Don’t look now, but the Chicago Bears appear to be on the cutting edge of what’s trending in the NFL.
In an interview with Peter King of SI.com’s The MMQB, Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson explained his championship-winning philosophy that led to the franchise’s first Super Bowl victory.
“You learn if you play passive, if you play conservative, if you call plays conservatively, you are going to be 8-8, 9-7 every year,” Pederson said. “Every year. (Offensive Coordinator) Frank (Reich) and I just having that collaborative spirit to talk about things and talk with our quarterbacks and just come up with ways of keeping this game fresh and fun and exciting for our players. And that’s really where it all stems from.”
Pederson’s hyper-aggressive play-calling was instrumental in the Eagles’ upset of the New England Patriots. Philadelphia never let up off the gas and put 41 points on a vaunted Patriots defense. It’s a breath of fresh air compared to the conservative-by-nature game calling that happens in most NFL games. And frankly, it’s a 180-degree turn from what Bears fans have been used to while watching John Fox’s teams the last three seasons.
Interestingly enough, Fox’s replacement seems to have a similar philosophy to that of a coach who just earned a Super Bowl ring:
Nagy on his play calling: "Aggressive. That’s my nature. But it’s gotta be calculated."
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) January 9, 2018
Brad Childress essentially confirmed this when he jumped on Chicago’s ESPN 1000 in January after Nagy’s hire.
“I thought he was excellent as a playcaller,” Childress said, via ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson. “I thought he was able to put together the openers — the first 15 plays each game — and keep teams off balance. He’s not conservative.”
The Chiefs averaged 28.6 points per game to close out the regular season winning four of the final five games when Nagy was the coach calling the plays. And to be sure, that came just after a stretch in which Kansas City lost five of six games and averaged only 18 points per contest in a midseason slump. So Nagy is not just aggressive, he’s successfully aggressive.
Fortune favors the bold, and there was no one more bold on Super Bowl Sunday than Pederson. Here’s hoping the apple doesn’t fall too far from the Andy Reid tree.