clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Windy City Gridiron Nagy-Mania roundtable: Excitement level

New, comments

In part one of a wide-spanning discussion, the WCG staff gets down to what excites us about the Bears' new head coach.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Kansas City Chiefs John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images

Walk into any job interview and there's one thing many people sometimes forget to say in addition to selling their skills and personality: that they actually want the position.

To new Bears head coach Matt Nagy's credit (and perhaps to the homely attitude of chairman George McCaskey) it didn't slip his mind to say he "really wanted to be the head coach of the Chicago Bears". That's surely not the primary reason he becomes the 16th Chicago sideline leader in franchise history. His vision for Mitchell Trubisky and offensive creativity come first. It's merely a nice Step Brothers styled anecdote that sets the table for his tenure i.e. getting off on the right foot with ownership and the like.

Which is to say, that step is needed, especially for any young first time head coach like Nagy. He holds the future of the Bears' organization in his hands. Ultimately it will fall on him to develop Trubisky into a star quarterback. To make the offense a consistent buzz-saw unlike this franchise has ever seen. To keep Chicago's defense ascending and elite with the talent amassed to this point. All of these responsibilities falls on the guy who "really wanted" to be here.

I won't lie, so let's be completely honest: much of my excitement surrounding this hire derives from Nagy being a fresh face and voice at Halas Hall. That whole optimism of a new head coach allowed to implement his vision with promise of a bright future and all. Better put, Nagy isn't John Fox. In fact, he might be the anti-Fox considering his juxtaposed offensive background and palpable energy on hand in any interview you can find him in. And that in itself is incredibly exhilarating.

There is plenty of reason to believe in Nagy as a solid Andy Reid disciple. He's the only man the notoriously stubborn Reid has ever surrendered play-calling duties to as head coach. He's supposedly the best head coaching prospect Reid has ever had serve under him, which speaks volumes in relation to an impressive coaching tree. His offense of college concepts in a spread scheme should help all of the Bears' skill players flourish tremendously. And, most crucially, a plan is in place to develop Trubisky from a coach that was enamored with the passer during the 2017 draft process.

But none of that matters until we hit the field and get to the meaningful games. I don't know if Nagy is the one to lead the Bears back to the mountaintop, and I'm certainly not going to make that decision before his version of the team has even played a minute of football.

I do know, however, that Nagy's in excellent position to finally be the guy for the Bears. To help Trubisky become the worthy face of the franchise and transform this organization into a consistent contender it hasn't been for three decades. His background is enough to say he certainly possesses the goods as head coach. It's now about applying those tools in Chicago.

The opportunity to strike gold is omni-present for the 39-year-old Nagy to take Halas Hall by the reins. All he has to do prove it with play on the field: the only court of judgment that matters.

Until then, the optimism of a new face with a headset and being not-Fox is enough for me when it comes to Nagy. We've evidently set a low bar, yes, but it's that easy. He sets the tone in from here on out to bring that enthusiasm to a level of merit that's much more than initial aspiration in a head coach's first gig.

What excites you about the Bears' hire of Matt Nagy?

Lester Wiltfong Jr.: The offensive system. I’m a fan of the Reid version of the West Coast offense. He’s not reliant of a particular type of player because he’ll scheme around the talent he has. This is something that all the Reid disciples seem to do. While with the Chiefs, and with Nagy’s aid, they incorporated a lot of college style concepts into the game plan, and that will fit right in with the athletic Trubisky. I was looking for run-pass options all season long during Trubisky’s rookie year. I was looking for more shotgun runs all season long. I wanted to see some zone and read stuff, more slants, deception, and plays that build off of each other to set up future plays to make a defense think. We’ll get that with Nagy.

Josh Sunderbruch: From using run-pass options against New England to adjusting assignments based on the personnel at hand (as opposed to the personnel desired), the pattern seems to be actual adaptation to circumstance. While I have little experience seeing it in a Bears coach, I think it’s crazy enough that it might work. Even if Nagy simply learned it second-hand without innovating himself, that’s a good precedent.

