What went wrong with the Chicago Bears last season? Plenty of things. One issue that seemed most persistent was how often the team seemed to be out-physicaled a little too often by other teams. The Bears just seemed to play more passive. They lacked that edge and sense of urgency they’d had during the 2018 season. Perhaps a byproduct of coming into the year thinking all they’d done would simply repeat. Matt Nagy admitted to this at various points.
As always, the NFL has a way of humbling people. The Bears were punched in the mouth numerous times, lost some tough games in heartbreaking fashion, and ended up 8-8. So it appears the head coach is planning to approach training camp with a sterner mindset this time around. With no preseason to help him, Nagy has plans to take off the leash in practices.
That means more live tackling. More competition. He wants his guys to play with energy. If certain players can’t handle the demand, then they will have no place on the 2020 Bears.
“We want to be smart on this process, but there’s that balance of having that physicality, that we’re going to be — we’re going to freakin’ get after it in this training camp. So mindset-wise, when we’re going and we strap it up and go live and we hit and tackle, there’s going to be a mindset that we’re going to be a tough football team.”
Matt Nagy gave his players a chance to do it their way
It felt like in 2019 Nagy didn’t police the players quite as much. He wasn’t on them constantly. Not because he was negligent but more because he trusted them to care about the details themselves. A respect they’d earned from how they played the year before. It didn’t work. Too many mistakes were made. Little things weren’t accounted for and as a result the team kept looking inferior to the better teams in the league.
Players from other teams even came out and openly stated they didn’t feel the Bears are a physical enough team to win a championship. By the sound of it, Nagy doesn’t disagree. So he plans to build himself a much tougher unit this season. A classic Bears type of team. Even if they lose games this year, they will make the opposing team pay a physical toll.