By HCR Staff | Aug. 12, 2018
Between now and the start of the 2018 season, Head Coach Ranking will provide a scouting report on all 32 NFL head coaches. Today, we’ll take a look at Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy.
While Matt Nagy has no head coaching experience at the professional level, he’s spent plenty of time around very good coaches, including Andy Reid and Doug Pederson. So while some may think that young general manager Ryan Pace has reached on the hire of Nagy, we feel it is a bold decision that will result in a positive upward trend for the Bears organization.
In our view, Nagy’s best initial move was retaining defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. Fangio is a good and experienced defensive coordinator, and the Nagy-Fangio combo gives us a Sean McVay-Wade Phillips vibe, although Nagy has not had as many play-calling reps as McVay.
Nagy is a positive and upbeat person, and we feel he will connect well with Bears players.
One of Nagy’s biggest projects will be a continual upgrade of the overall talent on the Bears’ roster (look for ex-Eagles, Chiefs and Saints to shuttle on and off the squad). Most observers of the NFC North would rank the Bears’ talent fourth out of four teams. Can Nagy keep the Bears competitive this season notwithstanding the talent level on the roster? We saw 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan do a good job with this last season, so it is a reasonable goal.
Early returns from the Bears’ organization and camp is that they are very bulliish on Nagy. We like this hire, but being a head coach entails much more than calling plays. Right now, we don’t know how Nagy will respond if his team starts 0-9 like Shanahan’s 49ers did last season. We expect him to stay positive, but until we actually get some data, we can’t be too sure.
All we know at the moment is that Nagy is very well thought of around the league. Some might argue he could use a bit more seasoning. But we heard the same thing about his mentor Andy Reid prior to his becoming a head coach (e.g., “Reid’s never even been a coordinator!”), and that worked out pretty well.
We think this is an inspired hire by Pace. The Pace-Nagy-QB Mitch Trubisky combo could be one that has some staying power. They’re all young, and they’re all football grinders, so that bodes well for Bears fans.
Previous HC Previews:
Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks
Sean McVay, Los Angeles Rams
Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco 49ers
Steve Wilks, Arizona Cardinals
Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers
Mike Zimmer, Minnesota Vikings
Matt Patricia, Detroit Lions