I activated my phone’s “do not disturb function” a few months ago to keep myself from answering unwanted messages or being awakened overnight by poorly timed push notifications. For whatever reason, my phone glitched and turned off that function and I awoke from my slumber in the middle of the night because of a push notification regarding things that happened on this date in history. Definitely unexpected.
- One of the biggest challenges faced by a head coach who has an expertise on one side of the ball is connecting with players on the other side. So for Matt Nagy, we figured he’d have his work cut out for him building a bridge to defensive playmakers as an offensive-minded coach. As it turns out, the Chicago Bears head coach has found a way to do just that:
When the knock comes on the defensive meeting room door, players excitedly chatter and squirm like grade-school kids. “Sorry Coach,” Matt Nagy tells Vic Fangio, “won’t be long with them.”@KalynKahler on how Nagy made the Bears fun, one knock at a timehttps://t.co/eYIDcFQtm0 pic.twitter.com/6nZrBGLUNJ
— The MMQB (@theMMQB) January 2, 2019
- Kalyn Kahler of SI.com’s the MMQB has details of how Nagy is connecting with defensive players by bringing them to the offensive side of the ball for the gadget plays that have provided numerous highlights during the team’s run to becoming the 2018 NFC North champions. It doesn’t take much of an imagination to envision Bears defenders getting jittery with excitement hoping Nagy calls their number so they can be included in this week’s attempt at trickery. Almost makes you wonder what numbers he is calling when the knock comes this week.
- A complete list of Bears defenders who have seen snaps on the offensive side of the ball: Eddie Jackson, Prince Amukamara, Akiem Hicks, Roy Robertson-Harris, Bilal Nichols, Jonathan Bullard, and Nick Kwiatkoski. Surely, Khalil Mack is due to get a chance … right?
- Not bad for an ex-quarterback, am I right? Jeff McLane of Philly.com re-visits the one-day experience when Nagy was an Eagles quarterback. Reading McLane’s piece caused me to dig back into a post we did back in June which highlights Andy Reid’s re-telling of Nagy’s time as an Eagles quarterback. So yes, that makes this the first time a former Philly quarterback has coached against his former team. Gosh, there are so many story lines to follow.
- From an ex-Eagle with the Bears to an ex-Bear now with the Eagles, Alshon Jeffery made some candid remarks ahead of Sunday’s playoff showdown that might have rattled some cages around the Windy City. But it appears as if he is walking back his comments:
Texting with Alshon Jeffery about this. He said he loves the city of Chicago & meant no disrespect. He was talking about the rough environment that led to a coach/GM firing. He did love his first 2 years, “but I love Philly with the work environment… and we won the Super Bowl.” https://t.co/OLrJHSlNZd
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 3, 2019
- At least you tried to play down your comments, Alshon. Good job, good effort.
- The Athletic’s Dan Pompei teamed up with Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson on a book on the offseason, but one section that could make the cut if the book was released today circles around Pederson’s relationship with Nagy. Pompei’s latest at The Athletic is a must-read piece detailing the relationship between two coaches who have been connected since 2009. The parallels between the two ex-Reid assistants are undeniable, which will make watching these two pit their coaching wits against one another a treat.
- Ain’t no problem:
— AP NFL (@AP_NFL) January 3, 2019
- It’s crazy to think about how the NFL rules lean so heavily on aiding the offense. And yet, defense is ultimately a deciding factor in the biggest games. The Eagles don’t win last year’s Super Bowl without a defensive stop and a take-away late in the fourth quarter. New England doesn’t erase a 28-3 deficit without this late series of events on Atlanta’s final three possessions: fumble, punt, punt. Even though many remember that game as Peyton Manning riding off into the sunset, it was Von Miller who dominated Super Bowl 50 for the Broncos. And how can we forget Super Bowl XLIX that was sealed on a Malcolm Butler goal line interception. Offense scores points and generates headlines, but defense still wins championships.
- Maintaining this energy could help:
— NFL Matchup on ESPN (@NFLMatchup) January 3, 2019
- Wagering on this weekend’s playoff action should bring out some interesting prop bets:
Odds to finish Wild Card Weekend with the most receiving yards (@betonline_ag):
M. Williams +2500 pic.twitter.com/eiiMGqqzYn
— OddsShark (@OddsShark) January 3, 2019
- But where are my odds for Tarik Cohen leading all receivers in yardage? Asking for a friend…
- A Mic’d Up Trey Burton revealed a future goal he is reaching for after his playing career ends:
- It’s never too early to think about the future. So with that in mind, I love the forward thinking from Trey Burton chatting up Clete Blakeman ahead of the team’s Week 17 game against Minnesota. Of course, Burton has bigger fish to fry this week (and hopefully in the coming weeks) and has a few more years on his contract, but it’s neat that he’s already branching out with an eye on life after football. And it’s not a crazy thought on his part. Ex-NBA player Haywoode Workman is currently following in the footsteps of Leon Wood and Bernie Fryer to go from playing on the hardwood to officiating games on it after their playing days were up. I wouldn’t put it past Burton to to follow that path if that’s something he so chooses.
- Lost in the shuffle with the Bears in the playoffs, the Vikings collapse, and Packers coaching search was news of the Lions parting way with offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter. NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport painted the move as a mutual parting of ways for someone who has been with the organization since 2014. Detroit had a drop-off in production (24th in yardage, 20th in points) but I’m not convinced the OC was the reason behind the fall-off. In the end, it leaves the NFC North Cooter-free for 2019.
- Caesars has some of the most unique NFL-related futures bets. And while I’m still kicking myself for not taking Patrick Mahomes at 100/1 when I had the chance, I’m looking forward to what will hopefully be a wonderful relationship with Caesars Entertainment:
The National Football League today announced they have selected Caesars Entertainment, the league's first Casino sponsor. Seven NFL Clubs have relationships with Caesars Entertainment, including the #Falcons, Ravens, Bears, Colts, Saints, Raiders, and Eagles. pic.twitter.com/0dCHlbXaaT
— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@DOrlandoAJC) January 3, 2019