Bears president and CEO Ted Phillips spoke to the media on Tuesday at Halas Hall. Here are three things we learned:
1. The Bears' 8-8 record this season was "unacceptable."
Phillips kicked things off by calling the season disappointing, especially in light of the expectations generated by a 12-4 record in coach Matt Nagy's first season.
"Very frustrating given the expectations that we had, I think that everyone had, our fans had," said Phillips.
What made the results sting, in Phillips' mind, was the outpouring of fan support during the summer, as the team celebrated its 100th season.
"We had an offseason celebration that the fans really just rallied around," said Phillips. "We appreciate that. So to go 8-8 after making the playoffs the year before, it was unacceptable."
2. Phillips remains confident in general manager Ryan Pace and Nagy.
While Phillips wasn't happy with the results this season, that hasn't changed the way he views his top decision-makers.
"I have all the confidence in the world in both of them," said Phillips. "They're the reason that we had a 12-4 year in 2018. They put together a strong foundation and we regressed in a whole lot of areas. But I have confidence that with the two of them … it's important to self-reflect. In the offseason, you've got to be able to self-reflect. I think they have the humility to do that. So I'm hopeful that we'll straighten it out and the guys will return to the level of play that they had in '18."
Phillips added that he thought the adversity Nagy faced this year, after a charmed inaugural season, has made him a stronger coach in the long run. He believes that Pace and Nagy have built a stronger working relationship through the team's struggles.
"A lot of times those relationships, you start getting the finger-pointing," said Phillips. "Saw none of that. They've gotten closer, and I think they have more honest discussions as they've faced the adversity with a four-game losing streak, etc. this year. I'm proud of them for that. That's not easy to do."
3. Phillips values continuity and patience.
This isn't a new concept for a team that has been owned by the same family for a century and run by Phillips for two decades. Phillips applied the same logic toward Pace, who just finished his fifth season with the team.
Phillips said that he believes an NFL team must have consistency as well as faith in the ability of their football operations staff.
In Pace and Nagy, Phillips believes the Bears have found a bold combination that will generate results soon.
"What I like about Ryan," said Phillips, "he has never wavered. He is humble. He's aggressive. And we kind of operate, and Matt does, too, with the philosophy of, 'Look, there are no perfect decisions made in football and in personnel. You can't be 100 percent right all the time. But you've got to go with a mindset of 'no regrets,' and that's what they do.' I think so far it has served us well."