Head Coach Matt Nagy and Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor both spoke about the difficult conversations taking place at Halas Hall in the wake of the Bears offense sputtering out against the Browns in Justin Fields’ debut as a starter.
And it turns out some of those discussions involved Bears players:
— Patrick Finley (@patrickfinley) September 30, 2021
Patrick Finley of the Sun-Times pulls quotes from a number of Bears offensive players for this piece. And I encourage you to read it when you get a chance. Cole Kmet, David Montgomery, and Germain Ifedi were offensive players who spoke with Nagy earlier this week. Nothing like reaching out to players three weeks into the season while searching for fixes. It’s certainly a different tact. And one I wouldn’t expect from a coach who seems to stubbornly wants to run his own show. Then again, this could be a sign that change is coming. Or perhaps a sign that the Bears aren’t stubbornly running into a brick wall over and over again when there is a perfectly operational door that could function as a way to get out of this mess.
On the one hand, this feels like one of those desperate times call for desperate measures moments. It doesn’t get more desperate than trying to rebound after averaging 1.1 yards per play. And don’t even get me on gaining a grand total of one (1) net passing yard. But the optics of a coach reaching out to players for their two cents doesn’t look great. Especially not in Year 4. This isn’t what it was supposed to look like at this stage of Nagy’s career arc.
But on the other hand, I can’t help but feel as if this is a good thing. Or, at least, it could be a good thing.
The best leaders draw from others. They are open to criticism. But more important than that, the best ones are open to change. There is a non-zero chance that this is collaboration rooted in empowering the players asked to perform on Sundays and less about a desperation heave in hoping to find something that works. Even still … I struggle to get pst the optics. But I’m willing to try, so long as this is a genuine attempt on Nagy’s behalf to get this thing going in the right direction.
It is possible we’ll look back at this moment as one in which egos were shoved aside for the greater good. And for what it’s worth, Andy Reid – whom Nagy holds in high regard – is a known offensive collaborator in his own right. But there is a real chance we look back at this as another data point where we saw things slipping away from an embattled head coach. Only time will tell us how this story will be framed at season’s end.