clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Matt Nagy might have fired himself as play caller, or not

I’m sure the Chicago Bears know who will be calling plays on Sunday against the Detroit Lions, but apparently no one else needs to know right now.

Cincinnati Bengals v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy admits the criticism he’s received since Sunday’s debacle in Cleveland is “fair,” but when asked if he would remain as the play caller he declined to give a concrete answer.

All he’d say at today’s press conference is that the team is “going to keep it internal,” and all I’ll say is that Matt Nagy is a coward for not giving a straight answer.

There is no competitive advantage to keeping the Detroit Lions guessing as to Chicago’s play caller, because the entire league has figured out Matt Nagy’s offense. Going back to the 2019 season, in games with Nagy calling plays, the Bears are averaging less than 18 points per game.

I could see holding back who’ll be starting at quarterback — he has indicated Andy Dalton, Justin Fields, and Nick Foles are all options — but no NFL defense is worried about Nagy’s play calling.

All Matt Nagy has done by refusing to say who’ll have the final say on the plays is to spotlight his enormous ego.

If Nagy really decided to keep himself as the play caller, then his ego is out of control for not recognizing a change is needed to get the Bears offense on track.

He has yet to really prove he has the feel for calling an NFL game. Sure the 2018 season was fun at times, but there was something different about that year. Maybe it was the newness of Nagy and the league hadn’t adjusted, or maybe the offensive staff he had that season did a better job of collaborating with him. Nagy doesn’t deserve all the blame for the last two plus years of offensive putridness, but we’ve seen plenty of teams with o-line issues, quarterback problems, and skill position deficiencies able to scheme up yards and points by doing what their talent allows them to do.

If Nagy did hand over play calling to Bill Lazor, then Nagy’s ego is out of control by not announcing it.

Why wouldn’t he want to prop up his offensive coordinator by handing him the reigns to the Bears’ O on an official basis? Back when Nagy was in K.C. as their offensive coordinator, Chiefs’ head coach Andy Reid announced that Nagy would be his play caller. That experience presumably helped raise Nagy’s stature around league circles,. which led to him getting a head coaching gig. If Lazor has indeed taken over, which I think is the case, and he does well, why shouldn't all the shine be put on Lazor?

I’ll never expect transparency form a head coach, it’s just not in their nature, but something like this goes beyond being transparent. The Browns game was the low point in Nagy’s time in Chicago, and he could have made a statement to his team that accountability matters.

And sure, if by chance he did relinquish play calling internally and all his players know already, then that’s fine, but what message does it send that he won’t set Lazor up for some potential public praise if Chicago’s offense shows life against Detroit?

I suppose we all may find out on Sunday who’ll be calling plays, but it’s not like Nagy isn't still going to have a headset and play sheet regardless if it’s his voice making the final call or not. Nagy could keep this charade up as long as he feels necessary, but his track record suggests we’ll find out the truth when it suits his own ego.

You can watch Nagy’s entire press conference here if you are so inclined.