Chicago Bears: Hot takes on Justin Fields, Matt Nagy, and the trade deadline

Chicago Bears (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /
2 of 6
Chicago Bears, Matt Nagy
Chicago Bears – Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

Chicago Bears Hot Take: Matt Nagy has surpassed Mark Trestman’s levels of bad

Is Matt Nagy as bad of a coach as Mark Trestman?

Around halfway through the 2019 season, I jokingly said that Matt Nagy was just Mark Trestman with a good defense. Unfortunately, this has become far less of the hyperbolic statement it was meant to be and is now a real talking point. While Trestman was fired after his second season, there is an argument to be made that if he was hired just a few years later, he could be in a similar situation as Nagy right now.

You don’t need to be a great coach to win games 

A common misconception among some football fans is that wins and losses are good indicators of how good a coach is. Sustained winning over long periods of time like Bill Belichick, Andy Reid, Sean Payton, and Mike Tomlin have is one thing. But when it comes to putting together just one or two winning seasons, you don’t have to be a hall of fame caliber coach.

Adam Gase led the Dolphins to the playoffs in his brief stint with the team back in 2016, and the same thing can be said about other coaches who didn’t last long like Ben McAdoo. Simply saying that Nagy is a successful coach because he’s made the playoffs or hasn’t had a losing season yet speaks more to how good of a situation he inherited than his coaching prowess.

How does Nagy’s tenure compare to Trestman’s?

I think that people tend to forget how bad Trestman’s time with the organization went, and since we are living in the Matt Nagy era, we know how frustrating he’s been the last few seasons, so recency bias could make us overreact. With that being said, it’s hard to find an offensive category that Nagy has been objectively better than Trestman was. The Bears’ offense statistically has been just as bad, and in some areas, worse than when Trestman was with the team for two seasons.

Another key difference is that Trestman was only able to work with one quarterback that was notoriously hard to coach, while Nagy has handpicked multiple quarterbacks to run his offense to no avail. The biggest difference between the two is that Matt Nagy had a historically great defense his first season with the team, and that is pretty much the only reason why Nagy is still getting every chance in the world in year four.

Bottom line 

When you take into account that both coaches were brought in to lead high-powered offenses, they have both been colossal failures. Nagy has won more games, but I don’t doubt that a lot of NFL coaches could’ve been successful with the defense that Bears had in 2018.