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The Chicago Bears offense wasn’t just bad, they were historically bad in a 26-6 loss to the Cleveland Browns, where they totaled just 47 total yards and netted 1 passing yard.
Justin Fields’ first NFL start was a disaster, and it had a lot to do with the position Nagy put his rookie quarterback in. Sure, Fields had his faults, including holding onto the ball and some timing issues. But Fields was never given a chance to succeed with the game plan put in place by Nagy that almost got him killed.
As you can imagine, Nagy has been under fire following that game, and rightfully so. Not only has Chicago’s offense gotten worse with each passing year since he was hired back in 2018, but he failed to do anything to help his hand-picked quarterback in his first NFL start.
Here’s what local and national media have to say about Nagy follow the Bears’ brutal outing against the Browns:
Dan Orlovsky, Ryan Clark and Rex Ryan, 'Get Up'
Kyle Brandt, 'Good Morning Football'
Jeffri Chadiha, NFL.com
"What was so stunning about Chicago's performance with Fields under center was that they seemed to have no real plan at all. Some of that had to do with the Browns, but this game was always going to be more about the Bears: the potential of their quarterback, the talent among the men blocking for him and ultimately the approach Chicago is taking to coaching him. "The major problem with what happened to Fields is that it's hard to be optimistic about immediate next steps. This wasn't solely about a young signal-caller taking his lumps. It was about all that is wrong with this team colliding at the worst possible moment. It was about the very real likelihood that this season now ends with Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace losing their jobs and the Bears looking for somebody who has a real plan for turning this quarterback into the star that city desperately craves." -- NFL.com
Jason Lieser, Sun-Times
"When a coach says that, it’s usually to shield his players. And it’s unclear what Nagy intended by taking all the blame, but he certainly deserves the majority of it.
"Rather than use all the advantages of rookie quarterback Justin Fields’ mobility and the Browns having minimal film on him, Nagy steered the offense into its worst performance of his tenure with the Bears.
"The Bears produced 47 net yards — their fewest since 1981 — and managed two field goals on 10 possessions. Including the playoffs, it was the 22nd time they had scored fewer than 20 points in Nagy’s 53 games.
"Didn’t he say Year 4 was when this offense typically clicks?
"Like Nagy said, the performance was atrocious beyond imagination. It was another hit from the coach who brought you, ‘‘You’ve gotta soul-search,’’ after getting blown out by the Packers last season; ‘‘I don’t know,’’ after collapsing against the Lions; ‘‘I’m not an idiot,’’ after setting the franchise record for fewest running plays in a game; and, ‘‘We know this isn’t good enough,’’ after getting shut down by the Saints in the recent playoff game.
"We’ve been here before with him. Many times.
"Fields will endure inevitable rookie struggles, but he’s not the problem. The Bears wouldn’t have looked much, if any, better with Andy Dalton.
"It’s reasonable, after five months of Nagy working with Fields, to suspect he doesn’t understand how to make the most of this prized asset."
David Kaplan, ESPN 1000, NBC Sports Chicago
Olin Kreutz, NBC Sports Chicago
Alex Brown, NBC Sports Chicago
Marcus Spears, ESPN
Dan Pompei, The Athletic
"Matt Nagy called plays like he drafted Davis Mills, not Justin Fields. "This would be a good time for Nagy to give the play calling to Bill Lazor. But it’s not just about play calling. The Bears also need better game planning than they had Sunday. And better adjustments. And a better understanding of what they have and won’t they don’t have." -- The Athletic
Kevin Fishbain, The Athletic
"It’s one thing to point to a rookie quarterback starting his first game on the road against a playoff team. It’s another to have one of the worst displays of offense in the history of a franchise known all too well for quarterback ineptitude. "Was Fields woefully unprepared for the Browns defense, calling into question everything about the scouting process, what we’ve heard everyone say about Fields and what he accomplished at Ohio State? "It’s more likely that Fields was thrown into a broken offense, a system that hasn’t worked with multiple quarterbacks since Nagy arrived in Chicago." -- The Athletic
Adam Hoge, NBC Sports Chicago
"What’s particularly jarring — and even stunning — is that Sunday’s game was probably Nagy’s worst since he came to Chicago and it happened with Justin Fields — his hand-picked quarterback — on the field. No one expected it to be perfect, but one net passing yard — one! — in an NFL game is completely unacceptable. "It’s enough that Bears ownership must be asking questions about whether or not Fields is in the best situation to be developed properly. No one in the organization is more important than Fields right now and it’s a miracle he came out of Sunday’s loss with only a “dinged up” throwing hand. It could have been much worse. "Is this an overreaction to one game? Maybe, but it doesn’t feel that way when you consider the state of the Bears’ offense since the start of the 2019 season. It hasn’t been good and it shouldn’t get worse with Fields on the field, especially when it appeared that the rookie did very little wrong Sunday. Did he play well? No. Did he have much of a chance to play well? Also, no." -- NBC Sports Chicago
Jarrett Payton, WGN Sports
Laurence Holmes, 670 The Score
David Haugh, 670 The Score
"All I know for sure after watching that Bears’ debacle is this: Fields will stop looking like a rookie quarterback sooner if Nagy stops treating him like one.
