Don’t read too much into the Chicago Bears‘ Week 16 comeback victory over the Seattle Seahawks. This is still an organization in disarray. Matt Nagy’s days as head coach seem to be on their last legs, and the overall leadership lacks direction. A clean slate could be in order. ESPN’s Louis Riddick is a blast from Nagy’s past, and he could be the man to turn the storied franchise around.
The Bears are in need of a serious culture change
With the win over the Seattle Seahawks, the Chicago Bears move to 5-10 on the 2021 NFL season. Playoffs are out of the question for Matt Nagy’s squad, and Chicago will finish up with its first losing season since 2017.
While some teams have worse records than the Bears do, this franchise will head into the offseason with many questions needing answers.
Chicago’s 2021 campaign has seen several head-scratching moments.
Nagy and the coaching staff completely botched their handling of rookie quarterback Justin Fields. The front office took the Ohio State product with the No. 11 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Still, Nagy seemed determined to let Andy Dalton be the starter. Once Dalton got hurt, the Bears had no other option but to throw Fields into the fire.
The rookie has endured a roller-coaster first season in Chicago. He’s at least showing improvement, though. Unfortunately, the team and coaching staff as a whole have not.
Far too often, mental miscues and undisciplined errors have cost the Bears in crucial moments. The repetitive nature of these acts signals a much deeper-rooted issue in the locker room.
These aren’t the Chicago Bears of old. This version is hardly recognizable because it lacks a true identity. As a result, ownership must make some emphatic changes for 2022.
Louis Riddick could be just what Chicago needs as a GM
Ryan Pace is in his seventh season as the general manager of the Chicago Bears. Matt Nagy’s job is on the line, but Pace’s should be as well.
Depending on how the 2021 season wraps up, chairman George McCaskey could view Pace as expendable, too. The Bears have posted a career 47-64 record under Pace’s watch. The team put up back-to-back 8-8 seasons in 2019 and 2020. The only winning effort came in 2018 when Chicago finished 12-4 and lost in the Wild Card round.
Even though the general manager hit on players like Justin Fields, David Montgomery, and Roquan Smith in the draft, he’s failed to build a team that can compete year after year. That’s the goal, and he hasn’t got the job done.
Perhaps, it’s time to bring in some new blood. ESPN NFL analyst Louis Riddick makes a lot of sense to take over the reins.
After playing six seasons in the league, Riddick transitioned to the front office. He worked as a scout for Washington from 2001 to 2004. The team promoted him to Director of pro personnel in 2005. Riddick also spent six years in the Philadelphia Eagles organization, holding similar roles.
The Monday Night Football analyst goes way back with Matt Nagy. The Bears’ head coach worked on the Eagles’ coaching staff for most of Riddick’s tenure with the franchise.
According to ESPN’s Waddle & Silvy Podcast, Riddick would be open to joining the Bears.
“Of course, I would listen,” he said. “It’s the Chicago Bears, man. It’s a blue blood franchise. Of course. And you know what, I’ll just leave it at that.”
Even still, it’s probably too late to save Matt Nagy
Louis Riddick should be a hot commodity this offseason for teams looking to go in a different direction in the front office. The Chicago Bears should be right at the top of that list.
Riddick knows his stuff, too. When listening to him call a game, you’re guaranteed to get high-level insight that not many in the industry can offer. His football knowledge is unmatched, and he’s oozing with passion for the game. After getting overlooked by the Houston Texans and Detroit Lions, Riddick deserves a shot.
If the Bears decide to bring in Riddick to replace Ryan Pace as general manager, it would be fantastic news for him and the franchise. However, it doesn’t mean Matt Nagy is safe.
Riddick and Nagy worked together for years, sure. Still, Nagy’s fate already seems signed and sealed. The front office just hasn’t delivered it yet.
According to ESPN, the fourth-year head coach believes he will finish the 2021 season on the Chicago sideline. The fact that this is even a thought shows that Nagy’s tenure is coming to an end.
No matter the relationship between Louis Riddick and Matt Nagy, he should see the latter isn’t the right man to lead this team moving forward.
If George McCaskey wants the Bears to be good again, he’ll need to be willing to take chances. Opting for a new GM could be one worth taking.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.