Well, guess Matt Nagy was determined to do some work this week.
The now former Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator wouldn’t have been able to do much in KC, given the results of that wild card weekend team from Saturday, so what does he do? He flies to Chicago Sunday morning, knocks out an interview with Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace and secures himself a job running the NFL’s flagship franchise as first reported by the Sun-Times Monday morning and later ran with everywhere soon after.
Admittedly, I was disappointed upon first hearing of the hire, but that was mostly due to not looking too much into the available candidates — the more intriguing candidates in my opinion were still coaching in the playoffs, such as Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, who was also interviewed over the weekend by the Bears. Nagy’s most recent efforts included leading a Chiefs offense that was shut-out in the second half against Tennessee, giving away a 21-3 lead and a chance to play in the AFC divisional round this coming weekend.
Granted, a lot happened to give up that lead, mostly on KC’s defense, but the lack of game-closing offense didn’t help. Also, it has to be noted that Saturday’s game was only the sixth game called by Nagy as coordinator in an NFL coaching career that only extends back eight years.
In Nagy, the Bears are adhering to the newest trend in NFL coaching — 30something, offensive-minded wunderkinds (still very white as well, but that’s for another post…) with the Bears’ new coach at 39 joining the likes of Sean McVay, who was 31 at the beginning of the 2017 season, along with Kyle Shanahan (37) and Adam Gase (39), who some around here believe should be coaching the Bears after his successful year corralling Jay Cutler as Chicago’s OC.
Nagy does not hold much coaching experience but he does have a complete focus on quarterbacking, its the position he’s worked most with as a coach and its the position he played as a coaches son in high school, in college at Delaware and to great effect in the Arena League, back when it was still fun.
Some of the most knowledgeable among us may have been able to pinpoint Nagy as a viable candidate even before this weekend’s series of interviews, but no one can guarantee that the Bears will be a viable championship contender again under his leadership. In actuality Nagy will be enduring a maturation process as an HC that will mirror that of his closest charge, Mitchell Trubisky.
Trubisky can be encouraged with what Nagy did to help Alex Smith lead a constant playoff team in KC, he can be encouraged by Nagy’s background playing the sport and by the way he came from an unexpected position that included a stretch completely out the sport to become coach of one of the NFL’s most popular teams.
But the line of responsibility is clear now, Trubisky got to put up numbers to make Nagy look good and Nagy got to make Trubisky look good to make Pace look good — if at least those three things do not happen then we’re likely within two or three years of another post like this and more reactions like the ones below — borne out of a never-ceasing hope that a turnaround can occur and a greatness that moves further into our collective past can ever become recognizable again.
More on the next guy who probably won’t measure up to Ditka:
Who is new Bears coach Matt Nagy? (SBNation.com)
The Six Conversations That Changed Matt Nagy’s Life (Chiefs.com)
MORRISSEY: Bears rolling the dice big time on inexperienced Matt Nagy (Sun-Times)
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