Nick Foles could’ve justifiably buried Brian Griese for, it seems, mis-representing a conversation the two had during a “Monday Night Football” production meeting before this week’s Bears-Rams game.
Griese, the ESPN broadcaster, caused a firestorm late in the Bears’ 24-10 loss when he said Foles told him, essentially, there are plays Nagy calls he knows are doomed because he doesn’t have enough time to execute them. A coach calling plays the quarterback knows won’t work does not indicate a positive coach-quarterback relationship; that a comment like that would even get out would seem to indicate a contentious, sour coach-quarterback relationship.
But instead of blasting Griese publicly for inaccurately relaying their conversation, Foles offered forgiveness for the ex-Bears quarterback.
“You have those conversations out of respect to help them do their job and when you have these conversations and things can be twisted just a little bit, you know, and said at the wrong and then it creates something where now we’re still talking about it, that’s never great, never good,” Foles said. “But you know what, people do make mistakes and you know there is forgiveness and all so obviously life goes on, everything is good. We had really great conversations.
“It’s unfortunate it happened but it did. It’s really the first time I think I’ve ever had to deal with something like this but, you know, people make mistakes and things happen and we move on and there’s grace.”
(Credit Foles for taking the high road here. But I also don’t think anyone would blame him if he wasn’t as candid with Griese when the Bears play on Monday Night Football again in two and a half weeks.)
Foles, though, said the first thing he did after addressing the Griese dust-up Monday night was talk to Nagy – who had not been shown a clip of the comments on the broadcast before his press conference – to clear the air with his head coach. Even if Foles’ words to Griese were misconstrued to millions of viewers on the TV broadcast, he didn’t want anything to linger over his relationship with Nagy.
And that relationship is why Foles’ explanation of Griese’s comments is believable – even if he did feel that Nagy were calling doomed-on-arrival plays, it’s hard to believe he would’ve confided that in Griese and not discussed it with Nagy.
“Even though that wasn't true what Brian said, it was important for Matt, coach Nagy and I, to speak about what was said for our relationship,” Foles said.
The personal relationship between Foles and Nagy is strong, but it’s clear their coach-quarterback relationship needs to grow. The Bears can only lean on the “it takes time” explanation for their offensive struggles under Foles for so long. Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints marks the halfway point of the 2020 season for the Bears.
At some point – and it’s going to be soon – “it takes time” has to change to “it’s working.” The Bears will be 5-4 in two weeks if they play like they did against the Rams in upcoming games against the Saints and Tennessee Titans.
“I know that everyone wants it to just, boom, happen,” Foles said. “But if that was the case there would be a lot more people playing this game because it's not easy and some teams don't figure it out.
“But you know the people here want to figure it out. We have the personnel to be successful. Now we just got to continue to put it out there and believe and go out there and do it on game day.”
But if Foles, Nagy and the Bears’ offense can’t figure it out soon, it won’t take an inaccurate re-telling of a production meeting conversation for football fans to grasp the dysfunction in the Bears’ offense. It’ll be right before their eyes, called again by Griese on Monday Night Football when the Bears play the Vikings in two and a half weeks.