Steve Smith sees the arrow pointing up for the Chicago Bears after an offseason of changes that led with the removal of John Fox as head coach and the hiring of Matt Nagy as his replacement.
“He has the ability to make everybody better … I believe he is what they need,” Smith said recently on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football program. “Fresh, young, innovative. He may even put on some pads just to show those guys because Chicago is waiting to win and Matt Nagy understands that.”
Fresh, young, and innovative are not words you wouldn’t use to describe John Fox, who Smith knows well after playing for Fox while with the Carolina Panthers early in his career. And while Fox will probably come short of putting on the pads to show how much he wants to win, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see Nagy go under center for some hands-on teaching during training camp. Overall, this change of direction is a 180-degree turn from what the Bears had been working with the last three years, and Smith sees it as a change for the better because of how he can relate to players.
“He’s not a guy who studied it, went to college, and failed out,” Smith explained. “He played six years in the AFL. The Carolina Cobras, the New York Dragons, he played for every team. The Destroyers, some team in Georgia, he played everywhere.”
Even though Nagy has been coaching for a while now, he just turned 40 and isn’t all that far removed from playing at a competitive level. Hence, his ability to connect with players as position coach and coordinator that will hopefully translate to head coach.
And because Nagy seems to have a pulse for the franchise and its tradition, it’s easy to come away with a sense that Nagy knows exactly what it would mean for the Bears to turn it around and become competitive. Though, I must say that Smith has a strange way of putting it into words.
“Chicago has a history of winning,” Smith explained. “They want it. They want it tomorrow. They want it like the 32-year-old woman. She’s pregnant. She wants the ring now.”
Um, OK. That’s certainly one way of going about explaining how desperately a Super Bowl starved city wants a winner. But you do you, Steve.