The Alex Smith-to-the-Chicago Bears hype train is now officially going full steam and Bears head coach Matt Nagy appears to be driving. When meeting with the media via Zoom Tuesday afternoon, Nagy and Bears general manager Ryan Pace discussed the future of the team which, as always, involved a laundry list of questions surrounding the quarterback position.
When he was asked what makes a good quarterback, Nagy listed three important qualities: leadership, decision-making and mobility — the latter of which the team can work around, he said. He also mentioned Alex Smith, unsolicited, and went on to praise Smith for his solid leadership and decision-making abilities.
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Nagy Praises Smith’s Leadership Qualities
Before listing his criteria for a stellar signal-caller, Nagy praised Smith for having two of the three traits he most values in a quarterback:
Every quarterback leads in different ways. I was around a guy with Alex Smith where he was a happy medium. He wasn’t a yeller and screamer at the guys, but he wasn’t quiet. He was right down the middle. Every guy has their own way that they do it, but they all lead in a certain way and they multiply the players around them. I’d say leadership, decision-making and if you have some versatility as a quarterback with your legs, great. If you don’t, no problem. We can work around it.
Nagy also had high praise for Smith’s comeback this year. “Alex had his big injury, but for him to be able to come back and do what he did is just fascinating,” Nagy noted.
Smith, of course, endured one of the most gruesome injuries in recent memory when he suffered a compound fracture in which he broke both his right tibia and fibula in November of 2018. Many thought he would never play again, but Smith came back this season to play in eight games, starting six.
He went 5-1, leading the Washington Football Team to the postseason. He wasn’t great, but considering his injury, what he did on the field was nothing short of incredible. The NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year, Smith completed 66.7 percent of his passes for 1,582 yards, six touchdowns and eight interceptions. When news broke the WFT was planning on releasing him, NFL insider Ian Rapoport went on the record saying the Bears would be the most logical landing spot, particularly considering Smith’s time with Nagy in Kansas City.
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Smith Would Likely Be Backup if Bears Sign Him
Considering his age (36) and injury history coupled with the team’s needs, Smith would likely fill a backup role in Chicago. With Nick Foles already there, though, adding Smith to the mix would be interesting. Here’s what Bears Twitter had to say about it:
Chicago could certainly afford Smith, who would be the perfect mentor to a young/rookie — and Pace wouldn’t rule out moving up in the draft to secure a quarterback. “Really right now for us, everything is on the table in regard to the quarterback situation and honestly that includes players on our current roster, that includes free agency, trade, the draft and a combination of all those. So, we have a plan in place and now it’s about executing that plan,” Pace said.
We’ll know soon enough whether that plan includes Smith at all, but after Tuesday, it’s clear Nagy still values the veteran quarterback.