Before this season, even on its best days, the Chicago Bears’ offense was compared to something straight out of a grainy, black-and-white highlight package found on a dusty film reel in a locker room somewhere in Indiana. On its worse days, well, the comparisons simply aren’t safe for work.
Of course, the Bears sought to shake that reputation with their hiring of Matt Nagy and offseason tear-down (and rebuild) of the scheme and players within it. So how did they do? Well, the early results are in, and New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick appears to have taken notice.
Belichick said he sees similarities between the Bears and the Kansas City Chiefs, the Patriots’ Week 6 opponent and Nagy’s old team: “Yeah, there’s certainly a lot of carryover from Kansas City’s basic stuff,” Belichick told reporters, via Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio. “They have good skill players, good receivers, big offensive line, good tight end, athletic quarterback, good backs. I mean there’s some movement and some motion and shifting. I wouldn’t say it’s an extraordinary amount. They get the ball to a lot of different people and they’re all pretty effective when they get it. That’ll be a big challenge. They throw the ball down the field and have a lot of catch-and-run plays and have a good running game.”
Without naming names, I think Belichick just praised the likes of Jordan Howard, Tarik Cohen, Allen Robinson, Trey Burton, Taylor Gabriel, Kyle Long, Mitch Trubisky, and others. Awwww shucks, Bill! You shouldn’t have!
And even though the Bears offense looks like it’s starting to enter a breakout, the differences in their personnel and what the Chiefs took to Foxboro last week are worth pointing out. Trubisky and Mahomes aren’t the same quarterback. Burton plays the “U” tight end role like Travis Kelce, but doesn’t have nearly the body of work. Kareem Hunt is a premier back in the league, while Howard is only now starting to scratch the surface of his potential now that he’s started to successfully catch the ball. And there’s really no one deserving of a Tyreek Hill comp. But by opening up with these comments, it’s clear that Belichick isn’t going to take the Bears lightly. Not after seeing the Chiefs offense put 40 points on his defense.
There are times during the season where coaches say things about opponents that come off as complimentary for the sake of it. Perhaps this could be one of those times. Or maybe it isn’t. The Bears have upgraded at several skill positions and the opposition is taking notice. Now that Nagy’s new offense is on Belichick’s radar, it will be up to the Bears coach to scheme more awesomeness and for the players to execute it.
This is where the fun begins.