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Five Ways the McCaskeys Keep from Firing Matt Nagy

Analysis There are five built-in possibilities for the Bears ownership family to keep from firing coach Matt Nagy and staff after this season.

The Bears haven't yet hit rock bottom, or at least a point of no return for the coaching staff.

If they had, a firing could have already occurred.

So at the very least, there must be question in the mind of ownership whether this needs to be done despite a six-game losing streak.

Remember, they've had only three losing streaks longer than this in a season and no one lost a job in those seasons, either.

The McCaskeys historically let a season play out or reach near the very end when they make a decision of this magnitude.

Considering Matt Nagy won 12 games, a division title and should have won a playoff game if not for a faulty kicker, they definitely know he has the ability to coach a winning team and could decide to retain him regardless of the fate of general manager Ryan Pace.

Here are the possible ways Bears ownership could avoid firing Nagy:

1. COVID-19

These are unprecedented times. How many times have you heard that said in the last 8 1/2 months? This explanation simply can trump everything else happening this year. They simply can announce no changes are necessary because of the lack of an offseason to prepare on the field for this one due to the coronavirus, an offseason when they had three coaching changes on offense and brought in another quarterback.

This is an easy out, although they might have a hard time justifying this route considering teams with winning records experienced this difficult, as well. People are using the coronavirus as a reason for all kinds of things this year, from voting by mail to shutting down businesses. It could be a reason for giving someone another chance, although it's certain not to sit well with a huge portion of the fan base.

2. Winning Out

If they win out and make the playoffs or win out and don't make the playoffs, they can point at the fact Nagy hasn't had a losing record yet and decide it warrants another shot. The entirety of his work must be considered, not just this current losing streak. No one was howling for his job when they won the NFC North by clinching against the Green Bay Packers. They may not even need to win out for this. If they finish 3-1 in the final four, Nagy still hasn't had a losing season. How many coaches in the NFL get fired when they haven't had a losing season, especially after they followed a coach who had double-digit losses three straight years?

3. Finishing 7-9

This is a dicey proposition. Trying to sell this one to anyone may not work. It could always be pointed out it's the first losing season. A 7-9 record or worse after a 5-1 start makes it tough to swallow, though. They fired Lovie Smith after a 7-1 start and 10-6 non-playoff season, but many will maintain this was definitely a mistake. The mistake actually was putting Phil Emery in place as GM and letting him make the decision to begin with, but that's an argument for another day. If they finish 7-9, it would sure be a big boost to Nagy's cause if two wins come over someone of significance, at least one over the Packers. If they beat the Packers and Vikings, it can be said Nagy doesn't have a losing record against the NFC North this year and only the Packers would have a better record against his teams in the division.

4. The Pace Factor

Pace's failures could be deemed too difficult for Nagy to overcome. They could even give Nagy a contract extension as a show of support while firing Pace, although this might be a bit much. They've seen Nagy succeed. Just consider what he could do if he had a general manager who got him a real quarterback and a few more legitimate blockers to provide time to pass. This is the way they would keep Nagy while letting go of Pace. Then they could let the new general manager decide Nagy's fate. They've gone this route in the past, when they hired Jerry Angelo as GM and also with Emery. So they would be following precedent. It's not necessarily good precedent or even logical, but it's what they've done.

5. Patience Prevails

This one might require taking out some full-page ads of explanation after the season in the Tribune and Sun-Times, and putting their P.R. machine to use delivering the message in other ways. They simply can announce in ads or postseason press conferences with George McCaskey that they feel they've come too far with this team since it suffered double-digit losses in four consecutive seasons and they need to give Nagy another chance to continue what he had going in 2018. They can point out he hasn't yet lost the locker room. Marc Trestman definitely had when he had double-digit losses. In Fox's case, it was more like the team just lost interest in him and wanted to move on. The Bears can take this route if Nagy indeed doesn't lose the locker room over the final four games, and he hasn't yet.

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