Chicago Bears: Can Matt Nagy adapt to the always changing NFL?
By Evan Bruner
Chicago Bears – Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy: Adjusting play-calling
The main issue Matt Nagy has had the last couple of seasons is simply that the NFL has adapted and Nagy hasn’t. This can first be seen in his play-calling.
Most of Nagy’s best play calls in 2018 were plays that were rooted in deception. Nagy deceived defenses by going to creative play designs, like having running back Tarik Cohen throw for a touchdown off a pitch or handing the ball off to Akiem Hicks at the goal line. The problem with these types of plays is that they only work when the defense doesn’t know what to expect. These plays only work a couple of times until opposing teams start to adjust to them.
Having a running back throw a pass out of the backfield only works when the defense is unprepared for it; a receiver can slip past the secondary and give the running back a wide-open, easy throw. If the opposing team is ready for this play, it’s pretty easy to stop. These are the types of plays you can only go to a couple of times a year, not ones you can build your entire scheme around.
As defenses saw more film on Nagy’s play-calling tendencies, Chicago’s offense became significantly less effective
The NFL is a fast-moving league. Every new scheme that is created is shortly followed by one designed to counter it. It’s a never-ending game of chess, and those who don’t want to play it are left behind. This is the best explanation I can give for why Matt Nagy’s offense has struggled so much over the last couple of years.
Nagy is still stuck in 2018, while the rest of the league is in 2021. Until Nagy is able to make the necessary adjustments to his play-calling, it’s hard to see Chicago’s offense going anywhere. Nagy is a solid play designer and a smart guy, but he has also become a very stubborn one. He needs to adopt a more open-minded approach to coaching, more specifically, play calling.