The Chicago Bears won’t play another meaningful game until August, but this video makes me wish I could press fast forward through the offseason to get to Bourbonnais:
“There’s a want there to be great.”
Now’s the time. 🐻⬇️ pic.twitter.com/o0ODMlrMoo
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 11, 2018
- There has been an obvious focus on what exactly Nagy’s impact on quarterback Mitch Trubisky will be, but he isn’t the only player the Bears hope take a major leap in their development. Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes Trubisky’s supporting cast, including fellow 2017 NFL Draft classmates tight end Adam Shaheen and running back Tarik Cohen will play a significant role in the quarterback’s development. It’s on Nagy to turn these projects into playmakers.
- We’ve seen how he used tight end Travis Kelce all over the field and in the red zone. Can Shaheen use his size and imposing figure to knife through defenses? We’ve also seen Tyreek Hill use his speed in different facets of the offense and special teams. Will Cohen see more playing time and touches to get the most out of his unique skill set? Those are questions Nagy will have to answer.
- But even then, those aren’t the only players who need to step up. Jordan Howard, Cameron Meredith, Kevin White, Dion Sims, and Daniel Brown are among the numerous playmakers who could stand to make improvements in 2018. There is a bunch of untapped potential that went underused by Dowell Loggains and the Bears’ offensive staff the last few years. Perhaps a fresh set of eyes will inspire some change.
- Getting improved offensive line play could help matters. The Bears hired Harry Hiestand to coach the team’s offensive line, as he did under Lovie Smith from 2005 to 2009. JJ Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago writes the Hiestand hire is a home run. Hiestand has shown an ability to coach up the best at the NFL level, as well as develop young up-and-comers at college. That kind of teaching ability shouldn’t be overlooked and can’t be overvalued.
- With that in mind, Matt Eurich of 247Sports sees a Hiestand protégé as an intriguing first-round option for the Bears when draft day rolls around. Quenton Nelson might be the safest pick in the first round and could be the first lineman off the board – possibly even to the Bears. Nelson is a top-notch guard who pushes the pile as a run blocker and efficient as a pass blocker. OK, so the Bears already have two guards … but that shouldn’t stop them from taking the best player available if it happens to be a a guard. Josh Sitton and Kyle Long are coming off season-ending injuries that cut their years short. And Sitton is in the final year of his contract. Without diving too deep, let’s just say the Bears should be open to anything and everything when it comes to the draft at this point of their offseason.
- Speaking of Long, he provides an update on his health status via Twitter:
Nice being able to lose the neck brace! Noodle neck alert. Still have to sleep with it on – and a nightlight.
— Kyle (@Ky1eLong) January 11, 2018
- We spent our first birthday talking about Ryan Pace’s bold moves over on CLTV’s SportsFeed and couldn’t have imagined spending it in a better place:
Have Ryan Pace's recent moves signaled a new attitude for the Bears' franchise? @lcm1986 of @TheTenYardLine & @BleacherNation discussed that, more on the team, & Cubs on @CLTVSportsFeed with @paytonsun & @Josh_Frydman. Watch the segment here: https://t.co/uV8K0wD6zG pic.twitter.com/lSNIVQHVWZ
— CLTV News (@CLTVnews) January 11, 2018
- Ex-Bears safety Doug Plank coached Nagy during his time in the Arena Football League and gave his seal of approval on the hire, writes David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune. Plank isn’t your run-of-the-mill ex-player co-signing for one of his contemporaries. Buddy Ryan was so fond of Plank’s hard-hitting style, he named his defense the “46” after his jersey number. The defensive guy who gives a thumbs up to the offensive-minded hire? I can dig it.
- Hub Arkush of Pro Football Weekly wonders what the Bears’ new coach learned from his boss during his stops in Philadelphia and Kansas City. Arkush digs up the details and notes Nagy will only be as good as the coaches with which he surrounds himself. That’s arguably the most important thing Nagy can learn from the Andy Reid experience. Reid has a knack for not just hiring good coaches who get the most out of their players, but assistants who are fast risers who dream of being a head coach. As of now, it’s been a recipe for success. Reid has seven ex-assistants currently serving as head coaches in the NFL.
- A fun share from WGN Radio’s Adam Hoge, who digs up this profile about Oregon’s offense in 2012 written by Chris B. Brown at Grantland. The Bears offense has been a lot of things in recent years, but “good” and “interesting” aren’t among them. With Mark Helfrich reportedly on board to be Nagy’s offensive coordinator, it will be interesting to see what the intersection of Nagy’s West Coast Offense and Helfrich’s Spread will look like in 2018 and beyond.
- Nagy might have won the press conference and made a good first impression on anyone and everyone paying attention, but Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune warns we’ve heard it all before from every coach to walk through the Halas Hall doors. This trip down memory lane is something else. I remember how excited I was for … well … every coach hire. A new voice is never not fun. Except maybe Marc Trestman, that was more weird than fun.
- Because Cubs manager Joe Maddon has thoughts on everything, he chimed in with some thoughts on the Bears’ hire of Matt Nagy. “I’m looking forward to meeting him,” Maddon said, via James Neveau of NBC 5 Chicago’s Grizzly Detail. “(He’s an) interesting fellow and comes with a great pedigree. It sounds like the crazy stuff that I’ve done. It’s good to see a Pennsylvania boy get an opportunity.” Like Maddon, Nagy is a Pennsylvania product. And while I don’t expect Nagy to bring a zoo to the Soldier Field tailgate, it would be great if he brought the city its first professional championship since the World Series in 2016. Preferably sooner, rather than later.
- Nagy won’t be taking the Bears’ offense overseas, but the NFL did the Oakland Raiders bogus by taking away one of their few remaining home games and moving it to London:
— Michael Signora (@NFLfootballinfo) January 11, 2018