Two things are interesting about the Chicago Bears’ head coach’s decision to give up playcalling.
Chicago Bears fans across the country — well most of them anyway — rejoiced when they heard the news break that head coach Matt Nagy was going to give up playcalling duties, starting with tonight’s Minnesota Viking’s game.
It is a move that many have been calling for to happen since last season, though the chorus has grown louder and louder with each embarrassingly bad offensive performance. It apparently got so loud that Nagy made the decision to do what’s best for the team and yield those duties to offensive coordinator Bill Lazor — or did he?
Look, Nagy mostly said the right things when asked about his decision to hand over responsibilities for the one thing he was brought here to do — call plays. However, there were two things that stuck out about the decision and how Nagy communicated it to the press.
The first thing that was curious was that he said anything at all. You may recall when asked about it after last week’s loss to the Tennessee Titans, Nagy indicated that if such a change was made he wouldn’t publicize it. The reason, he cited, was that he wouldn’t want to disclose that fact to the Vikings or other teams, for competitive advantage reasons.
So why the change of heart? Why was the competitive advantage so important a week ago, but not now?
Well, the answer may lie in the second thing that jumped out to me about this decision and that is in the manner in which Nagy communicated it to the media.
Speaking at his media Zoom session on Friday, Nagy said the following: “If our team can be better because of this move — and I don’t know that — but if we can, then darn it, that’s what we need to do.”
It may have been overlooked by some, but I thought the comment questioning whether it would work was enlightening. It almost feels as if the line “and I don’t know that” was very intentional. Perhaps Nagy feels the struggles on offense are due more to personnel than his playcalling. So is it at least possible that the true motivation behind this move was for Nagy to show the world that it’s not his playcalling? In other words, if Lazor fails to have success, then maybe it is a personnel or execution issue?
It is entirely possible I am reading too much into those comments, but it is at least food for thought.