The Hall of Fame game gave us a great glimpse into how Matt Nagy can schematically improve the offense
Without Mitchell Trubisky and company it is hard to take much away from the Hall of Fame game and equate it to the regular season. However, one thing that stuck out like a sore thumb throughout the night was how apparent it was that this offense was going be different from a play-calling standpoint.
Let’s keep in mind that Matt Nagy was likely bringing some vanilla stuff. The Hall of Fame game was his first game as head coach and play caller. He had some issues to work out as well. However, the two plays noted below are plays that would never be dreamed up in the John Fox, Dowell Loggains regime.
First, we see a simple stretch run to the outside. However, Matt Nagy dresses this play, takes all of the simplicity out of it, and turns a first down run into a dash for yards in the open field.
Notice the receiver, and off of the line blocker to the left of Benny Cunningham. The two dart right as if one is lead blocking and the other is running a reverse.
More from Bear Goggles On
- Franchise tag and transition tag windows open for Chicago Bears and NFL
- How the Chicago Bears can control the running back market in 2023
- The Chicago Bears can own the city of Chicago moving forward
- Chicago Bears NFL Combine Preview: Quarterback
- 7 best free agent tackle options for Chicago Bears
Now notice the deep safety at the top of the screen follow the two, and ultimately expose that opening that Cunningham took advantage of for a big run. That run was all Matt Nagy.
In 2017, Michael Burton caught two passes over 16 regular season games. While this is not to say that these stats will correlate, Burton had two receptions and a touchdown grab in the first quarter of his first preseason game under Nagy.
Just the idea of throwing to a fullback makes John Fox’s head explode.
However, watch how perfectly Nagy draws this one. Now, we are focusing on Cunningham behind the quarterback,
, 13, and
Shaheen clears out quickly. Fowler makes contact with 41, changes his direction, and forces him to latch onto Fowler. With those two driving defenders out to the left, Nagy uses Cunningham, the pass-catching back to veer to the right flats. You can see the two linebackers 51, and 50, both run towards Cunningham, leaving the fullback with space over the short middle. You can see 50 the moment he realizes he got played.
As mentioned, this is the very basics. This is the vanilla, the easy stuff that Nagy knows like the back of his hand. Just wait until he gets into mid-season form.
Yes, there is not much to take away from the Chicago Bears first preseason game. That is because we already knew this offense would be leaps and bounds better. Still, to already see the creativity in play calling is fantastic.