This Sunday, the Green Bay Packers face off against their arch rivals, the Chicago Bears. Robert of Windy City Gridiron was kind enough to answer some of our questions about the Bears and provide some insight into their strengths and weaknesses.
APC: Matt Nagy has now coached the Bears for nearly an entire season. At this point, what do you see as his greatest strength as a coach and his biggest deficiency?
13 games into his head coaching career, and the best thing that Nagy does is adapt on the fly. He learns from his mistakes from week to week, and is always prepared with failsafes for worst case scenarios. The proof is in the pudding of how the Bears have responded to tough defeats.
After their epic collapse to the Packers in Week 1, Nagy had the Bears go on a three-game winning streak. After his first losing streak as a coach to the Dolphins and Patriots, Nagy settled his offense down, had his defense find it’s form, and Chicago went on a five-game winning streak. After the Bears disappointingly lost to the Giants, he had his team prepared to lock down the high-flying Rams at home the next week.
Nagy is a nuanced offensive mind first that is in Chicago to primarily develop Mitchell Trubisky. But he crucially isn’t afraid to throw curveballs when he has to. He isn’t afraid to defer to Jordan Howard and his running game when he has to. He can let his defense take over a game. And as we’ve seen lately, he’ll utilize the weirdest but entirely creative offensive formations to give his team a chance to score. There were concerns about how Nagy would win over the rest of the Bears roster as primarily an offensive coach. Those concerns have gone out the window. The Bears players love him wholeheartedly, trust the culture he’s built, and he’s found his rhythm.
Where Nagy can improve as a coach is as a play-caller on a game by game basis. While I don’t believe the lack of a consistent running game matters too much for the Bears, there have been moments where Nagy could’ve leaned more on Howard and Tarik Cohen to settle down a rattled offense. But he didn’t. Against the Dolphins, he had his offense go into a shell once they reached the Miami 35-yard line in overtime, choosing to lean on a 53-yard field goal that would eventually be missed.
As the season has gone on, these blemishes have been few and far between for Nagy, though. He’s pushed more than enough buttons to ignore the random questionable moments. At this stage, I’d be shocked if he isn’t Coach of the Year.
We’d like to thank Robert for his insight. Be sure to check out our Q&A session over at Windy City Gridiron, as well as their fantastic coverage of all things Bears. As always, keep your internet machines tuned to Acme Packing Company for our comprehensive game-day coverage of Packers versus Bears.