GM Ryan Pace remains in charge. That means the Chicago Bears roster is still his to do with as he wishes. Control of the final 53 for the 2018 season will rest on his shoulders. However, make no mistake. The Matt Nagy hire is going to alter things. In particular how Pace approaches the draft. Coaches have certain priorities when it comes to personnel. Nagy is not John Fox. Pace prides himself on collaborative efforts, so what can we expect?
Looking back over the past three years it became clear that the Bears tended to favor two positions during the Fox era. One was running back and the other was safety. Being a defensive coach it would make sense Fox favored a strong stable of backs. Chicago added Jeremy Langford, Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen respectively.
It’s also important to remember that way back when Fox was a defensive backs coach. So favoring safeties made sense as well with Adrian Amos, Deon Bush, DeAndre Houston-Carson and Eddie Jackson being new additions. Nagy though is not Fox. In fact he’s nothing like Fox. They come from completely different backgrounds and that will change things in the draft.
Matt Nagy hire could lead to heavier emphasis up front
John Mullin of CSN Chicago made an interesting point in regards to the draft situation. Nagy comes from the Andy Reid school. It’s been drilled into him over the past 10 years that nothing is more important to invest in for an offensive head coach than the offensive line.
— John Mullin (@moonmullinNBCS) January 12, 2018
Indeed it’s true. Between 2009 and 2017 with the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs, Reid’s teams have drafted a whopping 16 offensive linemen. Five of them ended up going in the first four rounds.
It’s hard to argue with the results. From 2008 to 2016, the Eagles and Chiefs produced a top 10 scoring offense seven times. It’s not always glamorous but constant investment in the offensive line coupled with an offensive head coach tends to get results. The Dallas Cowboys are another team that has proven this theory over the past few years.
The Bears hiring Harry Hiestand as their new offensive line coach adds to this idea of taking that area seriously. He is one of the best in the business and will help them identify quality linemen in the draft. That includes potential first round picks Quenton Nelson and Mike McGlinchey whom he groomed personally at Notre Dame.
Above anything else this represents a likelihood that everything will be about controlling the line of scrimmage moving forward.