The Bears are rolling the dice with something new by handing play-calling duties to Bill Lazor after the first nine games of the season saw the team play as if it were stuck in quicksand.
But what does a play-caller change even look like?
Back in 2017, Terez A. Paylor (Kansas City Star) caught up with Matt Nagy after he was handed the opportunity to call plays the week prior. I’m hesitant to compare the Chiefs and Bears’ offenses. But Paylor provides a behind-the-scenes look at what went into the experience. He talks to players who praised the new play-caller’s use of fresh concepts, some love from Andy Reid, and adulation for Nagy himself.
But what sticks out to me the most is this quote from Nagy, who talks about the selflessness that made this moment possible in the first place. “That’s the best part about Coach Reid — there’s zero ego,” Nagy said. “He does’t care. If he thinks it’s going to work, let’s go. And if he has a play, and he brings it to us, we’re the same way. It’s an open conversation.”
That’s the type of perspective you’d expect from a strong leader. Nagy has said all the right things since making the change. Among his comments was confirmation in his belief that he is doing the right thing by giving up play-calling. Check your ego at the door, play ball, and do whatever necessary to win a ball game.
Let’s be real. A new playbook isn’t being installed. And there isn’t an influx of new talent who can take it up a notch. However, change can be good. And while I’ll be sure to not make any grand proclamations one way or another, I’m looking forward to seeing what change looks like (or if it even comes to fruition).
Chicago Bears (5-4) vs. Minnesota Vikings (3-5), 7:15 CT on ESPN and The CW Chicago (a.k.a. Channel 26, b.k.a. WCIU) (Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Louis Riddick, Lisa Salters), WBBM-AM 780 and WCFS-FM 105.9 (Jeff Joniak, Tom Thayer, Mark Grote), Westwood One (Kevin Harlan, Kurt Warner)
Odds: Bears (+3.5, -120), Over/Under 44, via the DraftKings Sportsbook.
Week 10 Game Thread (Preview)
Your game thread is down in the comments, so let’s have some good, clean (safe-for-work) fun. Let’s just try to have fun before the bye.
Matt Nagy (25-16) vs. Mike Zimmer (60-43-1)
Bears: Nick Foles
Last week at Titans: 36-52 (69.2%), 335 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT, 99.4 rating
Vikings: Kirk Cousins
Last week vs. Lions: 13/20 (65%), 220 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT, 141.7 rating
Bears Expected Starters
• QB Nick Foles
• RB Cordarrelle Patterson
• WRs Allen Robinson II, Darnell Mooney, Anthony Miller
• TE Jimmy Graham
• LT Charles Leno Jr., LG Alex Bars, C Cody Whitehair, RG Germain Ifedi, RT Rashaad Coward
• DT Akiem Hicks, NT Bilal Nichols, DE Mario Edwards Jr.
• OLBs Khalil Mack, Robert Quinn
• ILBs Roquan Smith, Danny Trevathan
• CBs Kyle Fuller, Jaylon Johnson
• FS Eddie Jackson
• SS Tashaun Gipson Sr.
• Cairo Santos (kicker), Pat O’Donnell (punter, holder), Patrick Sales (long snapper), Cordarrelle Patterson (kick returns), Dwayne Harris (punt returns)
Vikings Expected Starters
• QB Kirk Cousins
• RB Dalvin Cook
• FB CJ Ham
• WRs Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson
• TE Kyle Rudolph
• LT Riley Reiff, LG Dakota Dozier, C Garrett Bradbury, RG Ezra Cleveland, RT Brian O’Neill
• LDE Ifedi Odenigbo, NT Shamar Stephen, DT Jaleel Johnson, RDE Jalyn Holmes
• SLB Eric Wilson, MLB Eric Kendricks, WLB Ryan Connelly
• CBs Cameron Dantzler, Jeff Gladney
• Ss Harrison Smith, Anthony Harris
• Dan Bailey (kicker), Britton Colquitt (punter, holder), Austin Cutting (long snapper), KJ Osborn (kick and punt returns
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) November 16, 2020
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) November 16, 2020