Skip to main content

Is It Too Late for Matt Nagy?

Players decided they were going to "empty their cups" in an effort to close the season the right way, and Sunday it meant a 25-24 win over Seattle, but will it be enough to keep the coaching staff in

The Bears have obviously not quit, or they would never have won Sunday's game 25-24 over Seattle.

Neither has coach Matt Nagy and he had them all talking about "emptying their cup" after rallying past Seattle in the snow.

Nagy keeps talking about how his team is still fighting and doesn't quit. His players are, saying it, as well.

It's a very thinly veiled attempt to convince the Halas Hall powers that be to retain Nagy, and it remains to be seen whether they've seen enough struggling offense, stupid penalties and unsuccessful maneuvers for three years to end it sometime soon.

On Sunday, they gave away another field goal they could have had early with a fourth-and-goal gamble from the 4. On Monday night, they could have kicked field goals on each possession inside the 21 and won the game 18-17 against Minnesota, but Nagy disdained kicks.

'The biggest thing for me and for our team in there is that the guys never stopped fighting," Nagy said. "As a coach, you love that about them. It just speaks to who they are."

Something Nagy said Saturday came from one of his sons and resonated with players when he used this in his address to the team.

"Of course, the season hasn't been going the way that we wanted it to go or we planned for it to go, but we always know that opportunities are always limited when you get to the NFL," running back David Montgomery said. "And we made a plan before the game, which was emptying out the cup, giving everything that you have. That's what we did."

It was the cup emptying analogy Nagy credited to his freshman son that Montgomery was still talking about after the win.

"Well, we talked last night at the Saturday night meetings that we have, sometimes I have something prepared and sometimes I don't and I kind of speak from my heart," Nagy said. "Last night was one of those, as we got going, we had some guys talk.

Scroll to Continue

Read More

"After the game last week, my freshman son and I were driving home and we just talked about the story that he's learned about 'no regrets' and 'emptying your cup.' Without dragging it out, it was a pretty cool story that he right now is doing as a young athlete. And I thought it really resonated with our team and our coaches and players: Whatever you do, win lose or draw, if you just empty your cup—you got a full cup, you got a half cup—and you empty it, and we all empty our cups. We'll have a damn good chance to win the football game. If you just pour your cup and you don't empty it, then you're not giving it all you got."

Sometimes inspiration comes from the most unusual sources.

"To have that story come from my freshman son, it just meant a lot," Nagy said. "I kinda just spoke from the heart. It's cool to hear that it impacted David. And maybe it impacted more."

The Bears hadn't been able to stand up to better teams all year, and in this one they were 6 1/2-point underdogs. They had won one out six games when underdogs by that much or more this year. It definitely didn't hurt having Foles at quarterback, a veteran known for producing when he's doubted the most.

Yet, they won on the road, when the Seahawks had to win to stay alive in the playoff chase, with a third-team quarterback playing and with 10 players still on the reserve/COVID-19 list. And they did it after traveling out west on Christmas at a time when most players would have their attention turned elsewhere.

They do keep fighting, as the rally from a 24-14 deficit suggests.

"The last couple weeks, they've done that," Nagy said. "It means a lot to me. Sometimes when you go through these coaching experiences, when you win it's kinda easy and things get deodorized. When you lose, it's really freaking hard.

"How do you learn from those moments? I'm taking a lot from these moments that we have. Right now, today, the only thing I'm proud and happy about is for those players in that locker room to be able to enjoy that win from tonight. They deserve it. For the coaches, too. For me, I'm just proud to be a part of it."

Whether it all means anything in the end regarding how much longer this all continues will be known soon enough.

At least on this Sunday it meant something to Nagy and the rest of the team.

Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven