Matt Nagy checks a lot of boxes that teams look for in a head coach. His players love him. He appears to be a true leader of men. He accepts responsibility when things go wrong and are willing to change when that happens. To date, he’s yet to have a losing record but it’s hard not to feel like the Chicago Bears head coach was exposed in a number of ways last season.
His offensive system, one of the primary reasons he was hired, looked almost completely stymied. Now, this wasn’t entirely his fault. The quarterback play was inconsistent at best. Injuries were a persistent issue and the offensive blocking was atrocious. At the same time, he was guilty of highly questionable play calling and an inability to adjust.
There were also concerns about his game preparation. Too often the Bears seemed to come out flat in games against good opponents. See the first Packers game, the Eagles game, the Saints game, and the Chiefs game for examples. This leads one to wonder about his attention to detail. Something that could prove vital this year due to how COVID-19 is impacting the entire process.
Jay Glazer of the Athletic explained.
“You’re certainly going to learn how people react in crisis because there’s going to be a lot of instances this year where coaches are going to have to react on the fly. They are going to have to think of things proactively, just in case. In certain situations, owners and GMs are going to see their coaches rise up, and it will expose those who don’t react quickly enough.
The great coaches have a plan for everything…Obviously, this season is set to occur during an incredibly unique and unprecedented time, and as a result, it will really shine a light on who knows how to think outside of the box and react quickly.”
The good news is the Matt Nagy perception might not be true
Something to remember about football though is that perception of a person isn’t always reality. People might think Nagy can get lax on details. This just isn’t true. Past history suggests it goes the other way. He can sometimes obsess on the details. He took copious notes of Andy Reid’s speeches and their reasoning when he was an assistant in Kansas City. Then when he took over the Bears, he’d bring note cards with him to team meetings so he’d always know which topics to cover.
One look at his original play sheets during games showed a massive list of plays. Proving he had all sorts of ideas on how to attack defenses. Those play sheets had to be shaved down over time though due to the limitations of his quarterback situation.
Nagy has said himself that the team slipped a little too much on details last season. That isn’t going to happen this time. He’s reportedly been on top of everything, making plans for how to handle a training camp in a COVID-19 world. Is what he’s doing enough? The Bears are about to find out.