Based on his last two conversations with the media, Matt Nagy may be becoming a bit more open-minded. The head coach of the Chicago Bears told reporters last week via conference call that unlike previous seasons, he planned to play his starters and quarterbacks in the upcoming preseason.
Nagy was widely criticized for not playing quarterback Mitchell Trubisky or the vast majority of his starters in recent preseasons, and his public declaration he would be changing that moving forward signaled growth for him as a head coach. After his latest interview, the Bears’ head coach hinted at more changes to come, this time, offensively speaking.
On the Bears All-Access radio show on WSCR 670 AM, Nagy spoke to co-hosts Jeff Joniak, Tom Thayer and Jim Miller about the uniqueness of this offseason due to the coronavirus pandemic. Nagy stressed the importance of communication between everyone in the organization with everyone working from home, sharing some interesting information about what the team has been doing to improve.
Nagy said he and his staff have taken a great deal of time so far examining his entire offensive scheme. And based on his comments, change is coming to Chicago.
Bears Coach Matt Nagy on His Offensive Scheme: Answers Are Coming
Nagy, who said Bears’ coaches and players alike have been communicating through Zoom and Skype, while also doing “different things with our home office computers,” said the team’s new reliance on digital technology has actually helped in some ways. “Instead of all of us being together shoulder by shoulder and probably wasting more time than we should, we’re getting a lot more stuff done,” he noted.
Then, he got specific about something he and the team have been very focused on.
“We’ve spent this whole offseason now looking at scheme evaluation and just taking a look at the ‘why’ part behind our offense and why it was so sluggish,” Nagy said. “It’s not just one reason. There are several reasons. The beauty for us is that we think we know what some of those answers are. Some of it is players, some of it is scheme, some of it is execution. But what’s good for us is that we know that we can get a lot better, and all of us as competitors can’t wait to get back out there so that we can do that and show everybody what our plan is. It starts with Mitch and I think he’s excited for that opportunity, as I know Nick is as well.”
Nagy has been almost defiant in the past when receiving criticism about his offensive scheme, as well as his play-calling, and he has refused to listen to ideas suggesting he incorporate some changes. But in his two most recent encounters with the press — three if you go back to his comments during the scouting combine in late February — he has displayed an openness to change he hasn’t quite shown before.
Matt Nagy: We Need to ‘Control What We Can Control’
Nagy noted the team may be scaling back and focusing on what they do well, and he seemed to suggest they were working on changing the things that didn’t work last season. “The nice part of the offseason is when you are able to go through your scheme evaluation as a staff and you go through the whys, and at the same time you realize OK, here’s some certain areas where we can get better,” Nagy said. He also seemed less focused on having a high-powered showy offense and more set on doing the small things right.
“We’ve gotta stay focused and just control what we can control,” Nagy said. There was no talk of a new, more high-powered version of his offense being implemented the way there was last season. But there was a sense of responsibility he noted feeling after a disappointing 2019 season.
“We need to put these guys — not just the quarterbacks — in the best position possible to succeed,” he said. Will this mean refusing to abandon the run game as he has in the past while also calling games that require utilizing Trubisky’s mobility more? All signs point to yes.
In his last three outings with the press, Nagy has seemed more humble and reserved, while still maintaining his confidence in this Bears team. This recent display of humility suggests he has learned from the team’s missteps during his two seasons there, and that he’s willing to make some changes moving forward. Just don’t expect the secretive coach to get into specifics.