LAKE FOREST – As the bad performances and defeats continue to pile up for the Bears, the question only figures to get brought up again.
Would head coach Matt Nagy consider handing off the playcalling duties to another assistant coach as a way to shake things up in the final seven games of the season?
The unit is ranked 29th in both offensive categories, scoring 19.8 points while gaining 317.8 yards per contest. Sunday’s game marked the fourth time this year that the Bears scoring under 20 points.
More starts for Nick Foles hasn’t meant things have gotten much better, with the quarterback’s season-high 355 yards passing coming mostly after Tennessee took a 24-3 lead. Meanwhile the rushing attack continues to have little bite, ranking dead last in the NFL with an 82.3 yards per carry average.
So, again, would Matt consider giving up the duties of playcalling?
“I’m looking at all that right now,” said Nagy when asked the question straight up. “I meant what I said yesterday. Where we’re at right now, as an offense and struggling the way we are, you have to be able to look at everything, including myself. We’ll see where that goes, we play Monday, and we will make the best decision possible here.
“I think that’s a part of some of the decisions that we look at for sure.”
Nagy wouldn’t give a timeline for when that decision would be made and said that a change in playcallers would probably not be revealed publicly. Of course, it would help to get some lineman back, especially after the patchwork line that took the field on Sunday.
Already down James Daniels for the season, Week 1 starters Cody Whitehair (Calf/COVID-19), Bobby Massie (Knee) were out for Sunday, and so was backup lineman Jason Spriggs (COVID-19). Lachavious Simmons was expected to play as well, but a late COVID-19 positive test knocked him out of the game.
All of that contributed to the sluggish performance, which came to light in the last drive of the first half and first of the second. Two penalties on each around midfield sabotaged two potential scoring marches, and symbolized a disappointing effort.
While his decision on playcalling still has to be made, its those errors he sees as a quick thing to fix first.
“The defense does a helluva job to force them to punt from their own one-yard line. Field position is at a premium, and you go penalty, penalty, right? That can’t happen,” said Nagy of that late second quarter drive. “But it did happen, so why is it happening. That’s where we need to make sure that we’re holding each other accountable.”
Certainly Nagy is trying to do the same for himself in the worst stretch of the 2020 season.
See more on the Bears on Chicago Football Weekly with Jarrett Payton and Lauren Magiera on Saturday at 6 PM on WGN-TV.