Since every indication is that he scripted a lot of the plays himself in Kansas City, and that he actually developed concepts and coached up the players, that’s exciting. I will say that this is an aggressive enough move that even though I tend toward doubting Pace, I think he got this one right. That’s not me saying that Nagy is going to be a success, because I don’t know. It’s me saying that I think Pace approached this search well, and that I think he made a move that is one of the better options available.

Kudos to him.

Sam Householder: A young coach that will bring a consistent offensive approach to the Bears’ offense. No chance of rotating coordinators. The system is proven over time, and as others have said, he’s shown he is adaptable and can get the best out of a quarterback.

Andrew Link: What is most exciting for me is that I believe Nagy will have a smooth transition to the Bears. The Chiefs and Bears have similar personnel at the offensive skill positions. Cohen compares with Tyreek Hill, Howard comps with Kareem Hunt (albeit without the same speed), and I believe that Adam Shaheen has the upside of Travis Kelce. Above all else, the relationship that Nagy developed with Trubisky during the draft last year, should not be overlooked. Nagy wanted to draft Trubisky, and clearly he is excited to work with him. When I was doing draft prep last year, I had a floor of Smith for Trubisky. We already know what Nagy can do with Smith. What’s exciting is we get to see what Nagy can do with Trubisky.

Jacob Infante: Nagy’s offensive system is going to benefit Trubisky a lot. He does a great job using his weapons to the best of their abilities. Guys like Hill, Kelce, Hunt and Albert Wilson were used very well when Nagy was calling plays. I also like that he has used a handful of option plays, and the fact that his West Coast style of offense draws some similarities to what Trubisky ran in college at North Carolina.

Steven Schweickert: 2018 is the year of "Getting Everything Out Of The Quarterback". So getting a guy that worked under Reid and was pretty into Trubisky around the draft, you have to hope he has ideas and ways to get the most out of him.

Patti Curl: I’m definitely most excited about Nagy’s potential to develop Trubisky. Assuming the top three offensive candidates for the Bears were Nagy, John DeFilippo, and Josh McDaniels, I’m most confident that Nagy was crucial to his quarterback's improvement of the three in Kansas City. Maybe Carson Wentz was due for a year two improvement regardless of coach, and Tom Brady is special anyway, but Nagy got a career year out of Smith when the whole world was convinced he was a limited quarterback who’d shown his ceiling. The world certainly hasn’t seen the Biscuit’s ceiling, and I’m not sure they’re ready for it.

Kev H: He’s not John Fox. And the option work and college game type stuff they were doing in Kansas City gels well with the skill-set of the Bears quarterback and running backs in particular.

Jeff Berckes: When it comes to hiring a coordinator specializing on the same side of the ball as the head coach, I want to feel good about the head coach. Reid, despite the jokes and this most recent playoff collapse, is a phenomenal coach. His teams are always competitive and he is one of the most creative offensive minds in the game. His coaching tree has been overall successful when they’ve moved onto the top job and he’s one of the most respected coaches in the NFL.

Reid has had nothing but great things to say about Nagy and is the type of head coach who is interested in the success of the people who work for him. Most of my push for Matt Patricia was due to my feelings about Bill Belichick. Nagy is to Reid what Patricia is to Belichick. So, by my own logic, I approve of this hire.

Erik Duerrwaechter: He’s young, innovative, and has quality experience in coaching quarterbacks. Some of the players he’s helped coach include: Donovan McNabb, Nick Foles, Michael Vick, and most recently Smith. His offense from Kansas City finished in the top ten in all major statistical categories in 2017. And, the scheme he’s implementing will be a perfect match for Trubisky and company on offense.

Ken Mitchell: I think Nagy is a man who will know how to develop Trubisky and the Bears offense proactively, rather than reactively. He will put together game plans and schemes that accentuate what Trubisky, the running backs, and the offense as a whole can do best, while getting away from weaknesses. Instead of letting the opponents dictate what the Bears are doing offensively, I expect Nagy to attack as other people from the Reid line of coaches have done.


WCG Contributors: Jeff Berckes; Patti Curl; Eric Christopher Duerrwaechter; Kev H; Sam Householder; Jacob Infante; Andrew Link; Ken Mitchell; Steven Schweickert; Jack Silverstein; EJ Snyder; Lester Wiltfong, Jr.; Robert Zeglinski; Like us on Facebook.