Nov 8, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy voices his displeasure on a call in the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 29-27. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Fired Matt Nagy? Bears coach denies he’s out

Bears head coach Matt Nagy denied the franchise informed him he would be fired this weekend.

A report early Tuesday cited high-level team sources and said Nagy would be fired after the Bears play the Detroit Lions (0-9-1) on Thanksgiving Day.

The Bears (3-7) have lost five consecutive games and will start backup Andy Dalton at Ford Field against the winless Lions.

“That is not accurate,” Nagy said Tuesday, adding that he hasn’t talked to anyone in the organization about his job status.

There is clamoring for Nagy’s job from fans, however. During a high school playoff game in the far North Chicago suburbs, fans in Cary Grove (Ill.) broke into a “Fire Nagy” chant just as the capacity crowd at the United Center did during the Chicago Bulls-Indiana Pacers game on Monday.

Ownership and general manager Ryan Pace didn’t comment on the report, nor did it release any denial of the report of Nagy’s imminent firing. Nagy said he wasn’t expecting any outward vote of confidence as the Bears focus on the business of winning the holiday game.

“We all have our own decisions as to how we do things, and I think this whole entire time, for me and for ownership, we’ve had great communication. Again, it’s focused on Detroit. That’s what it is,” Nagy said.

A podcast Monday featuring Jordan Schultz, a media member who partnered with Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson on a previous basketball podcast, also spent time detailing how the locker room was anti-Nagy. Robinson said the commentary that “a majority” of the locker room wanted Nagy gone didn’t come from him.

“I haven’t had any input with that,” Robinson said. “I mean, me and him did a basketball podcast. Everything that we have from a podcast standpoint, relationship standpoint had been based on covering basketball and based on talking about basketball.”

A former offensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs, Nagy’s Bears have scored just 163 points this season. Only the Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans and Lions have scored fewer.

Nagy has two 8-8 seasons since going 12-4 and winning the NFC North in his first season as head coach in 2018.

“My focus is on these players and Detroit, and that’s it. That’s my job as a head coach and a leader, is to do that. These players have been amazing,” he said. “They’ve been great. You have this quick turnaround after a loss like (Sunday’s to the Ravens), and now here you go. The only thing we can do is focus on the now and do everything we can. Thursday is going to be here quickly.”

Following Thursday’s game, the Bears have 10 days to prepare to host the Arizona Cardinals (9-2) and then hit the road to play the Green Bay Packers (8-3) in Week 14.

–Field Level Media

Sep 19, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Andy Dalton (14) stands on the sideline during the fourth quarter of their game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

Bears’ Matt Nagy: Andy Dalton still QB1 when healthy

Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy said Monday that Andy Dalton remains his starting quarterback when healthy.

Rookie Justin Fields made his second straight start under center Sunday and earned his first NFL victory with a 24-14 defeat of the visiting Detroit Lions.

Dalton missed his second straight game with a knee injury and Nick Foles served as Fields’ backup on Sunday.

“When Andy’s healthy, he’s our starter. Justin’s the two. Nick’s the three,” Nagy confirmed Monday.

The Bears (2-2) visit the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 5.

Fields, the 11th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, completed 11 of 17 passes for 209 yards with one interception against the Lions.

Fields, 22, has completed 48.1 percent of his passes for 347 yards, two picks and no touchdowns this season. He has rushed for 55 yards and one score.

Dalton, 34, has completed 73.5 percent of his throws for 262 yards with one TD and one pick.

–Field Level Media

Chicago Bears quarterback Andy Dalton (14) throws a pass in the first quarter of the NFL Week 2 game between the Chicago Bears and the Cincinnati Bengals at Soldier Field in Chicago on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. The Bears led 7-0 at halftime.

Cincinnati Bengals At Chicago Bears

Andy Dalton questionable; Bears to make QB decision on Sunday

Andy Dalton was listed as questionable due to his ailing knee on Friday, and Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy said a decision on a starting quarterback won’t be made until close to kickoff against the visiting Detroit Lions on Sunday.

Dalton was a limited practice participant and Nagy’s decision to not name a starter indicates a willingness to give Dalton time to recover. If Dalton can’t play Sunday, rookie Justin Fields will start.

“Andy is getting better each day and we’re going to see where he’s at on Sunday,” Bears coach Matt Nagy told reporters after practice.

Nagy said he doesn’t foresee any situation in which veteran Nick Foles starts Sunday.

Dalton sustained a bone bruise on his left knee during a Week 2 win over the Cincinnati Bengals and missed last week’s 26-6 loss to the Cleveland Browns.

Dalton said he is making progress but was short on details when it came to his practice workload on Friday.

