Chicago Bears: Stat shows complexity of Matt Nagy’s offense

Chicago Bears (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears offense is highly complex, and one particular stat seems to back that up.

When the Chicago Bears hired Matt Nagy away from the Kansas City Chiefs, there was a palpable buzz throughout the city. As the offensive coordinator under Andy Reid, the Chiefs offense flourished and their then-quarterback Alex Smith, had a career year.

The thought of bringing a dynamic offense to Chicago to align with a young quarterback drafted No. 2 overall, had fans giddy.

While there was great enthusiasm, it was not unbridled, for fans also understood expectations had to be tempered. The reality was that, although he was a top-two pick, Mitchell Trubisky had very little experience, having only started one season in college, and 12 wasted games under NFL relic John Fox.

How Trubisky adjusted to what was widely believed to be a complex offense with new personnel at the skill positions, was going to go a long way in determining the team’s success in Nagy’s first year.

All things considered, Trubisky did exceedingly well. While some may have hoped for more progress, they have to understand the level of complexity associated with what Nagy does. That point was underscored this week when Next Gen Stats tweeted out the number of personnel groupings some NFL teams used over the past two seasons. There were two very interesting takeaways.

First, the Bears utilized the most with 32 unique personnel groupings. Now I’m going to go out on a limb and say although these numbers apparently include 2017, the majority of those were attributable to Nagy. In second place were the New Orleans Saints and Baltimore Ravens, each tied with 30.

Think about that — Trubisky, with his limited experience — was involved in more personnel groupings than veteran Drew Brees, who is one of the best to ever play the game. Now think of all of the variables and offshoots to the different personnel groupings and how pre-snap events could dictate what the quarterback needs to do. In short, Trubisky drank from the firehose and seems to have digested that complexity really well.

Second, the Chiefs utilized the second-fewest unique personnel groupings with a total of 12. Why is that interesting? Because obviously, folks want to compare Nagy to Reid since he coached under him in both Philadelphia and Kansas City. However, what this shows us is that in reality, Nagy’s offense is in many ways, different than Reid’s. Nagy seems to be taking some of Reid’s basic concepts and putting his own spin on them.

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This should be extremely encouraging for fans, as it shows that he isn’t just regurgitating old plays and concepts, which he would eventually run out of. Instead, it shows he is really an innovative offensive mind and will continue to put his stamp on this team in the future. Who knows, someday we may be talking about other coaches running a “Matt Nagy style” offense.