One thing people learn watching professional sports? Those involved with them tend to be a pretty superstitious bunch. Hockey players won’t touch conference championship trophies for fear of bad luck. Baseball players believe lending a bat to a teammate is a jinx. The list goes on and on. Apparently, Matt Nagy is no different from those guys.
The Chicago Bears head coach understands better than anybody it’s tough to win in the NFL. That makes his 25-13 record since arriving in 2018 all the more impressive. He feels this team is capable of going far. They certainly have the defense. Offensively? It hasn’t been pretty but there’s enough talent to get better.
Nagy sat down with Bears play-by-play man Jeff Joniak to discuss the state of the team on the Bears Coaches Show. The coach made it clear he knows there is work to do but he is beyond excited about what they’ve accomplished so far. However, when it came to discussing the possibilities of perhaps playing a game in February? Nagy froze.
It was beyond entertaining to hear him dodge saying the actual words.
Joniak referenced how the Bears might be benefitting from how the early season has played out. Specifically their ability to win tight games. None of their victories to this stage have exceeding seven points. The coach seems to think this could help them down the line. Maybe even when they make their push to “that deal at the end.”
Matt Nagy needs to trademark that phrase immediately
If the 2018 slogan was “Be Obsessed” then 2020 needs to be “Win The Deal At The End.” Jokes aside, it’s clear Nagy has no intention of angering the football gods by assuming this team is winning a Super Bowl. He isn’t that dumb or short-sighted. The Bears are good but they are also a work-in-progress. One that is still trying to find out who they are and what they can be.
Being 5-1 amidst this identity search is a great thing. It’s only a matter of time before things get figured out. When that happens, a good team could get even better. Until then there is a long way to go in this season and Nagy will not get caught looking ahead. It remains one game at a time until further notice.
This upcoming stretch could be the biggest test of the season.
In order, the Bears will play the 4-2 Los Angeles Rams, the 3-2 New Orleans Saints, and the 5-0 Tennessee Titans. Two of those teams beat the Bears last season in convincing fashion and the other is built to exploit one of their biggest weaknesses (the run defense). It’s going to take a total team effort to navigate that stretch with any degree of success.
They’ve played the underdog all season and that doesn’t figure to change. Perhaps it will if they get through the next month with a few more victories. Nagy has the utmost confidence they can get there. This group is starting to believe, and teams who believe in themselves are hard to beat.