Bears OC Reveals Significant Disconnect With Matt Nagy

Matt Nagy Bears

Getty Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy is not on the same page as his OC.

Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Bill Lazor is like the majority of fans and analysts: He thinks Justin Fields is ready to play.

Lazor met with the media on September 15, and he discussed a number of things, including the Bears’ 34-14 Week 1 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, as well as the debut of Fields — and after listening to him talk, it’s obvious Lazor thinks the rookie quarterback is ready to start now.

“I think from the outside looking at it, he looked like he belonged,” Lazor said about the debut of Fields. “He looked like he could be successful. Nothing was too big for him, which we didn’t think it would be. It looked like he had fun.”

Fields scored his first NFL touchdown against the Rams on a three-yard zone read that saw him run into the end zone easily, and it’s clear when listening to Lazor he thinks the rook is ready to see more action. It’s equally clear the decision to keep Fields on the bench is primarily head coach Matt Nagy’s.

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Lazor ‘Matt Has Probably Addressed What His Philosophy Is’

Fields played five snaps Week 1 against the Rams, and after a strong preseason that saw him complete over 61% of his passes (30-of-49) for 276 yards and three TDs (he didn’t throw any picks) and a near 97.0 passer rating (he also had 92 yards rushing and a score on the ground) — questions are mounting about how much playing time he’ll get.

When Alex Shapiro of NBC Sports asked Lazor if Fields is ready for a full series as opposed to the occasional play, the Bears OC said this:

“I would have said after the preseason that he’s moving quickly and ready for whatever’s thrown at him. So I don’t think anything’s changed.”

Shapiro followed up, asking why Fields wasn’t being given the opportunity to play more if he is, in fact, ready. Lazor’s response was quite telling:

“I think Matt has probably addressed what his philosophy is on the quarterback position. I don’t think that’s any different. I don’t think there’s any reason for me to answer that.”

The key words there are “his philosophy.” Notice Lazor didn’t employ any team-centric “we” or “our” jargon there. The decision to start veteran Andy Dalton and keep Fields waiting indefinitely in the wings seems to lie at Nagy’s feet alone. General manager Ryan Pace may mix into the equation somewhere, but due to the Alex Smith-Patrick Mahomes model he saw when he was with Kansas City back in 2017, Nagy seems sold on keeping things as they are. For now.

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Lazor: ‘Justin Fields Has a Great Ability to Help Us Win’

For his part, the Bears’ OC has been an underrated addition to the staff since he arrived in 2020. He took over for Nagy as play-caller midway through last season and saw the offense go from scoring 19.8 points a game under Nagy’s direction to 27.7 points a game with him running the show. He also seems to be a voice of reason when word salad and lack of accountability so often follow Nagy into his press conferences.

It’s really feels as though if it were up to Lazor and the majority of Bears players, Fields would be starting.

“Justin Fields has a great ability to help us win. He’s proven he can be a threat,” Lazor said on the team’s weekly Coaches Show on September 14.

Many players seem to agree. The only question remaining is: How much longer will Nagy make his team, the fans and everyone else, wait?

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