Posted on January 8, 2018, by Bryan Zarpentine
The Chicago Bears are the latest team to fill their head coaching vacancy. The team announced Monday that Matt Nagy will be the team’s new head coach. Nagy will be formally announced at a news conference on Tuesday. He replaces John Fox, who coached the Bears through three losing seasons before he was fired immediately after the season. Nagy was hired after the Bears interviewed five other candidates. He emerged as their top choice after meeting with the team on Monday.
Nagy has spent the last five years with the Kansas City Chiefs. He spent three years as Kansas City’s quarterback coach. Nagy was then promoted to offensive coordinator for the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Before going to Kansas City in 2013, Nagy also served as an assistant under current Chiefs head coach Andy Reid with the Philadelphia Eagles from 2008 to 2012.
Nagy joins a long list of NFL head coaches who previously served as assistants under Reid. That list includes John Harbaugh, Doug Pederson, Sean McDermott, and Ron Rivera. In November, Reid publicly state that Nagy was the best head coaching prospect to ever work under him.
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The 39-year old Nagy started to emerge as a candidate for coaching vacancies after he took over play calling duties from Reid late in the season. After a midseason slump, the Chiefs won their final four regular season games, only to lose to the Titans in the Wild Card Round. Nevertheless, the Chiefs finished 6th in the NFL this year in points scored, averaging just under 26 points per game. They were even better late in the year after Nagy took over as the play caller.
After three years of a veteran defensive-minded coach like Fox, a young, offensive-minded coach like Nagy should be a breath of fresh air for the Bears. Obviously, he lacks experience as a head coach and has spent just two seasons as a coordinator. However, half of the coaches in this year’s playoffs have three years or less of head coaching experience.
The most important element of Nagy’s hire is his past work with quarterbacks. Since he began working with Alex Smith in Kansas City, Smith has been a Pro Bowler twice and helped the Chiefs reach the playoffs four times in five years. In Chicago, Nagy will be tasked with helping Mitchell Trubisky develop into an elite NFL quarterback.
Trubisky had plenty of promising moments during his rookie campaign. He completed 59% of his passes and threw for over 2,000 yards. However, he had just seven touchdown passes to go along with seven interceptions and 10 fumbles. With him as their starter for most of the seaosn, the Bears were one of the worst offensive teams in football, averaging just 16.5 points per game. In his defense, the Bears were lacking in established receivers, an area they’ll need to address this offseason.
Of course, time will only tell if Nagy was the right hire in Chicago. The Bears have quite a few problems that need to be addressed. If Nagy can get Trubisky on the right track, it’ll go a long way toward getting the Bears back to the playoffs for the first time since 2010. However, after Chicao has gone five straight seasons without finishing with a winning reocrd, Nagy faces an uphill battle as new head coach of the Bears.