Former Jets and Bills head coach Rex Ryan has personal ties to the Chicago Bears. His father, Buddy Ryan, was the legendary defensive coordinator who shaped Chicago’s famed 1985 defense, so he grew up watching the Monsters of the Midway play. That could explain why Ryan, who currently works as an analyst for ESPN, has been so critical for current Bears head coach Matt Nagy.
On Monday’s episode of ESPN’s Get Up, Ryan, along with co-hosts Mike Greenberg, Dan Orlovsky and Ryan Clark, each took turns firing shots at Nagy, and Ryan also leveled some harsh criticism at veteran quarterback Nick Foles.
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Rex Ryan Thinks Matt Nagy Should Not Have Benched Mitch Trubisky
When discussing the Bears’ 24-17 Week 9 loss to the Tennessee Titans, Ryan began by throwing a less-than-flattering comparison at Foles.
“This is Blake Bortles all over again. The kid can’t win a game,” Ryan said about Foles. “Nick Foles is a phenomenal backup quarterback. But I got news for you. He’s not a starting quarterback. And how many times do we gotta say it? Look — they can’t run the football, he can’t throw it. He can’t move.”
Ryan then criticized Nagy for benching Mitch Trubisky. “Matt Nagy, you guys benched a guy that was 3-0 … Look, Matt Nagy was the Coach of the Year because of the way Mitchell Trubisky played … Don’t you understand? Apparently you don’t. There’s a difference between a starting quarterback in the league and a backup in the league, and you’re making a huge mistake by keeping this cat in there.”
Ryan may be giving Trubisky a bit more credit than he deserves for Chicago’s success in 2018 — that defense led by then-DC Vic Fangio was far more explosive than this unit is in 2020 — but he’s not wrong in his criticism of Foles, who has yet to spark Chicago’s offense in any way since Week 3.
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Ryan Clark, Dan Orlovsky Also Condemn Matt Nagy in Big Ways
Former NFL safety Ryan Clark and ex-Lions quarterback Dan Orlovsky also both blamed Matt Nagy for the Bears’ current offensive woes.
“This team is totally inept. You think about Matt Nagy and what he had in Mitchell Trubisky — he didn’t want to change the offense for him. He didn’t want to make sure he could succeed, so he says ‘you know what? I’m gonna get my guy. I’m gonna get Nick Foles and now I can do the things that I need to do and want to do with him.’ And we aren’t seeing him have success either,” Clark said. “We aren’t seeing Matt Nagy put in the type of plays, put in the things schematically that allow Nick Foles to excel. So at some point, we need to look at this team and say you know what? Offensively, it’s not just the players’ fault, it’s also on the head coach. It’s also on the quarterback guru, on the guy that studied under Andy Reid. And here’s what I know about Andy Reid: No matter who they had at quarterback, that dude played well.”
“Matt Nagy as a coach in the NFL is a failure because he can’t teach,” Dan Orlovsky added, also mentioning Nagy’s ineptitude when it comes to making adjustments based on the personnel he has.
For Ryan, though, the worst part about Chicago’s three-game losing skid and the 29th-ranked offense they’re trodding out is this: “Here’s the thing: They’re ruining what I think is the most talented defense in the National Football League. I’m not saying they’re playing the best [but] I believe they’re the most talented — and they’re ruining it with this offense.”
Ryan has a valid point there. At the start of the 2020 season, the Bears were the second-oldest team in the NFL. They need to win now in order to get the best years out of a defense featuring the likes of Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks and Eddie Jackson, and with their current offense, that’s simply not a reality.
You can watch the segment of Get Up below: