The Kansas City Chiefs’ playoff collapse affected the Bears’ interest in offensive coordinator Matt Nagy, but not in a negative way: By virtue of the Chiefs blowing an 18-point second-half lead against the Tennessee Titans on Saturday, the Bears were able to announce the 39-year-old Nagy as their next head coach on Monday.
As we begin to digest the hiring of Nagy, it’s important to not place a ton of emphasis on how poor Nagy’s Kansas City offense looked for two quarters in one game. The more important factors here: 1) What will Nagy’s coaching staff look like? 2) What’s his plan for Mitchell Trubisky? 3) How will he command a locker room as a first-time head coach?
Nagy aced his interview with Pace, who felt enough conviction in his guy to hire him barely a week after the position came open. A few points to consider:
1. Does this mean he’ll convince Vic Fangio to stay on as defensive coordinator? Hiring Nagy on Monday allows the Bears to aggressively work to keep Fangio, who will become a coaching free agent at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday. He’s still under contract through Monday, but surely knows he’ll have plenty of opportunities — the Green Bay Packers have already been rumored to be interested in him — if he decides against re-upping with the Bears.
2. Nagy reportedly came away from last year’s draft process a big fan of Mitchell Trubisky. The Chiefs traded up to take Patrick Mahomes with the 10th overall pick, but in searching for a quarterback to succeed Alex Smith, Nagy appeared to have put in plenty of time studying Trubisky, too:
Ryan Pace also interviewed Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Nagy’s pitch on how he’ll develop Trubisky, the most important player on this Bears team, looks like it could’ve been the best of the bunch.
3. Nagy comes highly recommended by Andy Reid:
Nagy has worked for Reid his entire coaching career, beginning as an intern in 2008 with the Philadelphia Eagles. Since then, Nagy has been a coaches’ assistant (2010), an offensive quality control coach (2011-2012), a quarterbacks coach (2013-2015), a co-offensive coordinator (2016) and an offensive coordinator (2017).
While Nagy only called plays for the Chiefs’ final five games in 2017, that Reid — who’s been a head coach in the NFL since 1999 — was willing to hand over those duties to him speaks to an impressive level of trust.
4. We’ll finish with a final thought on the Chiefs’ collapse. What team heads into the 2018 offseason with more positive buzz than anyone else? The San Francisco 49ers. Their coach is Kyle Shanahan, who was the offensive coordinator when the Atlanta Falcons blew a 28-3 lead in last year’s Super Bowl. Two quarters of football does not make a coach. It didn’t for Shanahan, and it didn’t for Nagy.