Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy has been criticized frequently for his inability to make halftime adjustments, and after his most recent comments, it’s unclear whether he understands what that concept is.
In Chicago’s Week 14 loss to the Green Bay Packers, Bears second-year cornerback Jaylon Johnson covered Packers All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams — who lined up wide — and he had a good deal of success against Adams in the first half. In the second half, Packers coach Matt LaFleur changed things up and put Adams in the slot, and the results were immediate. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers and company put up 17 points in the 3rd quarter, and Adams managed to avoid Johnson for the most part, having a good deal of success against everyone else in Chicago’s secondary.
The Packers WR had two catches on five targets for 19 yards and a score when Johnson was covering him, and eight catches for 102 yards against everyone else when lining up in the slot. After the game, Johnson credited Adams and the Packers for their halftime adjustments, but when he was asked about it, Nagy didn’t see it that way.
ALL the latest Bears news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Bears newsletter here!
Johnson on Packers: ‘They Switched it Up Pretty Good’
After the 45-30 loss to Green Bay, Johnson revealed what he saw from Adams and the offense in the second half.
“A lot of motions. A lot of drag routes, underneath routes, a lot of pick-routes. They switched it up pretty good. They did a lot of things that make covering him very hard,” Johnson said, before almost taking a subtle dig at Nagy: “It’s a beauty to see. But you hate playing against it. Just being able to see Rodgers and their head coach be able to draw things up like that and make those types of adjustments, it’s good for them.”
“It was a hell of a matchup,” the Bears corner added.
Follow the Heavy on Bears Facebook page, where you can weigh in on all the latest Bears-related breaking news, rumors, content and more!
Nagy: ‘They Did the Same Thing They Did in the 1st Half’
When he was asked about the adjustments Green Bay made at halftime, Nagy gave a rather baffling response.
“I would say, with all due respect, that comment of moving him around, they did the same thing they did in the first half,” Nagy said on December 13. “So there’s no in the slot, out of the slot, backside here, backside there. He had seven catches in the second half. He had three catches in the first half and they did a lot of the same stuff. They moved him around on third down, which is very normal in the NFL. You move around one of your guys to get open and stuff. That part there, I think that’s football.”
“Regardless of what Jaylon or anybody else says, for us, you just go through and you want to look at, ‘OK, why did things happen?’ And so that’s what I was saying schematically. I really felt like it was more of the run game, the power runs that they did that was different,” Nagy added.
OK, but even the Packers quarterback confirmed the Packers changed things up by moving Adams around.
“We wanted to get Davante involved so we moved him into the slot on few of those plays and got the right coverage,” Rodgers said after the Week 14 win.
Nagy’s inability to recognize and credit opposing coaches for out-coaching him is concerning, and his failure to make adjustments heading into the third quarter is a near-fireable offense on its own. It’s moments like this that will very likely lead to his dismissal after the next four games are played.