Is the head coach of the Chicago Bears in way over his head? We examine that question in our latest.
Less than a year ago, everything was sunshine and rainbows for Matt Nagy, the head coach of the Chicago Bears. His team had just finished 12-4, won the division, and despite a heartbreaking loss in the first round of the playoffs, had high expectations for 2019.
Now, just nine games into this season, it’s fair to wonder if the reigning coach of the year is in over his head.
Last night’s debacle in Los Angeles in which the Monsters of the Midway lost to the Rams 17-7 in another lackluster offensive performance from a head coach billed and sold as an offensive genius.
While the team is averaging an anemic 262.7 total yards and a paltry 16.9 points per game, the unit’s putrid performance is not even the main reason why the question of whether he’s overwhelmed is a fair one.
That’s because there have been too many instances this year where Nagy has come across at best uninformed, and at worst, clueless. There have also been a number of instances where players have gone unchecked for behavior that should have been addressed by the man in charge.
Let’s take a look at some examples of each, starting with the former. You may recall the kicking debacle that came out of the Bears home loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, in which Eddy Pineiro admitted the ball was not spotted where he prefers to kick.
As bad as that was, what was more troubling was what followed in the discussion of that topic. As reporters began to ask, it became clear that the lines of communication during the game were not working. It was unclear who knew about Pineiro’s preference, and if someone did, whether they communicated it to the head coach. But irrespective of that, how does the head coach not now? And if he doesn’t, how does he not ask? I mean, it’s not as if he didn’t have a minute that he killed while waiting to kneel down right before the field goal attempt.
Then there was the mangled mess that was the management of Mitch’s hip injury. Nagy said after the game he learned of the injury just a few series before he was removed. However, after the game, it was revealed the Trubisky was evaluated for the injury at halftime. Yesterday, Nagy clarified he knew about the injury at halftime.
Again, if he didn’t know his quarterback was evaluated for an injury at halftime, how the heck does that even happen? If he did know, was he being elusive with the media? If so, why? It just seems like another instance in which he had no clue what was really happening but trying to shape the narrative after the fact.
Then there are the “undisciplined” type plays/actions that have gone unchecked, two of which came in Sunday night’s game.
After committing a pass interference penalty, having a pass bounce off his hands and subsequently intercepted, Anthony Miller engaged in some trash-talking with the opposing team for reasons that are still unclear.
That was shortly followed by Cordarrelle Patterson removing his helmet after a play resulting in a 15-yard penalty. The lack of discipline has been systemic this season and has been noticed by former Bear Alex Brown who had some harsh words for some on this team in the video above.
From a playcalling perspective Nagy has some work to do, but the foundation is there for him to overcome that — especially when he gets a more serviceable quarterback. However, if he continues to allow the Bears to demonstrate a lack of discipline, he’s going to end up re-establishing a culture he was brought here to change. And if he has any doubts as to how that will ultimately play out for him, he need only place a call to Marc Trestman to find out.