The Gazette's Marc Morehouse ranks all 143 wins in Kirk Ferentz's Iowa head coaching tenure as Ferentz approaches the school record this fall.

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Another fresh start for the Bears again

Matt Nagy wants to bring a resemblance of the Eagles' offense to Chicago

Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy speaks to the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center on Wednesday. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)
Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy speaks to the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center on Wednesday. (Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — As 1985 continues to turn into history, the Chicago Bears continue to recalibrate. That’s a nice way of saying they fired the coach, again, and are putting the pieces together. Again.

Here are the Bears right now: General manager Ryan Pace will began his fourth season with Wednesday’s NFL combine, the unofficial start of the season. Last year, Pace fired John Fox and hired Matt Nagy.

The Bears’ record during Pace’s run as GM is 14-34.

So, the GM is quickly approaching serious job pressure. 1985 isn’t getting any younger. There’s a big difference between turning into history and turning off a cliff, and Bears fans are acutely aware of that. And now Pace, armed with a January contract extension, is paired with Nagy, a first-year head coach and fresh face from the Kansas City Chiefs and their head coach Andy Reid, a huge influence on Nagy. He started his coaching career as an intern on Reid’s staff in Philadelphia in 2008.

“We’re going to create our own identity,” Nagy said from the platform Wednesday. “It’s going to be Chicago Bear football and that’s it.”

The Bears haven’t made the playoffs since 2010, when they lost to archrival Green Bay in the NFC Championship at Soldier Field. So, this NFL draft will be the Bears’ fourth consecutive shot at a top-10 pick. Last year, the Bears traded to No. 2 for quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. He did enough as a rookie to keep everyone intrigued. Yes, he finished 4-8 as a starter, but wins and losses are team stats, especially 2017 with the Bears.

Trubisky still is a test pilot. He might be Rex Grossman. He might be Jim McMahon. He might be Doug Flutie. He might be Jim Harbaugh. He might be Moses Moreno. Who knows? The Bears are going to find out starting in 2018.

“What you can see is some of the trust in his throws,” Nagy said. “He has a strong arm, we all know that, but being able to trust. The game is slowing down for him. He has game experience, he’s not coming from the classroom. Trusting every throw he makes, you can see from where he started to where he finished, that was big growth right there.”

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The exciting possibility for the Bears is that Nagy is a branch off the Reid tree, just like Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson. Of course, the Eagles won the Super Bowl (and needed 41 points to do it) and finished No. 7 in the league in total offense.

“Coach Reid had the West Coast offense going strong,” Nagy said. “What we’ve done is tailored some of the college stuff that’s come out to the way these players play. Offensively, it was fun, refreshing for us and we started to grow. As Doug goes to Philadelphia and he has other coaches who come from different worlds, they’re going to talk about what works and what they like. You saw Philadelphia have a lot of success this year. They had fun with it, talking to the guys.

“That’s what we’re going to do. We’ll put or own little spin on it and see how our guys fit.”

The pressure is on Pace. Nagy’s offense sounds intriguing and certainly is THE offense in the league right now. Still, the Bears can’t fire their ownership and that’s been the constant in the 33 seasons since their last championship.

l Comments: (319) 398-8256; marc.morehouse@thegazette.com

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