This was the scene when new Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy landed in Chicago:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 9, 2018
Nagy will meet the media at Halas Hall, thus beginning his journey as the 16th head coach in franchise history. Hopefully, this is the beginning of a wonderful relationship.
And, who knows, maybe it already is:
Did we just become best friends? pic.twitter.com/BCqY0ix8jz
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 9, 2018
- John Mullin of NBC Sports Chicago sees Nagy as a fit for GM Ryan Pace on multiple levels. The Bears were clearly looking to hire an offensive-leaning candidate (four of the six interviewees were offensive coaches) with a background in quarterback development. And based on the ages of these candidates, it appears as though Pace was aiming for youth – to grow alongside quarterback Mitch Trubisky – and got it. There’s a noticeable trend taking over at Halas Hall. Young quarterback. Young head coach. Young general manager. It’s a youth movement for the NFL’s charter franchise, which is a bit trippy if you think about it.
- In Nagy, GM Pace gets “his guy” after three years of the John Fox experience. If you’ll recall, the Bears interviewed coaching candidates before hiring Pace as the GM, then paired Pace with consultant Ernie Accorsi before landing on Fox as the team’s replacement for Marc Trestman. And if you thought Fox was simply going to ride off into the sunset after a 34-loss stretch over the last three seasons, think again:
As Bears replace John Fox with Matt Nagy, Fox told me he's not retiring. He's waiting till dust settles with teams filling HC positions to see if he can get a job. He was longtime defensive coordinator before he became head coach in 2002. #9sports
— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) January 8, 2018
- Pro Football Weekly’s Hub Arkush analyzes the hire, and shares a nugget that Nagy has had “casual contact” with Trubisky since the Bears traded up to draft him with the second overall pick. Arkush goes onto favorably compare Trubisky to Alex Smith, who posted a league-best 104.7 passer rating.
- It’s worth sharing that Smith has the NFL’s eighth best passer rating (94.8) among quarterbacks who have started at least 50 games since the start of the 2013 season, which was Nagy’s first as Smith’s position coach. From 2005 to 2012, Smith’s passer rating checked in at 79.1.
- Nagy will meet the media at 1 p.m. on Tuesday at Halas Hall, where he’ll be peppered with questions from a group hungry for answers. Patrick Finley’s five questions for Nagy via the Chicago Sun-Times touches on a handful of the most important things on Nagy’s to-do list. Two of the five questions are regarding the team’s coordinator positions. Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio hit free agency at 12:01 a.m. today and is believed to be the top candidate for the Packers job. Retaining him is believed to be a priority, but Fangio is free to explore the market. Who Nagy’s offensive coordinator will be is still a mystery, as is that coach’s role with the offense (though that might ultimately depend on whom they hire, anyway).
- Nagy will assume play calling duties in 2018, but the offensive coordinator he hires can’t be a slouch. He will have to be a link between the head coach and quarterback, while also showing the ability to drive home the goals to the rest of the offensive unit. One reason Andy Reid’s teams have long been successful is because of the staff he puts in place to coach up the players. Everyone has a role and is pulling from the same side of the rope. This is where the Bears could learn something from their interviews with other candidates, specifically John DeFilippo, the Eagles Quarterbacks Coach who could have given Pace an inkling of how Philadelphia put together a quarterback friendly staff to aid in Carson Wentz’s development.
- Development won’t just come via practice reps. Hopefully, Nagy’s play calling and designs will help Trubisky grow into the quarterback the Bears need him to become. Chris Emma of CBS Chicago dives into some film to highlight Nagy’s creativity as an offensive mind, showing what the Bears could possibly do to unleash some of Trubisky’s untapped potential.
- Over at Pro Football Weekly, Greg Gabriel writes through a former scout’s eyes about what the Bears can expect from their new coach. Gabriel walks through the two most important tasks Nagy will have upon arrival – finding a strong defensive coordinator to lead the other side of the ball and further developing Trubisky as the kind of quarterback a team trades up in the draft to acquire. Nagy is described by Gabriel as a young and energetic coach, but one who will be only as good as the staff he pieces together.
- John Middlekauff of The Athletic believes the Bears hired a stud in Nagy, with whom Middlekauff is familiar after his time in Philadelphia. Middlekauff drops an interesting comp on Nagy when he says the new Bears coach reminds him of a happier Kyle Shanahan. Bears fans saw first hand what Shanahan could do with an up-and-coming quarterback, so the idea of Nagy doing with Trubisky what Shanahan has done with Jimmy Garoppolo seems very appealing.
- As expected, Nagy’s hire wasn’t unanimously approved by Bears fans. And why would it be? There was no home run/slam dunk/sure shot hire. There was no perfect candidate. Each coach who was interviewed for the position came with flaws and questions that deserved honest, detailed answers. To that end, David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune reminds us the most compelling candidate isn’t necessarily the best one. The aforementioned DeFilippo would have been the most intriguing candidate because of his youth, upside, energy, understanding of offenses, and ability to break it down, simplify it, and present it in an easy way to digest.
- We’ll see if DeFilippo gets more interviews in the coming weeks or if he’ll return as the Philadelphia Eagles’ Quarterbacks Coach in 2018. Take note that DeFilippo’s contract expires when the Eagles are eliminated from postseason contention, so he could line himself up for a promotion that puts him in a place to make play calls and boost his coaching stock.
- And finally, I like this sound of this:
Source tells me the Indianapolis Colts were all in on hiring Matt Nagy. Uncertainty on health of Andrew Luck vs Mitchell Trubisky + Nagy’s belief the Bears roster is much better made decision for him. “Pace landed him by convincing him sunny days are ahead for the Bears.”
— David Kaplan (@thekapman) January 9, 2018