Separating Ryan Pace from Matt Nagy in Chicago Bears failures
Matt Nagy has taken the brunt of the blame after the Chicago Bears offensive disaster, and he certainly deserves it. Aside from the production are plenty of issues in scheme and decision making along the way. However, while it is easy to throw Matt Nagy under fire, the screams should be much louder for Ryan Pace. The argument for Matt Nagy has always been that he does not have a quarterback, and now that he has Justin Fields, the line and players around him are that of a bottom-tier roster.
Nagy has not made the most of his tools, but Pace has kept the toolbox relatively empty and has often had odds and ends that do not fit.
The easiest way to separate Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace is to look at recent offensive performers under Matt Nagy. Did they go on to have success once they were put in the position to succeed, or were they just a bad player?
The following are offensive players that Ryan Pace brought in and Matt Nagy failed with.
Howard dropped from 2017 to 2018 with Matt Nagy. However, his 2019-2021 combined accounted for far less than his 2018 season with Matt Nagy did. Running backs only have a few years of great play in them, and the Bears sold on Howard just as he was losing his gas.
Taylor Gabriel has not played since he slowly faded down the 2019 stretch. Gabriel was great with Nagy in 2018, he faded in 2019 and now is not in the NFL.
Many note that Matt Nagy pushed Pace to sign Burton and so he does deserve some criticism. We have stated this is not to ease his blame but to direct more towards pace. This was a bad signing. Nonetheless, Nagy got the most out of him. His career-high was in 2018 and his 2019-2021 stats combined cannot match his 2018. Just like Jordan Howard.
This was before Matt Nagy, so he is excused. Still, Nagy could not get Shaheen going and he got in the dog house of Nagy fast. Shaheen had 48 and 74 yards with Nagy and had 150 in 2020. He did have a better career after Nagy, although it was not by much.
It is too early to tell what impact Miller will have, but most fans will agree his maturity held him back as much, if not more than Matt Nagy. Miller has been banged up and has four catches for 20 yards so far, basically the same types of performances we saw in Chicago.
Fans joke that Trubisky will have success without Nagy as if Nagy is Adam Gase. However, the list above shows that maybe that is not the case. No one else has had any success without Nagy.
Mike Davis and Cordarelle Patterson
As weird as it is, Davis and Patterson went from backups to David Montgomery to splitting a backfield in Atlanta. Not many offenses are worse than Chicago, but Atlanta is probably one.
At the very least, they have a worse rushing offense with these two. Atlanta ranks 30th in rushing success and expected points added via the rush. Chicago ranks 20th and 27th respectively.
The Bears do not have a guy like Matt Ryan to make life easier, either.
Javon Wims and Riley Ridley
For years fans cried that Matt Nagy could not get anything out of Ridley. Is he even on a team’s practice squad? The answer is no. These two are not even NFL players.
When you add in personnel decisions on the offensive line it is clear that Ryan Pace has been a disaster at adding offensive players. Matt Nagy got career years out of far too many names on this list, and we know that Nagy is not some genius revolutionizing the game. Rather, these are poor talents that had their most chances in Chicago because the team had nothing else. Matt Nagy has been bad, but no one can work with the mess that Ryan Pace consistently gives him.