When the Chicago Bears traded for Nick Foles in the spring, it made sense to a lot of people. The 31-year old veteran had championship-winning experience and loads of connections to the coaching staff. Including head coach Matt Nagy from their year together in Kansas City. The Bears believe they’re a solid QB away from making a run at a championship. Foles has the hardware to back up his case.
Despite the setbacks from an offseason ravaged by COVID-19, most experts remain steadfast in their belief Foles will be the starting QB. While else would the Bears trade a 4th round pick and give up millions of dollars for him? Teams almost never do that for backups. The logic makes perfect sense. Foles has had a ton of success in the type of offense the Bears run. He could be Nagy’s missing piece.
Except one executive isn’t so sure. Mike Sando of The Athletic was cautioned that a big reason Foles had success in 2017 was the Eagles adjusted their offense away from what they usually did. Something that Nagy might not be prepared to imitate.
“You can win with him, but everything has to be right and you have to play his type of offense,” a personnel director said. “You saw what they did with him when they won the Super Bowl with the Eagles. They went back to Chip Kelly’s offense a little bit, a lot of read-option, play-action off the read option and threw it when they had to throw it. If he has to throw it every down, you are going to lose games.”
Matt Nagy must resist his urge to have Nick Foles sling it
It’s an interesting point and not an entirely invalid one. In his career, Foles has thrown the ball 40 times or more in 13 games. He is 4-9 in those games with a passer rating of 84.02. This is a big concern. Why? The tendencies Nagy showed last season. He has a bad habit of letting his play calling get pass-happy. Mitch Trubisky topped 40 or more passing attempts five times in 2019.
If that Nagy shows up again this year, then he and Foles aren’t going to mesh nearly as well as people hoped. Perhaps this is why he revamped his coaching staff. Adding guys like Bill Lazor and Juan Castillo seem to have a specific objective in mind. Improve the Bears’ run blocking. The offense had a miserable time moving guys off the ball last year, especially in run-pass option situations. Both men have track records of success at improving that.
This could be an indication Nagy wants to run it more. While some may disagree, the coach wasn’t wrong when he said he’s not an idiot. If he is going to keep his job, he has to do everything in his power to make his quarterback a success. If that ends up being Foles, then he already has the blueprint.