How Jim Nagy improved the Senior Bowl…
He overhauled the Senior Bowl when he took over in 2018. He treated it as more than just a game. He built an actual scouting staff to identify the best talent to invite to the game. That system has helped 186 players get drafted.
He and his scouts scour all of college football to bring in the best talent for one game. Yet, Jim Nagy understands this game is more than just talent show for other NFL teams.
"“It’s really a big job because we’re a steward to the NFL and we try to build those rosters for the 32 teams and I take that responsibility very seriously.”"
In turn, it has made him a well connected man in NFL circles—something the Chicago Bears could use.
He took a game that was thought of as just a one-day talent showcase to a week long event that has interactive fan events and conferences to help develop NFL staff.
Jim Nagy had a vision for just one game and turned into something more. A big picture thinker and implementing new ideas like Jim Nagy is someone the Chicago Bears could use.
He is willing to go against conventional thinking.
He shared a lot of his experience and thoughts on identifying talent on The No Name Podcast with former Chicago Bears players Olin Kreutz and Jason McKie.
"“If you scout long enough if you’ve been around the game long enough, watch the tape and identifying a player and what he does well and breaking down speed, instincts, and everything [to determine] if the guy is a good football player or not, I think that teams can nail that part of it pretty good.” “The hard part is digging in deep and what makes why you guys [Olin and Jason) stayed in the league so long and be successful for so long. It is not about the talent.” “I always think in the NFL there is a like an 80% middle ground where like 80% of the league is one guy in terms of physical talent. There is that elite, elite class. That top five to ten percent. Those guys are just different. They are just different dudes.” “Then there is that is bottom 10% that just constantly recycles [through] on practice squads or back end of rosters until they find that right opportunity to make it happen” “The separators are study habits, work habits, passion for the game, toughness, competitiveness, all those things that make a guy a pro.”"
Jim Nagy would be bringing in a new perspective of going about finding players.
It would not just be all about looking at the film and the measurable items like a 40-yard dash time or how many times a guy can bench 225 pounds. Instead, it would be adding in those extra elements that he described when it comes to identifying players to build a competitive roster. Jim Nagy detailed ion the No Name Podcast how he does that…
"“You got to find out all the stuff. There are different levels of sourcing. All these people in a [college program] building see these guys through a different lens.” “The coordinator and the position coach are going to see the meat and potatoes, nuts and bolts football stuff.” “Academic people are great sources. A lot of guys don’t like school. A lot of us didn’t like school [when we were playing] but we knew what we had to do to take care of business. I never liked a guy that the academic staff had to chase down all the time and walked to class and assign a grad assistant to. There are parts of being in the NFL, part of all of our jobs we don’t like doing, but you shouldn’t have to have your hand held to do it.” “You go to the equipment guys. [You ask them], how high maintenance are these guys? Is this the dude coming in for new cleats or special socks or some of that high-maintenance crap no one wants to deal with it?”"
Jim Nagy is not perfect, but he is better than Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace.
His time as a head scout in Kansas City did not yield great results. He even admitted his mistake at Kansas City by not drafting Russell Wilson and what he learned from that.
Jim Nagy has an understanding of finding talent and learning from failure. That would be the complete opposite of what the Bears have running the team now in team president and CEO Ted Phillips or Pace.