Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy is not worried about his team’s struggles on offense.
Matt Nagy Bafflingly Explains the Bears’ Struggles are Because His Offense ‘Takes a Few Years to Get Going’. The Chicago Bears have struggled mightily this season and head coach Matt Nagy has been criticized for his play calling and lack of adjustments.
The Chicago Bears’ 2021 season seems to be a make-or-break year. Head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace may become Chicago institutions if they can develop Justin Fields and win some games. If not, the couple may be on their way out shortly. It may all come down to how well the Bears perform on offense this season, something Nagy admits will be tough due to the length of time it takes to understand his offensive scheme.
Since Matt Nagy took over as head coach of the Chicago Bears, the team has become worse.
Matt Nagy | Wesley Hitt/Getty Images/Matt Nagy
Matt Nagy was a quarterback before becoming the head coach of the Chicago Bears. According to ChicagoBears.com, the Pennsylvania native was an All-American at the University of Delaware and then spent six seasons in the Arena Football League after failing to sign with an NFL club.
He interned with the Philadelphia Eagles under head coach Andy Reid after his playing career ended, and remained with him for nearly a decade. Nagy became a coach’s assistant and then an offensive quality control coach after two seasons as an intern.
When Reid was dismissed by the Eagles and hired by the Kansas City Chiefs, Nagy followed him. After three seasons as the quarterbacks coach in Kansas City, the then-35-year-old was promoted to offensive coordinator. Nagy guided Alex Smith’s team to a 10-6 record and a playoff berth during his first season as offensive coordinator. The Bears hired him as a result of his accomplishment.
Nagy and the Bears had such a promising start in Chicago.
In Nagy’s first season, the club went 12-4 and reached the playoffs. The Bears could have advanced to the second round as well, but kicker Cody Parkey failed to convert a game-winning 43-yard field goal on the famed “double doink” kick.
The next two seasons did not fare as well. Both years, the club finished 8-8, and Chicago’s rookie quarterback, Mitchell Trubisky, struggled in Nagy’s system.
Trubisky is no longer the head coach, as he enters his fourth season. If the offense falters again in 2021, Nagy will have no one but himself to blame except his system, which he admits is a slow burn.
Nagy admits that his offense takes some time to get rolling.
What’s the big deal, Matt Nagy? With no indication of progress in the preseason, the #Bears’ coach referred to Andy Reid’s Chiefs offense, which flourished after formative years. He added, “I feel like we’re at that point right now.” https://t.co/9MyTBTOFjl
August 25, 2021 — Mark Potash (@MarkPotash)
Whatever occurred in 2018 with Trubisky and the Bears offense did not repeat itself in 2019 and 2020. Nagy, whose seat in the Windy City is now officially heated, said that this had to be anticipated.
The offensive mastermind told Mark Potlash of the Chicago Sun Times that a gradual start — three or four years — is exactly what his system needs to truly get going with a team:
When I initially arrived… I emphasized to everyone that it takes a few years for this offensive to get underway. We saw it in Kansas City because it takes a few years to learn and grasp the system, not only with the guys that were coming in and being selected. It really began taking up and going after three or four years. I believe we’ve arrived at that point.
Matt Nagy discusses his attacking strategy.
While the Chiefs may not have grasped the offense as well as the Bears did in the early years, the AFC champions fared better than their NFC rivals. The club finished 11-5, 9-7, 11-5, and 12-4 in Reid and Nagy’s first four years in Kansas City.
Nagy (and Ryan Pace) will be fired if the Bears offense doesn’t get going soon.
Whether the Bears eventually understand Nagy’s ostensibly complicated system or not, if they don’t win this season, Nagy and the team’s GM, Ryan Pace, may be fired.
Pace arrived in Chicago three seasons ahead of Nagy. When the club moved up one position to select Trubisky in 2017, he was the general manager in control. Even the fact that the executive got to wait until 2021 to dump the former North Carolina quarterback and move up to No. 11 for Justin Fields is remarkable in and of itself.
Coach and general manager are now closely connected. This season will very certainly decide their long-term future with the Bears. If Fields proves to be a success and is able to consistently lead the club to the playoffs, the two may stay at Soldier Field for a long time.
If Fields fails to impress or, worse still, if he isn’t given a shot this season because Nagy is stubbornly sticking with Andy Dalton, both the coach and Pace may be looking for new jobs as early as the summer.
Perhaps the whole operation hinges on Nagy’s legendary fourth year of offense and the enchantment it will bring. At least, that’s what he seems to believe.
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