I Think Inspiration For Matt Nagy's Next Gadget Play Just Came From the AAF and Other Bullets

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I Think Inspiration For Matt Nagy’s Next Gadget Play Just Came From the AAF and Other Bullets

Chicago Bears

I almost picked up some chicken thighs from the grocery store because they were on sale, but decided against it because they weren’t on the “need” portion of my shopping list. But after my friend Jim sent me this recipe for Chipotle Chicken Thighs, I’m adding it to the list for my next trip. Thanks, pal!

  • Matt Nagy is soooooo drawing this up right now and using it at some point in 2019:

  • Oh, Steve Spurrier. Leave it to the Ol’ Ball Coach to draw up something for football fans to love!
  • Moving parts? Check. Misdirection? Double check. Running backs throwing the ball? That’s the trifecta. Now, to give it a nickname.
  • One of my biggest complaints about Nagy’s play-calling in the Bears’ playoff loss to the Eagles was a lack of creativity. The things we had seen throughout the regular season that spiced things up didn’t pop up in the most important game of the year. That didn’t sit right with me and it probably bugs you, too, now that I’m putting it on your radar again. But perhaps there is an explanation. Maybe we didn’t see the Bears’ trickery or gadgetry on display in the postseason because the Bears didn’t get deep enough in the red zone to show it off. Chicago’s most creative plays (such as Santa’s Sleigh, Oompa Loompa, and Freezer Left) happened in goal-to-go situations (and in the case of Nick Kwiatkoski’s appearance on offense, a two-point conversion). The Bears didn’t get into those situations often enough to utilize something from their bag of tricks.
  • Fun fact: Chicago scored touchdowns on 63.2 percent of its red zone scoring trips. That was the 11th best red-zone touchdown percentage in football. It ranked higher than fellow playoff teams including the Patriots (12th, 62.9%), Eagles (17th, 59%), Rams (19th, 56.8%), Ravens (55.7%), Cowboys (26th, 51.8%), and Texans (29th, 50%). Simply put, the Bears just need to get there more often.
  • Some interesting perspective from Adam Jahns of the Sun-Times as he shares some thoughts from the Combine. Most notably, how the top two quarterback prospects in this draft (Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray, Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins) had to wait their turn before getting starting gigs. It’s a similar story line to that of Mitch Trubisky, but with far less scrutiny. Perhaps it’s because Ohio State and Oklahoma are better football programs … or maybe it’s because scouting in football doesn’t make sense sometimes.
  • Over at Da Bears Blog, Johnathan Wood’s statistical breakdown of Jordan Howard’s struggle through the 2018 season is an eye-opener. Howard’s production dip is concerning because the explosive plays he came up with in his first two seasons were essentially non-existent in Year 3. That’s problematic for an offense whose collective arrow needs to be pointing up in order to match what a star-studded defense brings to the table. I don’t think Howard’s at the end of the line when it comes to being a contributor to a winning club, but it’s clear the explosive element he once had is missing.
  • Let’s move on from running backs to defensive backs on the scale of Bears needs:

  • As fate would have it, Maryland’s Darnell Savage and Miami’s Sheldrick Redwine have already popped up on our radar. The draft appears to be loaded with players who have upside in the secondary, so we’ll keep a close eye on who could slide into a role with the Bears should they choose to go the route of drafting a playmaker in the defensive backfield.
  • I love a good sale:

  • The ghost of Al Davis is currently reaching out to Jon Gruden to trade up to pick this guy first:


  • DK Metcalf wasn’t the only receiver to open eyes with a solid 40-time:

  • Hakeem Butler’s Iowa State teammate David Montgomery has the type of pass-catching skills that might catch the Bears’ eyes in the middle rounds:

  • Trace McSorley isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but there is something about him as a competitor that makes me think highly of him as a potential developmental quarterback in the NFL. But evidently, not everyone sees that upside. McSorley declined a request to work out with defensive backs at the Combine, which says a lot about what NFL talent evaluators think about his athleticism (and also, his future as a quarterback). For what it’s worth, McSorley ran the 40-yard-dash in 4.57 seconds, which was the best among quarterbacks. There is speed and athleticism there, but what is to come of it is still to be determined.
  • I thought I would miss Mike Mayock at the Combine, but Steve Smith is a treat:


  • Shoot for the moon, kid:

  • Not sure how I missed this the first time around, but wowzers:

  • You know what they say about guys with big hands … they produce big things in Year 3 of their rookie deals!

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Author: Luis Medina

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