When the dust settled on the Chicago Bears’ lack of an effort on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, finger pointing was abundant. Everyone had a finger to point, or at least, from the outside.
The media has had a field day (no pun intended) with head coach Matt Nagy since the Bears displayed an embarrassing offensive output in Week 3.
There are theories all over the place. One, in particular, has Nagy’s actions as either negligent or intentional. If you ask ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky, that’s what he saw with Nagy’s game plan for the rookie. Justin Fields had no shot with the way his head coach called plays against the Browns.
Plenty of other opinions dominated Bears headlines to start the week, including that of another former pro quarterback, David Carr. The former no. 1 overall pick and current NFL Network analyst had a pretty powerful statement in regards to Nagy’s coaching on Sunday.
The Chicago Bears’ offensive line is no excuse for Matt Nagy when it comes to game planning around Justin Fields.
Going back to the finger pointing just a little bit, it’s easy to put some blame on the offensive line. In fact, it’s justified. The offensive line was quite horrendous against the Browns, but that only matters to a certain extent.
What Carr was trying to say is that there have been plenty of bad offensive lines trying to protect good quarterbacks over the years. With a sound play caller, that offensive line only matters so much. Going back to a guy like Aaron Rodgers earlier in his career, he played with some poor offensive lines at times.
In 2012, the Packers had one of the worst lines in football, yet the Packers still finished atop the division at 11-5 and Rodgers threw for nearly 4,300 yards, 39 touchdowns and just eight interceptions.
Or, consider Russell Wilson as an example — a more similar skill set to Fields than Rodgers. Wilson voiced his frustration over getting hit a few months back, which ultimately led to all of the trade rumors we saw flying around. Wilson gets hit more than any other quarterback in football. In nine years, Wilson has been sacked nearly 44 times per season — the most by any quarterback since the 1970 merger.
Still, he remains one of the best quarterbacks in football because of how Pete Carroll’s offense tailors to his strengths.
Anyone putting the majority of the blame on the offensive line this week should take a step back and listen to what Carr is trying to say in the above clip. Offensive line is important, but so is scheme. Protection sets are equally as important, especially with a rookie quarterback. As we’ve probably all seen by now, Fields was given just 5-man protection on two thirds of his drop backs against the Browns.
If that’s not setting him up for failure, I don’t know what is.
The Bears have a coach who must take accountability for his actions, or else he’ll be shown the door much quicker than some think. Offensive line is not an excuse for an abysmal scheme or failing to call the right protection as a head coach. Nagy should take the brunt of the blame, no matter what.