NFL teams can begin requesting head coaching candidate interviews Tuesday morning, provided they have fired their head coach or given him notice that he will not return.
As of Monday afternoon, Matt Nagy remains the head coach of the Chicago Bears. Asked directly if he was operating under the assumption that he will coach out the remainder of the season, Nagy said, “Yes.”
Nagy said his communication with the front office hasn’t changed.
“We’re continuing to move forward this week and prepare for the Giants,” Nagy said.
The Bears take on the New York Giants at Soldier Field on Sunday before finishing the season with a trip to Minnesota a week later.
There was some speculation among fans and the media that the two-week interview period at the end of the regular season would incentivize NFL teams to fire their coaches before the season ended. But following a 25-24 win over the Seahawks on Sunday, which made the Bears 5-10 on the season, Nagy remains the head coach in Chicago.
Sunday’s win was a feel-good moment for a 2021 Bears team that hasn’t had many celebratory moments. But it changes little for the long-term outlook of the organization.
Nagy is 33-30 in the regular season as a head coach. Even if he is fired after the season, he is now guaranteed to have a winning record in four seasons in Chicago.
It’s possible the Bears could inform Nagy he won’t return after the season, while allowing him to coach out the season. But it seems unlikely that any NFL organization could keep such a move quiet in today’s media environment. They would have to reach out to other teams to request interviews with prospective candidates. Word would spread quickly.
The bigger question might be what are the Bears going to do with the general manager? The organization can’t begin its coaching search unless management is certain who will be doing the hiring. Firing Nagy this week and beginning that process probably would mean the Bears trust general manager Ryan Pace to make the next hire.
But Nagy is still here, and everything remains on the table.
The Bears might be thinking of major structural change within the organization. Given that, the head coach is not the most urgent hire. In that scenario, they have to figure out the front office first.
Transactions: Nagy said Monday that defensive back Teez Tabor, who injured his ankle Sunday, will go on injured reserve. With only two games remaining, that means Tabor’s season is over.
Left tackle Teven Jenkins injured his shoulder Sunday, but Nagy said he had no update on Jenkins’ status.
Receiver Allen Robinson, tight end Jesse James, cornerback Jaylon Johnson, running back Ryan Nall and safety Tashaun Gipson will be cleared off the COVID-19 list, Nagy said.