There was plenty of attention paid (and rightfully so) to some words Nick Foles said in a conversation with ESPN’s Monday Night Football crew before the Bears’ loss to the Rams.
But something Foles said after the game caught my ear and might raise your ire.
“I think the big thing is finding the rhythm of who we want to be,” Foles said (via the Bears’ official website) after the game while talking about Chicago’s need to get the running game going. But I couldn’t help but notice those words are applicable when talking about the offense as a whole.
What’s frustrating is that it’s not as if Matt Nagy’s playbook doesn’t have plays. We’ve seen plays work individually, but that’s not how a professional offense operates. A good play-caller builds a playbook by stacking together concepts that work hand-in-hand with each other. But the Bears don’t have that. So instead of watching an offense that looks like something that has hundreds of variations rooted in a dozen plays, Nagy’s scheme looks like something that has hundreds of plays with no variations. To this point of his coaching career, Nagy is more of a play collector and less of a play caller. Ideas, concepts, gadgetry, motion, misdirection, and more have been on display. But save for rare occasions – think last year’s win against the Cowboys – the collection of plays don’t work in tandem.
It feels as if nothing in this offense is done with rhyme or reason. As a result, there is no rhythm. This offense has plays, but no flow. Pieces, but no cohesion among them. And seven games into the 2020 season, we’re at a point where the Bears still haven’t established an offensive identity.
Let that marinate for a moment. Nagy, an offensive-minded coach from Andy Reid’s wildly successful coaching tree, has yet to establish an identity or offensive culture in 39 games as a head coach. That’s problematic on so many levels.