“With the injury, you’re just trying to get back as soon as possible,” Dalton said. “I feel really good about where I’m at. …

“I did some things (in practice) and felt good about where I was and everything. I’m going to leave it at that.”

The 33-year-old Dalton is in first season with the Bears and has completed 73.5 percent of his throws for 262 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Fields, the No. 11 overall pick in the 2021 draft, started against the Browns and it didn’t go well. He completed 6 of 20 passes for 68 yards but gave 67 yards back on nine sacks. Chicago had 47 yards of total offense.

Overall, Fields is just 14-of-35 passing (40 percent) for 138 yards and one interception in three games.

“Last week wasn’t the performance we want to put out,” Fields said on Friday. “We talked about that and we expect to be better this week.”

Among other injuries, star outside linebacker Khalil Mack (foot) returned to practice on a limited basis after missing the previous two days. Mack is listed as questionable, along with cornerback Xavier Crawford (back) and receiver Darnell Mooney (groin).

Linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe (hamstring) will miss the contest, as will safety Tashaun Gipson (hamstring).
–Field Level Media

Sep 26, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy during the first half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Bears’ Matt Nagy not ready to name starter vs. Lions

Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy was confident in identifying his quarterback depth chart on Wednesday.

As for the identity of his starting quarterback for Sunday’s game against the visiting Detroit Lions, that’s a cloudier picture.

“As far as a QB update, I’m going to hit on a few things here, we expect both Andy (Dalton) and Justin (Fields) out at practice in some capacity and we’ll update their status based on their participation,” Nagy said Wednesday.

“In regard to the depth chart … Andy’s the (No.) 1, Justin’s the 2 and Nick (Foles) as the 3. Starter will be sorted out once we have a clearer picture moving forward here. We’ll know more and we’ll clear that up.”

Dalton, 33, sustained a bone bruise in his knee on Sept. 19 during the Bears’ 20-17 win against one of his former teams, the Cincinnati Bengals. He sat out Chicago’s 26-6 setback to the Cleveland Browns last Sunday.

Fields, 22, suffered a right hand injury during his first career start last Sunday. The Bears recorded 47 total yards (46 rushing, one passing) in 42 plays and yielded nine sacks in the loss.

Foles, 32, has yet to play since joining the Bears (1-2).

–Field Level Media

Jun 9, 2021; Lake Forest, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterbacks Justin Fields (1) and Andy Dalton (14) look to pass footballs during organized team activities at Halas Hall. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Bears coach Matt Nagy taking time on QB decision

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy plans to be deliberate when determining the pecking order at quarterback this week.

Rookie first-round pick Justin Fields made his first career start Sunday at Cleveland in a 26-6 loss, and the Browns helped the Bears produce disastrous results: 1 passing yard and 42 total yards in 47 plays. One first down in 11 third-down snaps. Nine sacks allowed.

Fields required X-rays on his right hand after the game and was pressured on 60 percent of his dropbacks. X-rays were negative.

Fields was elevated from the backup role due to a knee injury to starting quarterback Andy Dalton.

“Big picture, after watching the tape, it’s stating the obvious to say we obviously have to be a heck of a lot better offensively and get into a rhythm,” Nagy said Monday.

The Bears face the Detroit Lions on Sunday and Nagy said he will update the status of the team’s quarterbacks on Wednesday.

“It keeps you up at night, because you want to figure out why,” Nagy said. “I care about this situation immensely.

“That’s what we’re working through right now, so I can’t definitely say (who) is the starter. Everything is on the table.”

Nick Foles, the No. 3 quarterback is healthy.

“They’re all three under consideration right now,” Nagy said. “We know where Nick’s at health-wise, but we just want to keep an eye on Justin and Andy.”

–Field Level Media

Aug 14, 2021; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer watches warmups from the tunnel before the game against the Browns at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

Urban myth? Meyer among favorites to be first NFL coach fired

Urban Meyer’s odds of being the first NFL coach fired this season lengthened a bit after he said there is “no chance” he will leave the Jacksonville Jaguars for Southern Cal.

Meyer opened Wednesday as the +350 favorite at SportsBetting.ag to be the first coach fired but those odds soon lengthened to +450. The former Florida and Ohio State coach’s name was mentioned as a potential successor shortly after USC fired Clay Helton on Monday.

“There’s no chance. I’m here and committed to trying to build this organization,” Meyer, 57, said Wednesday.

The co-favorites in the market are now Chicago’s Matt Nagy and Minnesota’s Mike Zimmer (+400). Nagy’s odds held steady while Zimmer’s odds shortened from +450.

All three teams opened the season with losses last week.

