Count Louis Riddick among those who thinks Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy deserves the opportunity to choose the team’s next quarterback in the upcoming draft. Bears general manager Ryan Pace, of course, is best known for selecting Mitch Trubisky second overall in 2017, over Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. Nagy didn’t arrive in Chicago until 2018, and he spent three seasons trying to turn Trubisky into a formidable starter.
That didn’t happen, and now that Trubisky has shuffled off to Buffalo to back up Josh Allen, Nagy and the Bears are starting over with Andy Dalton — and likely by adding a new quarterback through the draft. Riddick appeared on ESPN Chicago’s Kap & J. Hood last week, and added his name to the list of people who don’t hold Pace’s decision to draft Trubisky against the current Bears head coach.
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Riddick: Nagy Had Nothing to Do With Selection of Trubisky
If the Bears do decide to draft a quarterback, Riddick thinks Nagy’s experience as offensive coordinator in Kansas City should merit him enough respect to entrust him with that decision. Nagy was part of the braintrust that selected Patrick Mahomes, and Riddick shared an interesting tidbit about his knowledge of that particular situation in 2017:
“Look, he wasn’t there when they drafted Mitch,” Riddick said. “I know how Matt had that draft class stacked as far as Deshaun and Patrick and Mitchell a couple years ago. I know how he liked those guys, and how he had put them in order. So I think, no question, you have to lean on his expertise — and I know people are saying ‘Lean on his expertise? I mean he brought Nick Foles here and Nick Foles is supposed to be the savior.’ Well, I think what he was trying to do was make the best out of a situation that he didn’t feel really matched up with how he wanted to do things. And it didn’t work out.”
Interesting. Riddick insinuating Bears fans should trust Nagy because he knows how the coach ranked Mahomes, Trubisky and Watson in 2017 seems to suggest Nagy wasn’t as high on Trubisky as Pace was — and considering Nagy was part of the draft room that selected a future MVP and Super Bowl winner in Mahomes, Riddick thinks he deserves the opportunity to pick his guy now that he’s in charge in Chicago.
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Will Bears Ownership Allow Huge Trade-Up in Draft?
To those who have called out Nagy for his stubbornness or for his failure to adjust his offense to suit the strengths of his players, Riddick had this to say: “Yeah, OK. I’ll give you that. … But as far as bringing in a new guy, a draft pick, a guy who’s a moldable asset, someone who you can groom and make into what you want to be in the future, yeah, you have to let him do that,” Riddick said about Nagy having the opportunity to hand-pick the guy he wants. Then Riddick, who worked with Nagy in Philadelphia from 2008-2012, added this wrinkle:
“I just don’t know if Bears ownership will allow him to do that via moving up in the draft.”
Nagy would like a quarterback who has a solid pocket presence — someone who is capable of executing from the pocket while also effectively going through his reads. But if team chairman George McCaskey and President and CEO Ted Phillips don’t give Pace and Nagy the green light to mortgage the future on a franchise-changing quarterback, none of it matters.
With the draft happening in just a few days, we’ll know soon enough.