Sunday, August 14, 2022

Erik Kramer Calls Bears Coaching Last Year “Grade School Level”


During his four-year stint with the Chicago Bears, Matt Nagy only had one losing season. It was far from the worst head coach tenure with this organization. However, some people can’t help but wonder how much of that success was his and how much was the good fortune of inheriting a strong roster. After all, most of the winning came from a strong defense which Nagy had little control over. Conversely, his offense was a constant source of frustration that never cracked the top 20. Last season may have finally exposed how ill-equipped the man was. Erik Kramer certainly saw it.

The former Bears quarterback played for several head coaches in his NFL career. Some were bad, like Marion Campbell and Dave Wannstedt, and others were good, like Wayne Fontes and Wally Buono. So he has a pretty good idea of whether players are getting good coaching. On the Kramer And Brill podcast with Brad Biggs, he revealed that what he watched last season wasn’t suitable for adults.

Or even teenagers.

“I was part of another podcast a couple (of) times last year based on the Bears and they had access to basically what amounts to coach’s video. And I was seeing at many positions, offense and defense, they were so poorly coached. It was almost like grade school level.

You have Roquan Smith running into the same gap that the defensive tackle took the easy way into himself. Just coaching-wise it’s got to be better. Cole Kmet? He probably learned in college don’t run down the middle of the field in Cover 2. You’re kind of running yourself into the backside safety.

I don’t know…I just think the coaching itself will be better and I think, like you said, they’ve kind of gotten rid of some contracts but the key people they still have are very good foundational, fundamentally sound players.”

Erik Kramer appreciates the change in approach by the Bears.

He loves that GM Ryan Poles is taking a more long-term outlook with this off-season. Expensive contracts were unloaded. Free agency was less about finding stars and more about improving depth. Then the team worked to secure 11 picks in the draft to lay a foundation for the future. He believes this is the best course of action that should yield results given some time. That is how it happened to him.

He arrived in 1993 with the Bears as a free agent. The offense was in shambles at the time. It took the new regime two years to restructure the depth chart and establish the new system. By 1995, Kramer was the starter and set the franchise record with 3,813 yards and 29 touchdowns. Justin Fields is significantly more talented than him. If Poles plays it the same way, this offense could be fearsome within the next two years.


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Gator Joe
Gator Joe
Jul 3, 2022 11:44 am

Yes. Erik Kramer. The guy who threw the ball out of bounds on 4th down while his team was behind so he didn’t risk throwing a pick. How I long for the Kramer days.

Jul 3, 2022 9:32 am

Wayne Fontes? Really

Mikey T
Mikey T
Jul 2, 2022 10:15 pm

First, kudos to you for knowing who Wally Buono is and that Kramer played for him. A lot of people overlook CFL coaches and the time players spend playing north of the border. Buono is an all time great football coach, so awesome work pointing it out.

Second, glad to hear yet another former player point out what we all saw with Nagy. Heck of a nice person, really bad football coach

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