Being a Bears fan, it is not my intention to make this website As Halas Hall Turns. I want to keep track of the latest postmodern performance art Matt Nagy has created regarding Justin Fields.
Yet, in only four weeks, it has taken so many twists, turns, each one so bewildering, and almost impossible to believe, that no one can ignore. I would prefer to be able to slog through this 7-9 win campaign without being in the spotlight. But the Bears have so much going on that it is impossible. A coach can seem to descend into madness every week.
It is important to establish a baseline before I move on. Let's do this:
This would be where I normally point out that Andy Dalton can't throw pissropes this high. Or that no Bears quarterback has ever done it (this is not true, but they did promise a decade of pissropes). You've already read it all. It is obvious that Fields has a solid understanding and baseline of pissropes. It would seem that any discussion about going back to being pissrope-capable should be a no-go. Pissropes may be a possibility. They offer hope. They are the way.
But not here. Matt Nagy, who spoke to the media today, said that Andy Dalton will be starting Sunday in Vegas if he is healthy. It doesn't matter how you slice it or color it, it is the ravings a man who has lost sight of the plot.
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In the lead up to the Lions game, it was important to remember that this was for THE LIONS. Nagy wanted to keep secret who was going to be starting at QB. We all knew Fields would be starting, but Dalton was not healthy. Nagy considered the appearance of subterfugee important. Although all NFL coaches love to hide and seek with what is and what only may be, this is not the ultimate goal. It's a tool. Subterfugee is Nagy's destination. It's not a veil to hide the idea; it is the entire idea. It was to fool THE LIONS. You can't fool the Lions. You should feel sorry for the Lions. You need to be confident enough about what you do, that you can do anything except send the Lions your playbook.
This is all that might be needed to keep the Raiders guessing about Sunday's starter. As if Jon Gruden would spend his time planning for Andy Dalton, instead of laughing and drinking another drink. Being convinced that you are playing chess at an even higher level than others simply because you believe your genius is mysterious, is a sign of someone who is getting closer to the places where the buses don't run.
Maybe Nagy really believes that the Bears returning to Dalton is the best route. This is obviously absurd. Nagy sees an offense that no one understands, and which he has never been able display on the field. Dalton may believe that he can manage that offense because he sees better than Fields. It is not a sign of someone who is in control.
It goes further, somehow. Like he did last year, Nagy handed over play-calling to Bill Lazor yesterday. And just like it did last year (against terrible opposition, which was also last season), there was cohesion. There was a plan. The plan was followed. After establishing the run, play-action was created. Fields could move around a bit. Any RPO was used to provide variety and not as a base. It was professional looking, even if it wasn't spectacular.
Pissropes are also available:
Everyone is happy and goes home with an easy win. This doesn't happen often for the Bears even though it caused some injury concerns. Everyone should take a deep breath. For a moment, can you just bask? Matt Nagy wanted you to know that he was involved.
This guy has been seen in many settings. He is the one who runs around telling you that he chose the music. The one at work who doesn't know how to pitch the idea, but says the bagels he bought sealed the deal. You know the guy at the bar who will not let you go, telling you how great this place is and how he started coming back to it regularly. This guy is a friend of yours.
It's fine to be a coach but not call the plays. Many coaches don't call plays, so being the CEO is fine. Fields even commented on how calmer things were. Focus on the clock management and don't worry about the big picture. This is fine.
You can't give up on anything if you feel lost. You will grab at everything around you more and more as it slips through your fingers. The imposter syndrome can grow and even take over. Nagy may be near the end of his imposter syndrome, where he will most likely be exposed if he does not appear to be in control of everything.
This latest round of news is likely to be just noise. Fields will be starting Sunday. He will continue doing so for as long as he is healthy. Nagy's one thing that has remained constant is his respect for his players. It is not clear how they do it, but I know that they have never stopped believing in him. He would be able to return to Dalton voluntarily, which would take away the last pillar that he has.
If you lose sight of reality, you might not realize how much you have until you've ripped it all down.