Matt Nagy knows there are some tough times ahead, and wants his team to be prepared for them.
The Chicago Bears opened their offseason workout program today with a new head coach, a different training staff, and a handful of players who will aim to turn around the team’s recent misfortunes. It will be a while until the Bears’ newbies can actually run drills, but in the meantime, the coach has some words of wisdom he would like to share with his team as they start their journey together.
“As we get into who we are as a team, I want them to understand there’s going to be ups and downs,” Nagy said, via the Bears’ official website. “It’s going to be a roller coaster. You usually don’t go 16-0 and win every game and ride off into the sunset. When bad things happen, when adversity strikes, how do you react to that? The great teams will respond in the right way. They’ll have a bunch of leaders on the team that stick together, a bunch of coaches that stick together, that get through that, and they roll.”
There is an old saying about the difficulty of seeing the forest through the trees that can be applied here. The Bears haven’t posted a winning record since 2012 and haven’t made the playoffs since 2010. Clearly, bad things have happened to the Bears along the way. Handling them differently could have resulted in a different (possibly even more pleasant) outcome.
If that sentiment sounds familiar, you might recall when Chicago Cubs manager laid out prior to the team’s World Series winning run in 2016. If you’ll recall, the Cubs rolled to a 103-win season and won their division by 17.5 games, but their path to championship glory was no walk in the park.
“I told the guys something is going to go bad,” Maddon said in a piece written by Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago on October 5, 2016. “Something is going to go wrong. It happens to everybody. The key is how you react to that moment that sets you apart. So we have always talked about that and concentrated moving on from that today. If you get to the ninth inning and you’re behind, you can quit and go home or try to pull out those miracle finishes. There are guys who don’t initially do that, but they can watch others and learn how to get it done as a group. It’s organic. It just has to happen.”
Nothing worth anything in life comes easy. And as Nagy points out in the piece over at the Bears’ official website, the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles had to overcome their fair share of adversity just to get to the Super Bowl, let alone what they overcame to beat the New England Patriots to win it all.
Nagy has a lot on his plate as a first-time head coach. But it sounds like he has the right perspective to do well in his new job. All we can ask right now is that he try not to suck.