough division against the Drew Brees Saints and Matt Ryan Falcons every year. At age 57, there’s no reason to think he won’t take over another team as early as 2020.

It no doubt would be a dream come true for him if that team were the Bears. However, the odds aren’t in favor of that happening. At least not next year. Nagy hasn’t had a great year but he still has plenty of credibility and his players are working hard for him. He’ll get one more season to get things back on track.