"The Bears had all week to prepare Fields for his first start, and he appeared more ready for the moment than the offensive coaching staff. Unveiling a game plan all too familiar and frustrating, Nagy called plays early and often that clung to the principles of his beloved scheme. That’s unacceptable to some and infuriating to many. BREAKING: Andy Dalton is hurt, Mitch Trubisky is a Bill and Nagy’s scheme is no longer the star of the Bears offense. Somebody please inform Nagy, who seems oblivious to those developments. Somebody please show him some clips of Fields at Ohio State, where he thrived in a system built around him. What a concept."
Dan Bernstein, 670 The Score
"Fields is at the outset of his development -- which is the single most important aspect of the franchise's current existence, remember -- and while he's still trying to acclimate to the timing of the game and the speed of opposing defenses, he's doing so in what is only nominally recognizable as an offensive system, seemingly designed to keep him from showing what he can do with his prodigious athletic talent.
"There's nothing schemed to help Fields, no moving pockets or half-field reads or even defaulting to another ancient football adage: "If you can't block 'em, screen 'em." What rubs it in is seeing the team right across the line from the Bears doing exactly that, all while Nagy continues to tilt at windmills.
"The issues are more than about having players ready. They're also about the ongoing problem of Nagy struggling or refusing to see the game that's unfolding in front of him and coaching accordingly. It's that disconnect that's more troublesome and continually disconcerting. Those of us on the outside matter less now then all of those downcast eyes on the Bears sideline.
"It gets very complicated indeed when we start to wonder how long this locker room can hold together when the players see what we see."
Chris Emma, 670 The Score
"Not only was that game plan from Nagy ill-fitting for Fields, it was unimaginative and downright dangerous to the future of the franchise. Nagy displayed a complete lack of awareness for how should operate as the head coach and play-caller for Fields.
"Will there be more games for Fields in which he’s set up to fail by Nagy? Because that’s what would get Nagy fired by the end of this season – if he continues to jeopardize Fields' health and development."
Cam Ellis, 670 The Score
"Nagy will never live down the “I’m not an idiot” quote, but he’s not wrong – the Bears' loss Sunday was as simple as that. And that's the thing: Bears losses, for the most part, have been as simple as that for a while now. Sometimes it’s Chicago producing six points in a loss to Cleveland, other times it’s three points in a loss to Green Bay. It’s been four years under Nagy's watch, and all you can really say about his offense is that it makes everyone start falsely." -- 670 The Score
Bryan Perez, The Draft Network
"It isn’t uncommon for fans to overreact after an embarrassing loss and to call for the coach’s head as proper punishment. But in this case, the criticism and calls for Nagy to be ousted have a very strong underlying reason: the Bears can’t risk damaging Fields, their most prized player and arguably the most important draft pick in team history. "Chicago is anxious right now. And it’s not the kind of nervous excitement Bears fans were feeling when they woke up on Sunday morning. Instead, it’s a combination of fear and worry. It’s fear and worry that Fields will be ruined by Nagy, whose record of performance confirms he’s incapable of being Sean McVay, or even a deeply discounted version of McVay, like the pre-printed Super Bowl victory shirts of the eventual loser that get distributed as free handouts. "Nagy’s mismanagement of Fields’ debut may have pushed him beyond the point of no return with Bears fans and football media. Whether general manager Ryan Pace is there too remains to be seen." -- The Draft Network
Adam Hoge and Adam Jahns, NBC Sports Chicago & The Athletic
Drew Brees, NBC Sports