GM Ryan Pace has lost the faith of many Chicago Bears fans lately. This due in large part to the growing reality that he, like several of his predecessors, has failed to solve the quarterback problem for this franchise. One that dates back several decades. Mitch Trubisky is inching closer and closer to becoming one of the biggest busts at the position in franchise history. Possibly mentioned in the same breath as Cade McNown and Rex Grossman. Why should people trust he can somehow fix it at this point? A simple answer is he has Matt Nagy.
Through his first several seasons in charge, Pace was operating entirely on his own in regards to the quarterback situation. He had his front office staff but got little to no help from the coaches. John Fox had never drafted a quarterback of note in his entire career as a head coach and had a deep defensive background. His right-hand man Dowell Loggains was a QB expert but had no proven track record at correctly drafting the position.
Among the picks he’d been part of prior to joining the Bears included Vince Young, Jake Locker, and Johnny Manziel. Pace was a man on an island when he took Trubisky in 2017 and it was a failure. Next time though he’d have Nagy by his side. That might not seem like a great comfort to some, but rest assured. It should be.
Matt Nagy got a first-rate education at draftings QBs
The best thing about Nagy is not just that he himself is a former quarterback. It’s that he got an education from one of the best QB evaluators in NFL history in Andy Reid. This is a man who as a head coach has had profound success in the draft when it comes to that position. His first big hit came way back in 1999 when he secured Donovan McNabb out of Syracuse. A man who became a six-time Pro Bowler.
Nagy though wasn’t around for that one. His first experience with the process and how Reid evaluates the position came in 2012 when the Eagles picked a tall, skinny kid out of Arizona named Nick Foles. While not a complete prospect in some aspects, there were certain traits that stuck out. Traits that would come to define every Reid quarterback.
“While not the most athletic quarterback, he is aware in the pocket to avoid pressure and has a good sense of how and when to extend a play to his advantage. As a deep passer he has strength but can struggle with accuracy at times. His accuracy is evident in his short to intermediate throws, where he can put it right on a receiver or lead him fluidly in stride.”
Five years later, another big fish was reeled in.
The Chiefs traded up in the 2017 draft to secure Texas Tech standout Patrick Mahomes. While he was a considerably different player than Foles in several aspects like mobility, he did exhibit two key traits that stuck out. Traits that have proven invaluable to his immediate NFL success.
“Accuracy has improved in each season since his freshman year. Naturally accurate in his every day throws. Comfortable challenging defenders in space…Has pocket mobility to escape pressure and the poise to extend plays and find alternate targets.”
Is it any coincidence that Trubisky has shown neither consistent accuracy or pocket poise during his NFL career to this point. In fact, some experts warned that he lacked the second key factor coming out in 2017.
“Trubisky will have to become much more pocket aware and do a better job of recognizing and attacking blitzes to back NFL defensive coordinators off.”
It can’t be a coincidence that this exact concern has reared its ugly head so many times in 2019 alone. This is where Nagy’s background and his education from Reid could prove invaluable to Pace who has clearly struggled at identifying the position during his time running the team. If the Bears decide to make a run at a rookie in 2020, their odds are at least improved from where they were two years ago.