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Bears choose to make sweeping changes, saw GM Pace and coach Nagy

CHICAGO (AP) – The Chicago Bears fired general manager Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy on Monday, hoping that new leadership at the front office and on the sidelines will lift a struggling franchise.

Nagy’s fate seemed sealed as the Bears enjoyed a 6-11 season that ended in loss to Minnesota on Sunday. But it wasn’t clear whether Pace would also be fired or kept in his current role or in a different capacity.

Whoever the Bears hire will need to develop rookie quarterback Justin Fields and surround former Ohio State star with more talent to help him grow. They will have to face a defense that has slipped in recent seasons. More than anything, it will be their job to straighten out a franchise with just seven playoff appearances in the past 30 years.

The Bears went 48-65 with a winning season and made the playoffs twice in the seven years since Pace was hired by the New Orleans front office in 2015 to replace Phil Emery. Nagy went 34-31 in four seasons.

The Bears haven’t won the playoffs since the 2010 team qualified for the NFC Championship game.

Pace’s tenure was marred by his inability to settle the quarterback position. He snorted when he traded a spot to draft Mitchell Trubisky for Patrick Mahomes with the No.2 pick in 2017. He also signed Mike Glennon, traded for Nick Foles and paid for Andy Dalton. And the future of Fields is an ongoing question.

Receiver Kevin White (No.7 in 2015) and linebacker Leonard Floyd (No.9, 2016) were either downright lost or just didn’t perform as Chicago hoped.

Nagy led Chicago to a 12-4 record and the NFC North Championship in 2018 after the Bears hired him to join Andy Reid’s staff in Kansas City. But things came to an end after that.

President George McCaskey chose to stay with Pace and Nagy last January after Chicago was 8-8 in the regular season for the second year in a row. He appeared to tie them together as he cited a culture they established that allowed the team to bounce back from a six-game losing streak to advance to the playoffs – as the seventh and final header. as standard in a wider field. Chicago convincingly lost to New Orleans, but McCaskey insisted Pace and Nagy were “the best people to lead us in 2021”.

The Bears have never really been in contention this season.

They lost eight of the nine games before winning two of the last three. Frustrated fans made their feelings clear by chanting “Fire Nagy!” Nagy fire! ”

Too often his ploy and game didn’t seem to match the staff he had. He sometimes ignored the race. And a term that started on a sour note promising after his freshman year.

Nagy was a breath of fresh air when he arrived. The Bears jumped from worst to first in their freshman year after John Fox led them to a 14-34 record in three seasons and a Chicago coach’s second-worst winning percentage.

Nagy was chosen coach of the year. Pace, who rocked a successful trade with Oakland for star rusher Khalil Mack just ahead of the 2018 season, picked up executive honors from The Sporting News.

Mack’s arrival turned a solid defense into one of the best in the NFL and helped catapult the Bears to their first playoff appearance since 2010. Trubisky made the Pro Bowl as a substitute.

Nagy helped energize the fan base with a playful demeanor, transforming the dressing room into a “Club Dub” to celebrate wins and hosting tours with names like “Santa’s Sleigh”. The season ended with a heartbreaking loss to Philadelphia in a wildcard game at Soldier Field, punctuated by former kicker Cody Parkey’s double miss to the left upright and crossbar.

Things went downhill from there.

Trubisky regressed and the Bears let him go as a free agent after last season.

Chicago has never finished higher than 21st in attack under Nagy, and it was his first year. The Bears were 28th overall and 26th in scorers heading into the final week. Nagy has given offensive coordinator Bill Lazor the play call duties each of the past two seasons in an attempt to shake up a struggling unit.

The new coach will need to unleash Fields’ potential after a patchy rookie season for the 11th pick in the draft. Although he showed his physical skills, he had more interceptions (10) than touchdowns (seven) and an unimpressive passer rating of 73.2. The Bears were 2-8 in the games he started and lost the last seven with him in the lineup after wins over Detroit and Las Vegas in Weeks 4 and 5.

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