The Jaguars will play host to the Denver Broncos in Week 2, the Bears have their home opener against the Cincinnati Bengals and the Vikings travel to the Arizona Cardinals. Nagy’s contract expires at the end of next season while Zimmer is under contract through 2023.

Next on the list is New York Giants coach Joe Judge at +900. The Giants opened with a loss to Denver and play host to Washington on Thursday night.

Denver coach Vic Fangio and Cincinnati’s Zac Taylor are being offered at +1200, while Arizona’s Kliff Kingsbury and Dallas’ Mike McCarthy are +1400.

The sportsbook is offering odds on all 32 coaches, with the longest shots to be the first fired this season being Kansas City’s Andy Reid and Tampa Bay’s Bruce Arians at +2000.

First Coach Fired Odds (SportsBetting.ag)
Matt Nagy (+400)
Mike Zimmer (+400)
Urban Meyer (+450)
Joe Judge (+900)
Vic Fangio (+1200)
Zac Taylor (+1200)
Kliff Kingsbury (+1400)
Mike McCarthy (+1400)
Frank Reich (+2000)
Dan Campbell (+2500)
Jon Gruden (+2500)
Mike Tomlin (+2500)
Mike Vrabel (+2500)
Ron Rivera (+2500)
David Culley (+2800)
Matt Rhule (+4000)
Sean Payton (+4000)
Arthur Smith (+5000)
John Harbaugh (+5000)
Matt LaFleur (+5000)
Robert Saleh (+5000)
Brian Flores (+6600)
Kyle Shanahan (+6600)
Nick Sirianni (+6600)
Pete Carroll (+6600)
Brandon Staley (+8000)
Sean McVay (+8000)
Bill Belichick (+10000)
Kevin Stefanski (+10000)
Sean McDermott (+10000)
Andy Reid (+20000)
Bruce Arians (+20000)

–Field Level Media

Aug 18, 2020; Lake Forest, IL, USA; Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano, left, talks with head coach Matt Nagy during an NFL football camp practice. Mandatory Credit: AP Photo/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Network

Reports: Bears DC to retire, but head coach and GM to stay

The Chicago Bears reportedly are getting one off-field change but aren’t engaging in a major overhaul.

Defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano is retiring, but head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace will remain in their jobs, multiple media outlets reported Tuesday night.

The Bears, who went 8-8 in the regular season, were eliminated from the playoffs with a 21-9 road loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

Pagano, 60, headed the Chicago defense the past two seasons. The Bears ranked 11th in total defense in 2020 after placing eighth in that category in 2019. Chicago yielded 23.1 points per game this season, which ranked 14th in the NFL, after the club was fourth in 2019, when it yielded 18.6 points per game.

Pagano was the Indianapolis Colts’ head coach from 2012-17, compiling a 53-43 regular-season record and a 3-3 playoff mark. He led the Colts to the AFC Championship Game after the 2014 season.

He missed much of the 2012 season while undergoing treatment for leukemia.

Nagy and Pace came under scrutiny as the Bears slumped to the end of the 2020 season. Chicago started 5-1 but lost its next six games. A three-game winning streak followed, but the Bears were blown out by the Green Bay Packers in the regular-season finale and wound up sneaking into the postseason thanks to other results.

Nagy, 42, was selected as the NFL Coach of the Year after his first season on the job, when he led the 2018 Bears to a 12-4 mark. A pair of 8-8 seasons have followed. He has yet to win a playoff game in two appearances.

Pace, 43, took over the Bears front office in 2015. Chicago owns a 42-54 regular-season record and an 0-2 playoff mark during his tenure.

–Field Level Media

Oct 20, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (10) talks with Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy, center, against the New Orleans Saints during the second half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Nagy awaits meeting with Bears’ brass

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy could know his fate and employment status in the next 24 hours.

Nagy is running player exit interviews on Monday but a sitdown with management, which would include team ownership — chairman George McCaskey and president Ted Phillips — and general manager Ryan Pace, could take place as early as Tuesday.

The Bears finished the regular season 8-8 and were eliminated from the playoffs Sunday at New Orleans, 21-9.

“Like I told y’all at the beginning of the week, we’ve been so focused in on this game, and then the same thing goes with the staff. It’s probably not just our staff, it’s probably a lot of staffs; whether it’s promotions or demotions or whatever, there’s always change, that’s just how it goes,” Nagy said Sunday night. “So, that’s something that (Monday) for us, as a team, we’ll do all of our exit interviews and all of that stuff and talk to the guys, but that’ll be down the road. I’m just at a point right now where I could literally say I just appreciate the fight of these players and tomorrow we’ll discuss the other stuff.”

