Chicago Bears: Can Matt Nagy adapt to the always changing NFL?

Chicago Bears - Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports /
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Chicago Bears, Matt Nagy
Chicago Bears (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy: Reasons for optimism

With all the criticism and failures Matt Nagy has endured over the last couple of seasons, it may seem like the Chicago Bears are doomed, but there are actually some reasons for optimism.

In a way, Matt Nagy needed these last two seasons to happen for the sake of his ego. He was hailed as the offensive genius and thought he knew more about running a high-scoring offense than anyone else. Part of his reluctance to changing his offense was because of the success he had in 2018. Giving up play-calling for a few games last season was his way of acknowledging he needed to better. It may not seem like much, but it’s at least a step in the right direction.

Matt Nagy is coaching with his job on the line in 2021

Winning 12 games and the NFC North in his first season as head coach bought Nagy some time, but that was three years ago. As the 2018 season becomes more distant by the day, there is an increasing amount of pressure on Nagy to prove himself to the organization. He is on a short leash, and he knows it.

With the margin for error ever so slight, Nagy will likely be more open-minded and flexible this season. The main reason for Nagy’s stubbornness is that he genuinely believes his approach will work in the long run. But if something isn’t working this year, he isn’t going to be able to bank on the long-term return. This could lead to more input from other offensive coaches or players.

Matt Nagy still has time to improve

Nagy is still a relatively young head coach. At 43 years old and with only three prior years of head coaching experience, there is still a lot of time for him to improve. This isn’t to give him a pass for all of his flaws, but not everyone is Sean McVay.

Some coaches need more time to adapt to the responsibilities of being a head coach. As easy as it is to criticize Nagy, he is clearly a smart guy. You don’t become Andy Reid’s right-hand man if you don’t have a great understanding of the Xs and O’s of football. Nagy’s shortcomings as a coach are a product of his close-mindedness more than a lack of knowledge.

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Final thoughts:

After three seasons, the pressure is truly on. The front office no longer cares how clever or creative Nagy is if it doesn’t result in an improved offense. This is the ultimate test for the young head coach. With success this year with Justin Fields, Nagy can prove to the league that he is capable of running a good offense with the right quarterback, but if he struggles, executives may question if Nagy is better suited to be an offensive coordinator instead of a coach.