Sorry to break it to you, passionate Eagles fans, but the person most obsessed with the Birds lives in Chicago.
Bears head coach Matt Nagy is entering his third year as Chicago's head coach. He's still sort of searching for his coaching identity, and he keeps returning to one team for inspiration: the Eagles, who beat Nagy in his first-ever playoff game back in 2019 with the good ol' Double Doink.
The latest example of Nagy's Eagles obsession comes in a column this week from Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer, who talked to Nagy about the Bears' offseason.
Since last season ended, Nagy has hired former Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo and the Bears traded for Eagles legend Nick Foles, both members of the Birds' Super Bowl squad.
Nagy wants to be the Eagles so, so bad:
The model’s actually similar to how the 2017 champion Eagles’ staff—headed by former Nagy staffmate Doug Pederson, with DeFilippo there too—was set up. The head coach (Nagy) calls plays, the coordinator (Lazor) runs unit and staff meetings, and coaches across the staff are responsible for different pieces of the offense (third down, red zone, etc.).
“The way they had things in Philadelphia, with Frank Reich, Pederson and Flip in 2017, that’s a pretty good deal there,” Nagy said.
It's kind of neat to see Pederson's influence start to spread across the league, as he's recognized as one of the NFL's most forward-thinking coaches.
But, of course, this isn't the first time the Eagles have directly influenced Nagy's style and decision-making.
After the Double Doink in 2019, when Cody Parkey (a former Eagle!) bonked a 43-yard field goal to lose the Bears a home playoff game, Nagy nearly went insane trying to fix his team's kicker situation.
He couldn't shake the 43-yarder against the Eagles, so much so that he carried that exact distance into the following season, when he had prospective kickers attempt 43-yard kicks in front of the whole team:
Nagy blew his whistle, but not to signal the end of practice. He called up Fry for a 43-yard attempt with the full field goal unit in place. The symbolism didn’t require an explanation. To layer additional pressure, the loud music that played throughout the day stopped and no one spoke.
They went in numerical order. Blewitt missed. Bednarski missed. Jones missed. Carpenter missed. Ultimately, the group went a combined 2-for-8 from what Evans referred to as, “the Parkey Spot.”
It's hard to forget your first heartbreak, and Nagy, himself a former Eagles coach, seems to have fixated on that loss to the Eagles in a big way.
Of course, that Super Bowl Eagles team was a once-in-a-lifetime combination of talent, approach, and cosmic karma. It can't be replicated.
But Nagy sure seems intent on chasing it anyway.
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