In preparing for his team’s Week 13 matchup against the New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid made a curious move to hand over play calling to Offensive Coordinator Matt Nagy, which caught our eye when putting together Sunday’s Bullets:
“A couple of things to keep an eye on here. First, Offensive Coordinator Matt Nagy is a fringe head coaching candidate. His name was a little hotter when the Chiefs started 5-0, but is still someone to keep an eye on. Nagy has been with Andy Reid since 2009 when he was a coaching intern. He was an offensive quality control coach in 2011, moved on with Reid to Kansas City in 2013 where he served as quarterbacks coach before a promotion to offensive coordinator in 2016 to replace Doug Pederson.”
The Chiefs responded well to change. Alex Smith threw for 366 yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions, and a 135.9 rating as the team scored 31 points. And a few days later, Nagy popped up on a list of possible candidates to consider if the Bears fire John Fox.
How ’bout that for good timing?
ESPN Chicago’s Jeff Dickerson lists six names for consideration if the Bears decide to part ways with Fox. Josh McDaniels tops the list, Jim Harbaugh makes an appearance, as do Philadelphia Eagles assistants Frank Reich and John DeFilippo.
Nagy’s emergence on the list is notable, especially considering the timing of his promotion as a play caller. It’s worth noting that Reid made similar moves with Brad Childress and Doug Pederson before they received their own head coaching gigs. If Sunday was something of a résumé-builder/first-impression maker for Nagy, then color me impressed.
This is Nagy’s second season as Kansas City’s offensive coordinator, but he previously worked as the team’s quarterbacks coach from 2013 to 2015 when Pederson was calling plays before leaving for Philadelphia. He also served under Reid as a coaching intern (2008-09), coaches’ assistant (2010), and offensive quality control coach (2011-12). So while Nagy is young, he will have 10 years of NFL experience at age 39 if/when he starts taking interviews in the offseason.
We’ll likely take a look at Andy Reid’s Coaching Tree if Nagy becomes a serious coaching candidate in the offseason. But if you’re curious about a cursory glance, know that nine assistants who worked under Reid have become NFL head coaches – including John Harbaugh, Ron Rivera, Todd Bowles, Sean McDermott, and Pederson who are active.
Detroit Lions Defensive Coordinator Teryl Austin also shows up on Dickerson’s list. And while we won’t dismiss a defensive coordinator candidate out of hand, it’s among the least likely of hires the Bears will make considering the franchise’s investment in Mitch Trubisky.