Matt Nagy has remained steadfast and positive throughout a tough stretch of his coaching career. One that has seen everything he thought he knew about football get turned completely upside down. Especially when it comes to his offense. This is the system he brought over from Kansas City. A system that has won two of the last three Super Bowls. He knows it works. Variations of it have worked for decades.
So why isn’t it working in Chicago? People have theories. A lot of them center on Nagy’s general running of the system. Too many times it looks like he lacks any sort of plan from one series to the next. Or even one play to the next. His personnel usage is questionable and his clock management is even worse. This is why many in the media and fanbase are urging him to give somebody else a chance to run the show.
An idea the 41-year old has resisted up to this point.
One person though who kind of saw this coming was Olin Kreutz. While he acknowledges that Nagy has his issues calling plays, it doesn’t really matter. Why? He explained his reasoning to Red Line Radio in a recent interview.
“You think about the madness of saying, ‘Look, I know we had the 29th-ranked offense. I know the offensive line is our biggest problem but all we’ll do is switch out coaches. We won’t really upgrade the offensive line’s talent. We won’t put any explosive players on offense that needs explosive players to be successful. Then what we’ll do is go into the season and we’ll act shocked when this doesn’t work.’ So I’m not shocked the offense doesn’t work.”
This is a point that people can stray away from a lot. All things considered, the Bears offensive personnel didn’t change much from last season. They fielded just two new starters on opening day. The biggest changes came instead on the coaching staff.
“…You double down on your scheme with the Chiefs because you look at DeFilippo and especially Castillo, you’re saying my scheme works but these other guys didn’t know how to coach it. So you get into the season. You have basically the same guys. You didn’t really upgrade your talent.”
It’s hard to argue.
The staff saw way more turnover than the actual roster. The only two notable additions in free agency were Jimmy Graham and Germain Ifeid. Both of whom haven’t moved the needle. Meanwhile, GM Ryan Pace spent $70 million to bring in Robert Quinn hoping to upgrade a defense that really didn’t need a ton of help. This way of thinking has plagued the Bears for a long time.
Matt Nagy enflames the problem rather than helps it
Now there are a lot of coaches out where who can adjust to issues like this. They find a way to work around the talent deficiencies and still produce a relatively average offense. Nagy is not one of those coaches. If he doesn’t have the horses in place? It becomes apparent almost right away that he lacks the flexibility to adjust. That isn’t for a lack of trying. He had some I-formation stuff in 2019 and moved to more outside-zone running and under center early this year.
Yet the man never really stuck with either. Why? Put simply that’s not who he is. That is not what he was raised up in the NFL to do. Remember Matt Nagy has the credo of “Be You.” He believes that by staying true to himself as a coach and play-caller that things will eventually work out. Except it’s never that simple in the NFL. Like any sport, it is still a talent-based business.
If you don’t adapt to the players available, the system isn’t going to work. Nagy is proving this true. He wants to run what he did in Kansas City. The problem is he doesn’t have any of the weapons, protection, or quarterbacks he had in Kansas City. That lack of understanding is killing his team. No help is walking through the doors at Halas Hall too.
So either he sucks it up and makes whatever changes he must, or he gives the system over to somebody who can.