Justin Fields Accidentally Trashes Matt Nagy’s Play Calling During Presser

Oct 3, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy and Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) before the game against the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears offense badly needed to bounce back after their rough outing in Cleveland last week. It always helps when the Detroit Lions come to town. They were just the elixir the team needed, especially Justin Fields. The rookie looked so much better in this game, connecting on 11-of-17 passes for 209 yards. It included four plays of 20 yards or more. His lone blemish was an interception off a deflection. The first sign of legitimate progress for him.

Part of that success came courtesy of an adjustment on the coaching front. Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor took over play calling duties from head coach Matt Nagy. The second time this has happened since the middle of the 2020 season. It’s difficult to argue with the results. Fields looked better throwing the ball and the team ran for over 180 yards. When asked about the change, the young quarterback liked what he saw from Lazor. In the middle of the answer though?

He may have inadvertently fired a shot at Nagy.

It feels like Fields may have offered an inside look at what Nagy’s biggest problem is. An inability to focus. One of the biggest problems for somebody pulling double duty as head coach and play caller is their attention can be pulled in so many different directions. Not everybody is equipped to handle that sort of responsibility. From what he is saying, Nagy has a bad tendency to lose his focus during offensive drives.

This may go a long way in explaining the problems that persisted with the Bears’ offense. Things like the inability to get plays in on time, leading to a constant burning of timeouts or delay of games. Erratic substitutions and sometimes just not recognizing the situations. Most presume this is merely because Nagy is dumb. From what Fields is saying, it might be because he lacks the ability to compartmentalize his thoughts when calling plays.

Justin Fields is out of Nagy’s hands now

The head coach made it clear all offensive decisions still run through him though. That is fine. He runs the entire show. It is apparent the man isn’t happy about giving up the call sheet. Yet that is something that needed to happen. Not just for the benefit of Fields and the offense, but the entire team. It was obvious players were getting irritated from how ineffective that side of the ball was.

Nagy needed to make a decision. Cling to play calling or let somebody else try to jumpstart the offense. With jobs becoming more and more on the line each week, the man was smart enough to recognize reality. He made the sacrifice, letting Lazor take over. He can be upset about it. What matters is it makes Justin Fields play better. That happening is a surefire way for everybody to keep their jobs.

He isn’t out of the woods yet though.

While Lazor is clearly an upgrade over Nagy, he still may not be the guy who can truly unlock what Fields can do. These next three games against Las Vegas, Green Bay, and Tampa Bay will likely determine whether this coaching staff is capable of elevating him against credible opponents. If not? Then changes should be expected this coming offseason.

SOURCE© Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports
Educated to be a writer at the prestigious Columbia College in Chicago, Erik has spent the past 10 years covering the Bears.