Job interviews are complicated. You want to look the part, talk that talk, and walk that walk … but coming off as genuine is just as important. As it turns out, Matt Nagy checked all the boxes for GM Ryan Pace and the rest of the Chicago Bears’ brass when he interviewed for the head coaching job earlier this year.
Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times has the details of the team’s coaching search, which was described as a whirlwind. If you’ll recall, the Bears interviewed six candidates in five days. And while Nagy stood out above the rest, the Bears’ GM expressed a desire to be committed to the process and see it through to the end. Six interviews and five days later, the Bears had their coach.
But only after he said the magic words: “God, it’d be nice if when we’re talking to these guys, if one of them or all of them say – and they say it with conviction – I really want to be the coach of the Bears, and here’s why,” said team president Ted Phillips, referring to the one thing he wanted to hear from the coaching candidates.
Phillips let it be known to Pace and team chairman George McCaskey that he wanted to hear it from the candidates and two of the interviewees actually made it clear by saying exactly what the brass wanted to hear. One was Nagy, the other will remain a mystery that Chicago’s decision-makers will keep in-house.
Nagy expressed his verbal interest in the Bears’ coaching job to wrap up his interview, dropping it at just the right time to drive home the point. And considering how passionately Nagy has talked about the job at hand and quarterback Mitch Trubisky, hearing those magic words probably served as the cherry on top of a thorough process.
One other thing that stands out about the process are some words Bears fans might be interested in hearing regarding a Nagy coaching philosophy.
Remember, Nagy conducted his interview the day after the Kansas City Chiefs’ crushing playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans. Rather than delay the meeting with the Bears, despite the team’s offer to do just that, Nagy took the interview head-on and even discussed his role in the team’s defeat. From there, Nagy shared a philosophy about dealing with defeat that Bears fans can get behind.
“We’re not going to just say, ‘Hey, you guys, we fought really hard. It was a tough game. We’ll go get them next week,'” Phillips recalled Nagy saying. “‘We’re going to have a real discussion about what happened.'”
Nagy won’t coach in a game until August, but the vibe he’s already given off is completely different than what Marc Trestman and John Fox brought to the table. The new Bears coach seems to have a way with words, but also a way with handling people. Reading the room during an interview process is different than doing so before, during, or after the game. But it’s becoming more evident that the Bears have someone who can do just that in Nagy.