The Chicago Bears’ long, national nightmare is over, as they’ve hired Matt Nagy as the 16th head coach in franchise history.
Except it wasn’t all that long and it wasn’t really a nightmare, was it? John Fox was fired on January 1 after the team’s season-ending loss to the Minnesota Vikings on New Year’s Eve. And because of the Jon Gruden news, the national buzz simply wasn’t there regarding the team’s rapid-fire search. Nagy is a fine hire who fits the Bears’ needs moving forward.
And yet, we get this from Bears Chairman George McCaskey:
George McCaskey called Bears HC search a “long, arduous process” to @fox32news
John Fox was fired 8 days ago
— Eric Edholm (@Eric_Edholm) January 9, 2018
Even though GM Ryan Pace told reporters Fox was informed of his fate after the season finale against the Vikings, McCaskey’s words suggest the Bears’ brass might have been looking for longer than they have led on (duh). And in McCaskey’s defense, the days might have been a bit taxing because he traveled with Pace and President Ted Phillips on interviews. McCaskey inserted himself into the coaching search with the idea of being a sounding board for the Bears’ GM in the decision-making process. But, like, whatever – you didn’t need to do that, dude.
The Bears’ front office was rumored to have a list of potential John Fox replacements as early as November. Shortly after the original report, Pro Football Weekly’s Hub Arkush shared a list of candidates the Bears might have had in mind. Nagy wasn’t on the list, but three finalists (Josh McDaniels, John DeFilippo, Pat Shurmur) were.
In any case, before the coaching search officially began (January 1st), McCaskey addressed fans and made an unexpected acknowledgment regarding the team’s rebuild process. He talks about life as Bears fan, the rebuild, and more:
“This has taken longer than any of us expected, but we appreciate your support,” McCaskey said. “Every sports team says they have the best fans in the world. We truly believe it.”
McCaskey’s admission was a rare moment of transparency from the top of the organization. But if the Nagy hire turns out to be a hit, this could be the last apology McCaskey will have to issue for a while.