You don't win Super Bowls with press conferences as a head coach. That's for sure. Look at Bill Belichick with the Patriots. He divulges almost nothing on a weekly basis, and New England plays in late January - at minimum - every year. But, with a presser, you can certainly set the tone for a tenure to go eventually grab a hallowed Lombardi trophy.
Matt Nagy was officially introduced as the Bears' next coach on Tuesday at Halas Hall, and something felt unique about the way the 39-year-old carried himself. Something so refreshing and previously anti-Bears.
Someone who's actually excited about modern professional football.
"Thanks to everybody for showing up today. This is truly an honor. It's special. It's a dream, and I'm still pinching myself."
That was the first statement Nagy ever uttered as an NFL head coach. He went on to seemingly thank anyone and everyone who had ever helped him in his coaching career from high school, to college at Delaware, to his time in the Arena Football League, to getting emotional when addressing his four sons and wife, and then Andy Reid: his mentor. It took Nagy a good four minutes to get through his laundry list and prepared candid statement. As earnest of an offering by the leader of an NFL organization as it gets.
For comparison's sake, John Fox, who let's be honest - was more of a "November" veteran coach - decided to quickly thank Bears ownership, Ryan Pace, his family, and then jump immediately into the Bears' previously irrelevant tradition in relation to 2015.
Almost without a breath. Straight to business, straight to attempting to sell himself.
The direct contrast here cannot be ignored.
Nagy, in that regard when asked, instead alluded to the fact - with a laugh - that he merely "feels like he knows a lot" with Bears' franchise history in mind. The Bears' past wasn't even addressed until near the end of his press conference full of candor, showing where it was on his priority list. All he had that came to mind was remembering one of the first Super Bowls he watched as a kid. "The one against the Patriots", meaning when the legendary 1985 Bears captured the organization's lone championship in the modern era.
This isn't to say that Nagy's dismissing what has previously been accomplished at Halas Hall. It's more of a coach not concerned with previous Bears' hallmarks over three decades (or more) into the past. That couldn't be farther from the truth about a man who has had a meteoric rise through the NFL ranks in the past decade.
This is about Nagy wanting to stay in the present, keep his eyes on the prize, and make his own imprint on Bears' history: a successful, rejuvenated championship era for the "founding" not "charter" franchise in his words. An important distinction, in retrospect, simply because he said it differently than the Bears do.
Which is what made pulling back on the curtains and seeing Nagy for who he is so striking. A football coach with a self-admitted "type-A personality", but also a relatable guy who doesn't take himself so seriously. Someone who one can easily connect with. Nagy doesn't speak with ham-fisted cliches. He speaks with his greater goals for that "founding" franchise in mind like the confident offensive innovator he is.
A leader of not only football players, but people.
"Passion, and positive energy. We're creating a culture. I just got chills saying that. It's real ... now it's talk, but we have to put it into action," said Nagy of what he wants to institute in Chicago.
That's a key point. Regardless of what Nagy does to naturally sell himself - the magnetic personality doesn't have to give much effort there - it won't matter without results on the field. None of this performance art or theatrics, to skeptics that is, will. And more than anyone, Nagy understands that sentiment. As the face of a football franchise, the person who will have to face the music on an almost weekly basis, everything falls on him, good or unsuccessful.
Which is why the former Chiefs' offensive coordinator owned up to Kansas City's playoff collapse of a blown 21-3 halftime lead in Sunday's Wild Card game against the Titans. It doesn't serve anyone for Nagy to deflect criticism on previous players or Reid, who many had speculated actually called the offensive plays in the second half of the game.
No, it was all on Nagy's lap. He knows it's best he learn from his past mistakes as a coach to take as valuable lessons with the Bears, because you're always growing as a leader even when you think you have it all figured out. You're remembered by how you respond to adversity. This is his first independent show and he must be in firm control from the get-go.
“Yeah, I called every single play in the second half,” said Nagy. "I’ve gone back and I’ve looked at (the game). There were some scenarios where I wish I would have made some different choices with the play calls."
Indeed, the criticism that arose out of the Chiefs' late offensive capitulation to surrender the game surrounded the loss of superstar tight end Travis Kelce. And, a limited workload of the NFL's leading rusher in Kareem Hunt. That's all in the past now for Nagy, but not before it's safely tucked away as a model of where he has so much room to improve.
"But you know, for me, that wasn’t a failure in my book. I’ll learn from it. I’ll grow from it. So I use that as a strength for me with the Chicago Bears.”
Nagy wasn't going to allow anyone else to take the bullet. He jumped in front of whomever else could've been seen as the sacrificial lamb for Kansas City without hesitation. Nor is Nagy going to let anyone snatch this opportunity out of his hands without him giving his notoriously meticulous effort.
While Nagy has a ways to go in terms of winning them over, if you don't think some current Bears players saw that small sacrifice and nodded in approval, you'd be sorely mistaken.
That failure also isn't going to change the expected dynamic Bears' offensive approach in any shape or form. The man brought in to take Mitchell Trubisky to the next level won't let Chicago be misconstrued as a conservative offense by his now confirmed play-calling. That couldn't be farther from the truth.
"As far as being aggressive, that's my nature. I'm gonna be aggressive. But it's gotta be calculated," said Nagy regarding his anticipated offensive approach.
"You need to understand the difference between being aggressive and not being aggressive enough. But if you asked to somebody the cross line on me being aggressive or not aggressive enough, they're gonna definitely say I'm aggressive. Not only as a play-caller, but as a person."
An exciting prospect for one of the NFL's worst big play offenses in 2017.
Watching Nagy seamlessly take responsibility for his most noteworthy coaching blunder, answer rapid fire questions adaptively in a tense setting, and set out to blaze his own trails in his individual system made you think. It made you think, that in a way, the Bears didn't deserve him according to their historically conservative standards of year's past.
Now, that's not actually true. Because if you, as a football organization, actively seek out minds and personalities like Nagy, then you'll be rewarded handsomely as such given the nature of the modern game.
Nagy in that sense, felt like the Bears finally going out, taking a calculated risk, and getting their man that is not only an offensive genius but a true trailblazer. Someone complete at head coach unlike the Bears have hired in the 21st century.
And that's a terrifying thought for what the Bears possess in Nagy: in an exhilarating way. There's so much untapped potential for the latest head coach in franchise history, we don't know what to expect.
Over the coming months and years, there will be a lot of work to be done for Nagy with the Bears. As mentioned, all this initial goodwill pales in comparison to winning, bar none. Undoubtedly though, this was a good first step towards future hopeful triumphs. The direction and ultimate fortune of the Bears, for now, feels like it's in the finest hands in years.
Or, as Nagy put where the Bears stand: on the precipice of something special.
"The direction of this team and this organization, you see it, you feel it. There's a want there to be great."
Robert Zeglinski is the Bears beat writer for The Rock River Times, an editor for Windy City Gridiron, and contributor to The Athletic Chicago. You can follow him on Twitter @RobertZeglinski.