Matt Nagy Speaks: Injury Updates, Team Resilience, Miller's Swag, Helmet Rule, More

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Matt Nagy Speaks: Injury Updates, Team Resilience, Miller’s Swag, Helmet Rule, More

Chicago Bears

Earlier, Chicago Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy shared news on Leonard Floyd’s injury and touched upon Kevin White’s situation going forward.

He also met with the media at Halas Hall, and you can watch his full press conference here …

… but first, some additional things that deserved to be highlighted and expanded upon.

Further Injury Updates for Leonard Floyd and Adam Shaheen

Injuries happen to every team in the NFL and the Bears are no different. It just feels different because they seem to happen in never-ending waves. As for Floyd’s injury, it was a fracture near the index and middle finger, which sounds awfully painful. It occurred during a red zone defense play where Floyd was on the receiving end of a cut block and tried to brace his fall. But at least Floyd is staying positive and will play through an injury that would otherwise take a player at a different position out of the lineup for a while.

“I don’t think it’s going to be healed. I think he’s going to have to end up playing through it. It might requite something in regards to having a cast or a club type deal. There’s been evidence of guys who have had that and been productive, so that’s where we’re hoping right now.”

Tough break … literally. But it’s encouraging that Floyd will play through it and that there are examples of players thriving despite wearing the club on the hand. Here’s hoping a player who just really started to use his hands to his advantage can figure things out with the club.

Nagy also provided an update on Adam Shaheen’s injury, which happens to be a right ankle sprain. Shaheen was being evaluated at the time of the press conference and the hope was that more would be known after the tests came back later in the day.

The Helmet Rule is Front and Center Again

If you think you’re annoyed with the NFL’s new rule legislating hits leading with the helmet, get in line. Nagy doesn’t seem to pleased with it either, but sounds understanding of what officials are going through during the preseason as they try to get a feel for what to call. The bang-bang plays are hard to rule on as it happens and we can tell there’s an emphasis on calling the penalty, as if to get players in a mindset to ease up so they won’t have to call so many in the regular season.

What seems to really catch Nagy’s ire is the stoppage time and how the penalties can disrupt the flow of a game. Hopefully, that’s not something that carries on into the regular season.

“This is something that they’re testing out right now, and they want to try to see where it’s at. And the refs, the more chances they have to call it and see it, they’re going to throw the flag and they know there’s going to be times where they might miss one. But as long as they can accept that and learn from it and get better, then that’s where we’re at.”

So How Can This Be Coached Correctly?

Well, that’s the multi-million dollar question, isn’t it? Nagy’s explanation is worth reading, and possibly sharing with someone who is learning the game now.

“The easiest way to go about it is you just can’t lower your face mask. You have to keep the crown of your helmet up. Any time you start doing this and you go down, regardless of offense or defense, it’s going to get called. It’s the one that are bang-bang where it looks like it happens or it’s a turn of a shoulder and it’s a clean it and it gets called, those are hard. Those are the ones that, if you’re on the wrong end of that, it’s hard to accept.”

Did Anything Good Happen on Saturday?

Of course! Saturday’s exhibition against the Broncos wasn’t all injuries and helmet rule penalties, though the two teams combined for 28 penalties and 293 yards. In coming back from a 23-10 deficit in the fourth quarter, the Bears’ second unit showed some fight as it put together a fourth-quarter rally. Nagy said there were a lot of situational lessons learned for players and coaches. Overall, Nagy appeared to give his guys a thumbs up for their performance last week in Colorado.

“Our guys, I thought stood up to the test. (The Broncos) are a physical team and I thought we came out with some nasty, which was good. The offense I thought did a good job at responding to some of the pressures that (Denver) brought. Mitch (Trubisky) did well with getting the ball out, the IDs of the (Mike linebacker). Overall, I think our team came together throughout the week. We didn’t back down to anybody, we did it the right way, and we showed that we can be a tough team.”

Another Day, Another Set of Positive Signs from Anthony Miller

I’m not sure there is a Bears player who exemplifies the toughness this team needs to show going forward more than Miller. The rookie wide receiver continues to make a positive impact and receive praise for his work. It’s one thing to be a fan favorite for what you’ve done on the practice field. It’s another thing to play with a confidence that catches your coach’s eyes for the right reasons. Miller’s combination of confidence (that some might think borders on cockiness) and toughness figure to go a long way in the modern era of professional football.

“It’s not a cockiness, it’s a confidence in himself and in his skills. A lot of times, he knows that if that ball is up there one-on-one, and as you saw in that one catch two-on-one, he feels like he’s talented enough to go make a play. Then he made another great play on a shallow cross where he caught the ball, made a nice strong stiff arm, and got the first down. You can feel that. He’s a very powerful guy, has a good burst to him, and he’s got excellent hands. He’s growing, eliminating the amount of mistakes mentally, and the confidence is easy. He’s always had that. We said that when we drafted him, you knew there was that swag that he has. So I don’t ever want him to lose that.”



Author: Luis Medina

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