Exactly three weeks ago, on Oct. 6, Matt Nagy said the 15 snaps Cole Kmet played in the Bears’ Week 4 loss to the Indianapolis Colts was “not enough.”
“He needs to be out there more, No. 1,” Nagy continued. “So we’re aware of that.”
In the immediate aftermath of the Bears’ humbling 24-10 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Monday Night, in which Kmet was targeted twice on consecutive plays and then not again the rest of the game, Nagy had a similar message.
“Cole Kmet is going to start playing more in this offense,” Nagy said. “He’s deserved it. He earns it. He’s a guy that I think I’m really proud of the way he’s playing. For us, we have to be aware of that, understand that and start using him more.”
Still aware. Still not playing Kmet enough.
Actions need to speak louder than words now that we’re seven weeks into the season and Kmet is still not involved in the Bears’ offense enough. For the first time in 2020, Kmet played more snaps in a game than Demetrius Harris — edging him, 20 to 18 — but he was only on the field for 32 percent of the Bears’ plays Monday.
Kmet’s rugged 37-yard catch sparked the only scoring drive the Bears’ offense had against the Rams, and was a rare instance of a Bears player just simply making a play on Monday night.
“He’s covered but he made a play,” Nagy said. “Nick threw it and he made a play. That’s a credit to Cole.”
Yet Harris still nearly played more than Kmet, even though those back to back catches came in the first quarter. Harris had an egregious drop for the second straight week and was called for a holding penalty that could’ve been called for a safety since it happened on the border of the field of play and end zone with the Bears backed up deep in their own territory.
But it feels like coaches are leaning on Harris more than Kmet because Harris knows this offense, having played in a version of it under Nagy with the Kansas City Chiefs. So the Bears’ highest-picked player in the 2020 NFL Draft remains stuck in a timeshare with a former undrafted free agent who’s never had more than 18 catches in a season.
The Bears’ offense, though, is broken. They can’t run the ball and there’s no rhythm to the passing attack. Should it matter if Harris “knows” the offense when the offense is a mess?
And should Harris’ knowledge of a mangled, ineffective offense matter just as much as Kmet’s playmaking ability, which he flashed Monday night?
Nagy keeps saying he needs to get Kmet on the field more. It’s time for those words to finally become actions.
Because this offense has nothing to lose. It can't possibly be worse with Kmet playing more, can it?