Despite a second straight non-winning season, in which they started 5-1 before finishing 8-8 and failing to advance past their first playoff game for the second time in three years, the Chicago Bears are running it back in 2021. Chairman George McCaskey and president Ted Phillips announced Wednesday that coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace will both return for another season, citing an "impressive" finish to the 2020 campaign -- the third under Nagy's guidance and sixth under Pace.
"Have mistakes been made? Yes," McCaskey said, per reporters. "But I think Ryan and Matt are learning and growing in their roles ... I understand your frustration. We're frustrated, too ... (but) sticking with these guys is the best route for the Bears at this time ... We all want things to get better, and a lot of times, you have to go through tough times to get better. The way they've handled adversity the last two seasons leads us to the conclusion that they're the best people to lead us through 2021."
Nagy opened his career as the Bears' head coach with high marks, leading Chicago to a 12-4 finish and NFC North title in 2018 before falling to the Eagles in the Wild Card Round. Since then, however, he's overseen two straight 8-8 seasons, not to mention the regression of former Pro Bowl quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who was briefly benched early in 2020. The Bears finished strong amid a rebound by Trubisky, winning three of their last four to enter the playoffs, but still lost their opening postseason game 21-9.
Pace, meanwhile, has seemingly been on the hot seat for even longer. Hired as GM in 2015 after 14 years in the Saints' personnel department, he's overseen just one winning season in six years at his post. The Bears went 13-34 in his first three seasons when John Fox served as head coach, and infamously missed on some of the 2018 draft's top QBs, selecting Trubisky over lauded talents like Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes.