264 Comments

Across The Middle: Nagy Was Always Pace’s Guy

| January 10th, 2018


Updated 2018 Bears Coach Power Rankings

#1. Matt Nagy. He was the guy all along.

“That’s who Ryan and this organization wanted to go after. They had a plan for it, they attacked it and they did it so that’s a credit for them for doing that, they were aggressive with it, they believed it, they had conviction and let’s go.”


Yes, Nagy was talking about Ryan Pace’s pursuit of Mitch Trubisky in the quote above but he might as well have been talking about his own pursuit by the Bears GM. The Bears interview schedule only made sense if they had a specific target in mind. Nagy was that target.

The alarm went off inside my head Friday night.

Why did the Bears schedule the first interview they were going to conduct last? (We already knew the Bears were going to meet with Nagy, Josh McDaniels, John DeFilippo and Pat Shurmur.)

Why did the Bears (and only the Bears) interview Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards completely came out of the blue, when they had already reached out to but not scheduled a meeting with  Panthers DC Steve Wilks to satisfy the Rooney Rule? (They were clearly meeting with a coach who wasn’t nearly as qualified to get the league rule out of the way.)

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , , ,

187 Comments

Reacting to Matt Nagy’s Introductory Press Conference

| January 9th, 2018

The Chicago Bears formally introduced new head coach Matt Nagy today. Here are some thoughts on the press conference.

  • News: Nagy and Pace have not reached an agreement with a defensive coordinator or any other members of the staff. That will come in the next few days.
  • What occurred to me was the Bears now have a first-year head coach, second-year quarterback and 40 year-old GM responsible for putting it all together. I can’t remember another time where the three most crucial roles in this organization were operating as one. Were they ever? This is an exciting time to be a Bears fan. Sure, it might not work out. But it also might. And working out means competing for division titles every season.
  • “This is about more than the quarterback” was one of the first phrases out of Ryan Pace’s mouth and his only “football” comment made in the introductory remarks.
  • The Bears interviewed six candidates. One of them got four and a half hours and a dinner. The other five decidedly did not. Nagy was the target.


  • Nagy is a confident speaker. It is always interesting to see how these young coaches hold up in front of the media for the first time and Nagy seemed like a natural. This bodes well for a man who’ll have to address 53 giant lunatics every week.
  • Someone named “Larry Wisdom” got mentioned. I need to know more about him.

Read More …

Tagged: , , ,

102 Comments

Some Bits on the Matt Nagy Hiring You Won’t Find Anywhere Else

| January 9th, 2018

People tweeted me, texted me, asked me forty times today, “What do you think of the Nagy hire?” While it’s hard to believe, I really don’t care. I’m excited about new coach and new approach but you never know which of these coordinators is going to become a great head coach. I hope he wins a lot of games.

Since there’s so much information available on Nagy, I’ll spare you the same rehashed opinions and links. Instead here’s some information you won’t see elsewhere about the process.

  • John DeFilippo’s interview was underwhelming. And that’s being kind. The Bears found him to be green and, beyond that, doubted his ability to build a competitive staff. When Peter Schrager reported that Flip was willing to keep Fangio, some believe it was a response to Flip knowing he’d done poorly when pushed on those questions.
  • Josh McDaniels’ interview was the opposite. If Nagy was the target all along, McD gave the organization pause. He was incredibly prepared for their short session. There’s some debate over whether McD wanted to come to Chicago but there is no debate that Bears would have pursued vigorously if Nagy passed. (Side note: Nagy wasn’t passing.)
  • Adam Jahns is not just someone I respect but a friend. And an hour before his story went public, I knew he had it. Being able to experience that hour with him was flat-out thrilling. And seeing him beat Schefter and RapSheet by all of a few minutes is proof 2018 has potential.
  • When I went to sleep Sunday night, around midnight ET, Ted Phillips and George McCaskey were not certain who Ryan Pace was hiring as the next head coach. Pace was given autonomy. A source close to ownership told me Sunday early evening that it would “not be surprising if there were a second round of interviews”. It would have been quite surprising to Pace.

That’s it. That’s all I got. The press conference is Tuesday at 1 pm CT. I’ll be back with a wrap-up of that after it concludes.

Tagged: , ,

281 Comments

Wildcard Saturday Commentary: Nagy Could Be Next McVay (But What About His Staff?)

| January 6th, 2018

Matt Nagy has spent his entire career with Andy Reid; not a bad guy to hitch your wagon to. Reid’s coaching tree has had prolific success, winning championships as head coaches, coordinators and position coaches. Just look at the his 2001 staff in Philadelphia:

  • Brad Childress (QB)
  • Pat Shurmur (TE)
  • Jim Johnson (DC)
  • Ron Rivera (LB)
  • Steve Spagnuolo (DB)
  • Leslie Frazier (DB)
  • Sean McDermott (ASST.)
  • John Harbaugh (ST)
  • Dave Toub (AST)

Behind every great coach there are great assistants. None of Andy Reid’s assistants rose as quickly as Nagy. But the young offensive coordinator’s lack of experience in multiple staff rooms could suggest to NFL front offices an inability to find his own assistants, keeping him from the opportunity to be a head coach.

Read More …

Tagged: ,

261 Comments

Across The Middle: 2018 Chicago Bears Coach Power Rankings

| December 6th, 2017

Trust is going to be the most important factor in where the Bears go from here.

Ryan Pace is in his third year as GM for a franchise that has won 12 games since he took over. That’s 11 fewer than the guy he replaced and he only got three years to do the job. George McCaskey may still have faith in Pace but he’s admittedly not a patient person. Whoever the next coach of the Bears is, they must trust that Pace picked the right quarterback and knows how to build the rest of the roster.

On Pace’s part, he has to trust the person he hires to create a successful environment around the franchise quarterback, while not losing sight of what else is going on around him. For those reasons, I believe the next coach of the Bears is likely going to be somebody Pace knows and already trusts. We’ve seen these kinds of relationships come together recently in Jacksonville, Buffalo, San Francisco and Philadelphia. Pace not only needs somebody he trusts, he needs a quick turnaround and three of the four aforementioned teams are enjoying the most success they’ve had in a number of years.

Here is my guess on which current pro coaches have the best odds of being the Bears coach next season:

1. Dennis Allen, DC, New Orleans Saints

Everyone wants an offensive guy, I get it. But Allen has connections to John DeFilippo, Mike McCoy, Al Saunders and Bill Lazor. It’s also possible he can lure another veteran coordinator — Norv Turner, Gary Kubiak or Dirk Koetter — to run his offense with a young stud quarterback. This goes back to the trust factor because Pace worked with Allen for five years in New Orleans. Allen is said to be uniquely organized and detailed — the opposite of the Bears current coach. He failed in Oakland but he had just one year as a coordinator at that point and didn’t have any talent. Since he took over for Rob Ryan late in the 2015 season, the Saints have had a drastic improvement defensively.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , , , ,

219 Comments

Across the Middle: 2018 Chicago Bears Coach Rankings

| November 9th, 2017

The Chicago Bears probably aren’t going to have a new coach in 2018. At least, not if they continue on their current pace.

Before the season I wrote that if the Bears won seven games, John Fox would be a lock to stay. Through eight games, they only have three wins, but have played the third-hardest schedule in the league, according to Football Outsiders. The last four games particularly have been really interesting.

It isn’t just that the Bears have gone 2-2. It’s that they really beat the crap out of one good team, should’ve won by a lot more against a mediocre team and were close to beating two of the best teams in the entire league.

It seems like the  majority of the fan base still isn’t happy. They don’t just want to win, they want to look good doing it. But that wouldn’t matter no matter who the coach is. Hell, a large percentage of those people want Jim Harbaugh, the master of the ugly wins, as the coach.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

© Da' Bears Blog