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Halas Intrigue Bears Report: Bad ending, bad beginning

Halas Intrigue Bears Report
As expected, the Bears dismissed coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace on Monday. But team chairman George McCaskey’s press conference generated fear that the club is about to repeat its cycle of irrelevance. Read the latest coverage and analysis below.

1. Stumble at the start
Bears chairman George McCaskey sat on a Zoom call a year ago and said everything would be fine.
Don’t worry, he assured, he saw the same problems everyone else did and was just as mad. But he insisted general manager Ryan Pace and coach Matt Nagy could fix them. The collective culture of the Bears would get this right.
It still hasn’t. And any optimism that sprouted from the Bears resetting the organization by firing Pace and Nagy on Monday morning wilted when McCaskey laid out plans to find their replacements in the afternoon. He will lead a hiring committee that includes president/CEO Ted Phillips and former executive Bill Polian.
In McCaskey’s decade of running the organization, the Bears have hired Marc Trestman, John Fox and Nagy as coaches. The GMs have been Phil Emery and Pace. Not a winner in the bunch.
And while Polian is a Hall of Famer who won Executive of the Year six times, he is 79 years old, hasn’t worked in an NFL front office since 2011 and infamously said eventual MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson should switch to wide receiver. He also has no personal stake in whether the upcoming moves work out.
Those three, vice president of player engagement ‘‘Soup’’ Campbell and senior vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion Tanesha Wade will be the five people in the room for interviews.
Firing Pace and Nagy were the right decisions after a 6-11 season in which the offense made none of the progress McCaskey demanded last January, but they were a year late and exposed his lack of vision.
When pressed about whether the Bears would have been better off doing this at the end of the 2020 season, McCaskey couldn’t justify it except to say he thought he owed it to Pace and Nagy.
‘‘At the time, we thought the continuity was the best route forward,’’ said McCaskey, who saddled them with the conflicting mandates of winning now but acting in the best interest of a future they knew they might not be part of.
Housecleaning at Halas Hall: Bears get it wrong even when they get it right
2. Quittin' time
Columnist Rick Morrissey knows it will be tough to do, but after George McCaskey’s performance on Monday Bears fans need to wash their hands of this franchise:
This is your moment, Bears fans. This is your chance to say, “Enough.’’
Withhold your money and your loyalty from an organization that has ears but chooses not to hear and eyes but chooses not to see. The team doesn’t listen to you, and it doesn’t notice your pain.
Quit the Bears. Stop supporting this insanity. Don’t renew your season tickets when the time comes to re-up in a few weeks. Don’t go to the games next season. Take up knitting.
I don’t know if your walking away will have any lasting effect on this franchise, but whatever’s left of your dignity will be intact and you’ll feel a lot better about yourself.
If you fall for whatever George McCaskey was trying to sell Monday, then it’s on you. If you hold on to your season tickets out of habit or fear or the effects of a recent concussion, then you’ll have no one else to blame for whatever happens next with this team, which is likely something bad. If you’re sucked in by the possibility of a shiny new stadium in Arlington Heights, shame on you.
Bears fans, I’m begging you, quit this sinking team and save yourselves
3. Missing the point
About to hire his third general manager in 11 seasons as the Bears’ chairman of the board — with two playoff appearances and no playoff victories to show for it — George McCaskey refused to consider that he might be the problem.
“My performance is reviewed by ownership, and the board of directors and ownership has informed me it wishes me to continue in this role.”
And so it goes at 1920 Football Drive. One of the most endearing qualities of the McCaskey family is that they don’t walk around Halas Hall like they own the place. There are no more down-to-earth millionaires on the planet. But on a day of seismic change, there was a stark — some might say daunting — reminder that they do own the place.
The Bears board of directors, which includes three of George’s brothers, three close confidants and his mother, tell him he’s doing a bang-up job, so he must be. The Bears are 79-98 (.446) in McCaskey’s 11 seasons as chairman — ranking 24th in the NFL in that span. They have made two playoff appearances — only four teams have fewer in that span. And they are one of seven NFL teams with zero playoff victories in that span.
By George, he doesn’t get it
4. In other news
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