The Andy Reid coaching tree grew another branch Monday.
The Bears hired Matt Nagy as their new head coach, hoping he can bring the same kind of offensive success to Chicago as he displayed in Kansas City as the Chiefs' offensive coordinator.
While general manager Ryan Pace surely had more important criteria on his mind than being part of an NFL trend, hiring Reid assistants has paid off for numerous teams across the league in recent seasons. The Bears are hoping they're next up in that category.
Perhaps of most relevance here in the early days of 2018 is the success Doug Pederson is having with the Philadelphia Eagles, Reid's former team. Pederson's Eagles flew to the No. 1 seed on the NFC side of the playoff bracket this season, all while Carson Wentz has rapidly developed into one of the league's top young quarterbacks. There's no doubt that Pace sees Nagy as able to develop Mitch Trubisky into something similar, and if the Nagy-Trubisky pair can follow the Pederson-Wentz blueprint, then that will mean a great hire by Pace.
But it's not just Pederson. Should the Eagles reach the Super Bowl this season — and they'd have to win two playoff games without Wentz and with Nick Foles to do so — it'll be the third time in the last six seasons that a former Reid assistant reaches the championship round.
John Harbaugh won the Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens to cap the 2012 season. Harbaugh has obviously had a great run in Maryland, going to six postseasons. Ron Rivera — the former Bears defensive coordinator who in some alternate reality became the head coach in Chicago — had his Carolina Panthers in the Super Bowl just two seasons ago. He just made his third postseason appearance with the Panthers this past weekend.
Those are three pretty overwhelming success stories from former Reid assistants, and it shows a strong track record for Reid's guys.
Other former Reid assistants include current Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott, who just took the Bills to their first postseason in nearly two decades. Pat Shurmur, the Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator and former Cleveland Browns head coach who Pace interviewed for the Bears' job, is also a former Reid assistant. So is Brad Childress, who Bears fans might remember as the five-year coach of the Vikings who took the division rivals to back-to-back playoff appearances in 2008 and 2009.
So there's plenty of precedent for a Reid disciple to do well as a head coach. Will Nagy be next?
Reid thinks so: