Mic'd Up Nagy Is Everything, Smith and Bears at "Stalemate," Teammates Rallying, and Other Bullets

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Mic’d Up Nagy Is Everything, Smith and Bears at “Stalemate,” Teammates Rallying, and Other Bullets

Chicago Bears

If you don’t want to run through a tackling dummy after watching this video of first-year Chicago Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy, then I don’t know what to tell you.

Turn it up:

When teams make offseason coaching changes, they tend to hire somebody who’s as different from the last guy as possible. This isn’t to say that John Fox wasn’t energetic during training camp, but Nagy is definitely on another level, and it seems to be an ideal fit for a team skewed toward the younger end of the aging curve – especially on the offensive side of the ball.

It’s stuff like this that has me geared up for the football season ahead, even Thursday’s preseason game.

  • There’s still time to continue building optimism for the season ahead, even though there are just two days before the team’s first preseason game. If a mic’d up Nagy doesn’t get your juices flowing, then perhaps the idea that the Bears are among the teams most likely to improve in 2018 will help get you there. ESPN’s Bill Barnwell thinks the arrow is pointing up for the Bears, who have a tough road to navigate if they want to improve on last year’s 5-11 season.
  • Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good, but Chicago was neither in games decided by seven points or less last season. The Bears were 2-5 in those contests in 2017, which is astonishing considering the team was running an offense with essentially one hand tied behind its back. If the Bears were to flip that to 5-2, then we’re looking at a major leap. Heck, getting it to 4-3 would represent a significant improvement. Ideally, an offense that aims to score points rather than run out the clock hoping the game ends while the team in blue and orange holds the lead could surely help matters.
  • You know what else could be helpful? Having the team’s first-round pick in the fold. Bears GM Ryan Pace jumped on ESPN 1000 to offer (among other things) an update regarding Roquan Smith contract negotiations. Frankly, it doesn’t sound like anything is going to go down any time soon:

  • And this doesn’t sound much better:

  • Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune catches up with cornerback Prince Amukamara, who had his own contract holdout situation back when he was a rookie with the New York Giants. Amukamara told Biggs that he has spoke with Smith, who is “working his butt off” despite not being in camp – which is encouraging to read. It’s nice to see veteran leadership extend off the field in this situation. While Bears players need to stay focus on the tasks at hand when they are on the practice field, you’ve gotta love seeing the camaraderie in a situation like this one.
  • Speaking of things that are nice to see, how about some Adam Shaheen highlights?

  • I don’t think last year’s Bears offense took advantage of Shaheen’s height advantage in the passing game the way they should have, and I suppose the evidence of that is in how few passing snaps he played as a rookie. At least Chicago capitalized on using him in the red zone where his size allowed Bears quarterbacks to complete some passes in some tight windows. Look for this new regime to create mismatches like the one above against the 5-foot-9 Bryce Callahan.
  • While we hope the Bears pick on opposing corners this season, we’d like to think the arrow is pointing up for the Bears’ defensive backs. Zack Pearson writes about a group that is standing out early in camp as it has tortured Trubisky with one interception after another. So while it’s a bummer to see Trubisky turn it over in practice, it’s great to see the defense actually haul in a pass and create a turnover. After the last few years, it would be understandable if you forgot what that actually looked like. The Bears haven’t been known as a turnover machine since Lovie Smith was let go and the team needs to get back to those ways if it wants to be competitive.
  • On the other end of that matchup, guys like Anthony Miller are looking to break ankles in the passing game. Watching Miller work at his craft in practice has been a treat. Here’s hoping Miller proves that the combination of hard work and talent is truly an undefeated combo:

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.