NBA legend and current analyst Charles Barkley is no fan of the way Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy has been handling his business in the Windy City. The 11-time NBA All-Star appeared on ESPN 1000’s Waddle and Silvy last week, and he discussed everything from his gambling successes (or lack thereof) to the current state of affairs in Chicago.
When Barkley was asked about Nagy’s handling of both the defense — which he called out publicly after the team’s fifth straight loss last week — and quarterback Mitch Trubisky, as usual, he didn’t mince words.
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Charles Barkley on Matt Nagy Calling Out Defense: ‘You Can’t Do That Publicly’
When the Bears lost their fifth straight to Green Bay last week, Nagy decided to call out the defense — by far his team’s strongest unit — singling them out specifically.
“Our guys, they need to understand where we’re coming from with that and how we feed off of them as a defense. They’ve done a hell of a job all year long, but yesterday was not where we need to be,” Nagy said last week, adding: “Yesterday was flat-out embarrassing … Have some personal pride. Have a freaking sense of urgency … that’s not who we are in particular as a defense.”
The Bears and their defense responded by losing their sixth in a row in humiliating fashion to the Detroit Lions last week, giving up a 90+ yard drive in the fourth quarter while losing their 10-point lead in the final two minutes. According to Barkley, Nagy made a huge faux pas when he singled his defense out in a public manner.
“No — you can’t do that publicly, because, listen — he’s (Nagy) got to take some responsibility for screwing up the whole quarterback scenario. That’s the elephant in the room. When your defense is as good as that team has been playing all year, when you totally, totally screw up the quarterback situation, now you want to throw them under the bus when things start going bad? That’s a disaster sitting right there, I’m telling you.“
Barkley then had some harsh words for how Nagy has handled — or, more to the point, mishandled — Mitch Trubisky.
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Barkley: Matt Nagy Has Ruined Trubisky’s Confidence
Barkley pointed out that Nagy was hired to help Trubisky blossom and grow. That hasn’t happened, and the former NBA great thinks he knows why. “You’ve got to make your quarterback serviceable, don’t you?” Barkley asked rhetorically, before making a blistering assessment of the Nagy-Trubisky relationship: “He’s given that kid zero confidence. He has snatched every ounce of confidence out of his soul.“
Barkley isn’t alone in his thinking that Nagy has limited and perhaps hindered his young quarterback. Pro Football Weekly’s Hub Arkush, who has been covering the Bears for decades, Tweeted the following Sunday:
Considering how things are going in Chicago at present, it won’t be a surprise if both Nagy and Trubisky have chances to rewrite their stories next season — with different teams.