Matt Nagy Speaks: Fangio, Trubisky Love, Hiring Assistants, Calling Plays, More
Matt Nagy hit all the right notes in his introductory press conference on Tuesday, which you can re-live in full right here.
In the meantime, let’s dive into the highlights alongside some thoughts of my own, below:
- Even though Vic Fangio’s return to the Bears is expected, there’s still no official word from the Bears. No matter who gets the job, it’s important that coach is as much of a leader on defense as Nagy is on offense. In essence, the next defensive coordinator will be a head coach of the defense. Which means if Fangio returns, he’ll be calling his own shots. Hence, Nagy hasn’t committed to whether the team will run a 3-4 or 4-3 base, but did note that 60 percent of the game is played in a nickel package.
- Fangio and Nagy have discussed the situation, which is a sign that the new head coach would like to maintain some stability on the side of the ball where he won’t have a direct hand. Further, it sounds like the Bears are trying to move quickly to resolve the matter. “That’s something we’re going to attack full steam ahead,” Nagy said. “We’re going to make a clear decision on what’s best for Vic and what’s best for this organization.”
- As for the rest of the staff, Nagy said he wasn’t at the point where he has made any decision on retaining or releasing any of the holdovers from John Fox’s staff. Nagy did say it was one of his first objectives to get it done right away. Part of the benefit in striking early and hiring Nagy when they did is he can aggressively pursue assistants while other teams are still conducting head coach interviews. As it stands, Nagy and Jon Gruden of the Oakland Raiders are the only coaches at new teams who can attack the coaching transaction wire with the kind of vigor needed to create a great staff. And when you’re a first-time coach, getting that is as important as getting the job in the first place.
- So what kind of coaching staff does Nagy want to build in Chicago, anyway? The new head coach spoke about the idea of the importance of diversity, which would be ideal on so many levels. “What you don’t want is a staff full of the same people,” Nagy told reporters at Halas Hall. That is probably one of the biggest takeaways Nagy should have from his time with Andy Reid. The staffs Reid put together (which has produced seven future head coaches) have featured different kinds of teachers and even some differing styles. Nagy also made note of the importance of experience, which should be of high priority for the 39-year-old first-year head coach.
- So what made the Bears stand out as a team he was interested in? The quarterback:
"That's a benefit to have Mitch Trubisky." – Nagy. Says Trubisky was certainly a part of him picking #Bears.
— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) January 9, 2018
- Let the record show Mitch Trubisky wasn’t part of the interview process. GM Ryan Pace said he would consider making the Bears’ rookie signal caller part of the deal, but evidently didn’t find it necessary. Then again, the two shared draft notes in their meeting in Kansas City. That should have told us everything we needed to know.
- And yet, Nagy let it be known that there could be some times where he and his boss don’t necessarily agree. That’s good. Dissenting opinions can be good. Varying opinions can be beneficial. Nagy said he could see the two coming to an “agree to disagree” conclusion, but will do so to the benefit of the team. That’s exactly how a good back-and-forth between a boss and their employee should work.
- One of my favorite parts of Nagy’s introductory press conference was his taking ownership of the second-half sputtering of the Kansas City Chiefs offense. After putting up 21 first-half points, the Chiefs couldn’t muster much of anything after halftime as they left the door open for the Tennessee Titans to steal a win at Arrowhead Stadium. “I called every play in the second half. I stand by it.”
- Brett dove into Nagy’s play calling here, while I showed my appreciation for Nagy’s refreshing honesty and accountability regarding the matter. More, please.
- And as if there was any doubt, Nagy confirmed he plans on calling the plays when the season begins.
- Look at that face and listen to that succinct response. That’s the face and the soundof someone who’s definitely ready to call his own plays starting right now:
Q: "Matt, do you plan on calling plays yourself."
A: "Yes. Yes." pic.twitter.com/cOREcmIbKT
— Kevin Marchina (@kg_holler) January 9, 2018
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