Matt Nagy Had Eyes for Justin Fields for at Least a Year

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Matt Nagy Had Eyes for Justin Fields for at Least a Year

Chicago Bears

It was evident – as early as 2019 – that the Bears’ franchise quarterback wasn’t someone already on the roster. And, indeed, it seemed likely that the next long-term solution, whomever it would be, was probably hanging out on a college campus somewhere. But how did the Bears get from that point to Justin Fields in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft? Well, Head Coach Matt Nagy can explain.

In an interview with FOX Sports (video below), Nagy was asked when he first started having eyes for Fields, and revealed that this didn’t just surface when the Bears went on the clock.

“That story begins last year. Really, a little over a year ago when we were discussing 2020 prospects with (Ohio State Head Coach) Ryan Day,” Nagy explained. “And at the end of it, as the story goes, I just asked him about that quarterback and he said, ‘Hey man, this kid’s a generational talent.‘ And that stuck with me.

You never know where things are going to go a year later, but that always stuck with me.”

A conversation featuring the Bears and Ohio State head coaches began innocently enough. They likely chatted about Chase Young, JK Dobbins, Damon Arnette, and other high-caliber prospects from the 2020 NFL Drat. But that conversation turning into quarterback talk being what sparks Nagy’s interest in Fields feels so right. Once a quarterback, always a quarterback. You could be discussing the differences between draft and bottled beers, debating who has the better chicken between Harold’s and Uncle Remus, or chatting about any number of things unrelated to football. But Nagy is always going to circle back to quarterback. Always. So, it should come as no surprise that Nagy heard the words “generational talent” and they stuck with him. And in turn, he started falling for Fields. Of course, that’s not where the story ends.

Nagy went on and explain how that conversation essentially became a tipping point to start looking at future quarterbacks. Not just himself, but also GM Ryan Pace. The discussion with Day put the ball in motion for Pace and Nagy to do their due diligence on the available prospects. And not just who they liked, mind you. But why they liked them. There were even moments Nagy describes running into Pace’s office at Halas Hall asking if he had seen a certain throw. Maybe that’s another reason TV’s at Halas Hall needed to be powered off.

All jokes aside, this all seems like a far more thorough process than the one the team underwent in 2017 when drafting Mitchell Trubisky. And perhaps this wave of good process will ultimately lead to more desirable results moving forward.

There’s a good five minutes of conversation here between Nagy and Cowherd. So if you’ve got time, I’d recommend clearing some to give this a watch and listen:


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Author: Luis Medina

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