The Bears converted 1 of 10 attempts on third down in the defeat to the Saints. The loss followed the Week 17 defeat to the Packers that put the Bears in the playoffs by virtue of the newly created seventh spot in each conference.

With or without Nagy, the Bears are facing franchise-altering decisions. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is an unrestricted free agent after the team declined the option on his rookie contract.

“Yeah, I think I can definitely see myself back here next year,” Trubisky said after the game Sunday. “Obviously, a lot of that is out of my control but it feels like home and it feels like we have unfinished business. … But I can see that. We’ll see.”

Trubisky was benched in favor of Nick Foles after Week 3, but Foles was injured and never got his job back after Trubisky reclaimed it entering Week 12. Foles started seven games and the Bears averaged 16.7 points in those games.

Nagy just completed his third season in Chicago and is 28-20 in the regular season, 0-2 in the playoffs.

Chicago does have one of the best defenses in the NFL and despite a six-game losing streak found its way to the postseason for the second time in three years. Nagy went 12-4 and won the NFC North in his first season with the Bears.

–Field Level Media

Nagy also finished 8-8 in 2019 and the Bears missed the playoffs.

Aug 25, 2020; Lake Forest, IL, USA;   Chicago Bears quarterbacks Nick Foles (9) and Mitch Trubisky (10) and coach Dave Ragone during training camp Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020 at Halas Hall. Mandatory Credit: Brian Cassella/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Bears undecided on QB1 at Packers

Who will start for the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field on Sunday night?

On Monday, Bears head coach Matt Nagy said he’ll have to get back to the rest of the world — including the division-leading Green Bay Packers — with that answer.

Coming out of a bye week that began with a loss to the Minnesota Vikings on “Monday Night Football,” the Bears are taking stock of the health status of their quarterbacks, Nagy said.

Nick Foles injured his hip on the final series of the Week 10 home loss to the Vikings. Mitchell Trubisky, who started for the Bears to begin the season, has been out with a shoulder injury.

Nagy said the team is “working through” the situation and keeping its options open for Sunday night’s visit to Green Bay. Nagy said a change at quarterback remains “on the table.”

The Bears won’t issue an official injury report until Wednesday. Neither quarterback is scheduled to meet with the media via video conference until Wednesday night.

The Packers (7-3) lost to the Colts in overtime at Indianapolis on Sunday but maintain a comfortable lead over the Bears (5-5) in the division. The teams are scheduled to meet in Chicago in the regular-season finale on Jan. 3.

Chicago has lost four games in a row and Foles has been sacked 14 times during that span.

Against Minnesota, Foles completed 15 of 26 pass attempts for 106 yards and posted a 51.1 passer rating.

Trubisky was benched three games into the regular season after Foles came off the bench to guide a comeback win at Atlanta on Sept. 27. Trubisky hasn’t practiced since Week 8, Nagy said, due to shoulder discomfort.

–Field Level Media

Nov 16, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Nick Foles (9) leaves the game in the second half after an apparent injury against the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

Bears unsure of Foles’ status after late-game injury

The Chicago Bears head into their bye week awaiting word on quarterback Nick Foles, who was injured Monday night in the final minute of a 19-13 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

With the Bears at their own 20-yard line to start a last-minute drive, Foles took a hard hit from Vikings defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo after releasing a pass that fell incomplete.

Foles was down on the field for several minutes before he was helped onto a cart and taken off the field.

After the game, Chicago coach Matt Nagy was unsure about the injury, saying it was to a hip or leg.

“They’re still looking at him,” Nagy said. “You know, it was his leg or his hip, so I think they’re still working through the details on that. I have not talked to him yet. …

“He was in a lot of pain. He’s a tough dude, but he was in a lot of pain. When you see that and you’re down there with him, you feel for him just because you don’t know how bad it was. So that part is hard.”

Foles, a nine-year veteran who began the season as a backup until Mitchell Trubisky lost the job in Week 3, managed only 106 yards on 15-of-26 passing Monday. He was intercepted once.

With Trubisky unavailable because of a shoulder injury, Tyler Bray came on when Foles got hurt. Bray threw an 18-yard completion to Ryan Nall to get to the Chicago 38, but after spiking the ball to stop the clock, Bray threw three consecutive incompletions. The Vikings took over on downs and ran out the clock.

Foles, the 2017-18 Super Bowl MVP, has completed 65 percent of his passes this season for 1,852 yards and 10 touchdowns with eight interceptions.

The Bears (5-5), in second place in the NFC North, will play in Green Bay on Nov. 29. The Packers (7-2) lead the division.

–Field Level Media