Bears news: Team eyeing Pat Fitzgerald to replace Matt Nagy

By Vincent Frank
Nov 16, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy during the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears held a 30-20 lead over the hapless Detroit Lions heading into the fourth quarter of Sunday’s Week 13 game. Chicago fell 34-30, leading to more Bears news surrounding a potential head-coaching change.

Chicago has now lost six consecutive after starting the season 5-1. It has been an unmitigated disaster on offense, which doesn’t speak well to embattled head coach Matt Nagy. Could this lead to Nagy being fired here soon? Speculation has ramped up indicating that could be the case.

Related: NFL coaches on the hot seat

Bears news: Pat Fitzgerald atop list to replace Matt Nagy

“If the Chicago Bears conduct a coaching search next month — and numerous league sources have indicated it is far more likely than not that will be the case — Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald will be at the top of their wish list,” Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported Sunday.

The NFL insider went on to note that billionaire minority owner Pat Ryan, who owns a 10% stake in the organization, is a proponent of the Bears hiring Fitzgerald. Ryan is a Northwestern alum, which shouldn’t make this piece of Bears news too surprising.

Bears news: Pat Fitzgerald as a head-coaching candidate

Bears news: Pat Fitzgerald as next head coach?
Nov 16, 2019; Evanston, IL, USA; Northwestern Wildcats head coach Pat Fitzgerald reacts in the second half of the game against the Massachusetts Minutemen at Ryan Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

The 46-year-old Fitzgerald has been bandied about as a potential NFL head coach. A former linebacker at Northwestern, Pat Fitzgerald has coached that program since all the way back in 2006.

Fitzgerald has led the Wildcats to a combined mark of 104-80. That includes three consecutive bowl wins and nine bowl appearances. Thus far this season, Northwestern boasts a 5-1 record and is ranked just outside of the top-10 in the Associate Press’ most-recent top-25.

A native of Illinois, Fitzgerald has in the past pushed back against making a move to the NFL. Whether that changes with the Bears potentially looking for a new head coach remains to be seen.

Related: NFL Power Rankings – Ranking each team for NFL Playoffs.

Bears news: Will Matt Nagy be fired?

That’s the million-dollar question right now. Seen as a genius on the offensive side of the ball dating back to his days with the Chiefs, Nagy has not lived up to that reputation thus far in Chicago.

The embattled head coach led the NFL’s 26th-ranked total offense and 31st-ranked scoring offense heading into Week 13’s outing against the Detroit Lions. An ugly late-game performance with draft bust Mitchell Trubisky added another layer to these struggles.

At this point, it’s hard to envision any Bears news coming out over the final four weeks of the season that suggests Nagy will be back in 2021. In fact, it would not be a surprise if the head coach and general manager Ryan Pace were given their walking papers before the season comes to a conclusion.

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