Chicago Bears: Can New Head Coach Matt Nagy Bring Magic to Offense?

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 19: Mitch Trubisky
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 19: Mitch Trubisky /

For the Chicago Bears and their 2018 season, it’s once again back to the drawing board. One week after the firing of head coach John Fox, the Bears announced the hiring of new head coach Matt Nagy. Three consecutive losing seasons under Fox’s watch brought this coaching change into effect, and now prompt improvement is expected.

Nagy is a 39-year-old, who has been a coach in the NFL since 2008. Throughout his tenure in the league, Nagy has worked under Andy Reid. First, Nagy was an intern with the Philadelphia Eagles with Reid, and eventually became their offensive quality control coach. When Reid left Philly to coach the Kansas City Chiefs 2013, Nagy followed and was given the role of quarterbacks coach. Later, Nagy was promoted to offensive coordinator.

As the Chiefs’ OC in 2017, Nagy was given control of the play calling midway during the year, and Kansas City ended the regular season with a four-game winning streak, averaging 28.0 points per game during that span.

Currently, there are six head coaches (including Nagy) in the NFL who have worked as assistants under Reid. The other five are Todd Bowles (New York Jets), John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens), Sean McDermott (Buffalo Bills), Doug Pederson (Eagles), and Ron Rivera (Carolina Panthers).

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The main reason Nagy was brought to the Windy City is to give life to the Bears’ stagnant offense. Chicago’s running game hasn’t been a problem. It’s the air attack that needs work. In 2017, the Bears’ passing game was ranked dead last in the NFL, and their total offense was 30th in the league. On the other hand, the Chiefs’ were fifth in total offense and seventh in passing with Nagy as their offensive coordinator.

According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Nagy will be the initial play caller for Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. If the success from the Chiefs’ offense carries over to Chicago, then the Bears could have one of the biggest turnarounds from 2017 to 2018.

Another thing that can bring excitement to Bears fans is the fact that Kansas City had some of the most productive offensive players in the league under Nagy in 2017. Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith was the eighth-leading passer in the league with 4,042 yards, and had a QB rating of 104.7. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill was the seventh-leading receiver in the NFL with 1,183 yards, while Travis Kelce’s 83 receptions and 1,038 yards were first and second among all tight ends respectively.

If Trubisky’s sophomore campaign comes close to Smith’s 2017 season, if tight end Adam Shaheen gets just as involved in the offense as Kelce was, and if any of the Bears’ main receivers stay healthy long enough to play an entire season, then Chicago’s offense could be good enough to complement their already solid defense (assuming Vic Fangio remains as defensive coordinator).

The Nagy era in Chicago is officially underway. Great things are expected offensively, and the Bears could be one or two pieces away from completing their winning puzzle.