Every time it seems like the reports of how bad Matt Nagy’s offense was last year couldn’t get any worse, another quote comes along to top it. Justin Fields took multiple turns mentioning how difficult it was. Cole Kmet couldn’t avoid the subject. Anybody that played in it couldn’t help but admit in roundabout ways that Nagy never had a firm idea of what he was doing. Yet somehow, Darnell Mooney may have topped them all.
Friday’s practice at Halas Hall was one of the toughest yet. Several players admitted it was exhausting. Coaches wanted to stress them mentally and physically. That job was accomplished. One of the things the offense worked on extensively was getting Fields out of the pocket on scrambles. When those situations happened, receivers and tight ends were required to scramble too, searching for open space to help the quarterback make a play. It might seem like an obvious drill to practice with somebody like Fields.
That is until Mooney dropped this bomb.
It is honestly difficult to wrap your head around a line like that. Nagy had one of the most mobile quarterbacks in the NFL. Making plays outside the pocket is one of his greatest strengths. One would think a top priority in practice every day is practicing scramble drills to take advantage of it. From what Mooney is saying, that never happened. The coaches basically hung their quarterback out to dry if a play broke down.
The stats make it look even worse. Fields had a 138.5 passer rating on designed rollouts last season and a 90.5 passing grade outside the pocket over his final five starts.
Darnell Mooney and the receivers must’ve felt helpless.
Nagy’s job was to help his quarterback in every way possible. By all accounts, he didn’t do that. He ran the same offense regardless of who was under center. It was his way or no way. It is little wonder with such a rigid structure that things constantly fell apart every week. All defenses had to do was stop a play from going as intended, and the Bears’ rigid offensive structure would take care of the rest.
Another is a growing list of reasons Darnell Mooney and everybody else in that building is better off with Nagy gone. Now everything is working towards helping Fields rather than hindering him. Practicing scramble drills should only make his mobility and accuracy on the run that much more dangerous.