Does Matt Nagy Know What to Do With Speed? And Other Bears Bullets

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Does Matt Nagy Know What to Do With Speed? And Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

How are we a little more than halfway through September already? Where has the time gone? I’m not ready for sweater weather just yet. Please advise.

•   Of course the Bears had two of the three fastest ball-carriers in Week 1:

•   The Bears spent last offseason looking to bring speed onto the roster. It was long overdue, but better late than never. Using free agency (Damiere Byrd, Marquise Goodwin, Damien Williams) and NFL Draft (Justin Fields, Khalil Herbert) to add some fresh faces was a good start. As was David Montgomery’s offseason speed training. But now that the Bears quenched their need for speed, does Matt Nagy know what to do with it? I’m not asking rhetorically, either. Because, while having raw speed is nice, merely being fast won’t win games. It is up to Nagy and Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor to implement the speedsters into the game plan, then unleash them into situations where they can be at their best. Otherwise, being fast – in isolation – is worthless.

•   Maybe Chicago can start leveraging this speed against Cincinnati on Sunday. Starting safety Ricardo Allen will miss the game due to a broken hand and hamstring strain, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. After putting all those short and medium passes on tape last week, this week would make for a swell time to bust out some double moves.

•   Marquise Goodwin’s critique of how things unfolded with the offense was eye-opening. Damning, even. But after watching (and re-watching) the game, it feels like this was a plan enacted as a response to how the Rams were defending them:

•   I’ll gladly be in the minority here, but upon further review, I didn’t hate the Bears’ offensive game plan. One of the biggest (and most fair) criticisms of Nagy’s time as a play-caller is his stubbornness in not taking what defenses are willing to give. And on Sunday, we saw the Bears doing exactly that with how they were attacking. Run it with Monty when they’re playing with just five guys in the box. Attack the middle of the field with slants and comeback routes when opposing DBs are squatting deep. Where Chicago’s failures came was when it was tasked to finish drives with points. Andy Dalton threw a red zone pick on an opening possession that should’ve put at least 3 points on the board. And the Bears went 0-for-the-world on 4th down tries. But that shouldn’t mean they should stop plugging away. There should be more opportunities to stretch defenses vertically against a defense the plays far less two high-safety looks than the Rams. If the Bears don’t do it, then I’ll join the party with a pitchfork of my own.

•   On the other side of the ball, first-year defensive coordinator Sean Desai has his work cut out for him. Not only is his “D” preparing for Joe Burrow, Joe Mixon, Ja’Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd, and Tee Higgins, they’re doing so after putting out some of the worst tape a unit could put out there. Surely, Burrow and the boys are licking their chops after seeing Bears-Rams game film. Colleen Kane (Tribune) and Mark Potash (Sun-Times) outline the climb Desai and the Bears defense have ahead of them as we roll toward Week 2.

•   On a much lighter note, this is awesome:

•   The Bears and the city of Chicago (which operates Soldier Field) haven’t gone as far as folks in Vegas, who are mandating vaccination to enter Raiders games. But I feel as if this is a nice step in the right direction:

•   A different type of double doink:

•   Let’s start a petition to move Bears-Packers games to Florida. Statistically speaking, it’s the smart thing to do:

•   Jerrell Freeman has long been retired. But with his suspension expiring, there was a little bit of bookkeeping to maintain with the Bears releasing Freeman from the reserve/suspended list, per NFL insider Aaron Wilson.

•   There is never a “good” time for an injury, but the timing of this stinks:

•   If the Cowboys would like a Robert Quinn reunion in the wake of Demarcus Lawerence’s foot injury, I’m not sure it would cost much to coax a cap-hungry team like the Bears. Just saying.

•   Steve “Mongo” McMichael is no longer alone at the top of a list of weirdest baseball ejections:

•   Lonzo Ball brings the heat:

•   Over at BN Blackhawks, the battle to back up Marc-André Fleury has no shortage of competitors.

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Author: Luis Medina

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