Why the Chiefs’ Matt Nagy makes sense as the Bears’ next head coach
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Update: The Bears hired Matt Nagy to be their new head coach on Monday, Jan. 8. The following story was originally published on Jan. 6.
The Bears will interview Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy on Sunday, per NFL Network:
Here’s why the 39-year-old makes sense as John Fox’s replacement:
He was on fire. With the Chiefs stuck in a rut at 6-5 at the start of December, head coach Andy Reid decided to cede play-calling duties to Nagy, who is in his first season as the Chiefs’ sole offensive coordinator. The Chiefs finished the season 4-1, averaging 28.6 points to reach the playoffs. The Bears could not interview him until after Saturday’s playoff loss against the Titans, per league rules.
He’s a quarterbacks guy. Nagy has spent the last three years developing Alex Smith — and, it should be noted, the last year also working with first-round pick Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs’ backup. The combination of both skills — making a veteran better but working with a rookie — could appeal to the Bears, who need someone to groom quarterback Mitch Trubisky.
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Nagy starred at quarterback at Delaware before playing in the Arena Football League for the New York Dragons, the Carolina Cobras, the Georgia Force and the Columbus Destroyers.
He’s a Reid disciple. The Chiefs head coach has a sneaky-great coaching tree. Five current head coaches have served underneath him: the Panthers’ Ron Rivera, the Ravens’ John Harbaugh, the Bills’ Sean McDermott, the Jets’ Todd Bowles and the Eagles’ Doug Pederson.
Of the five, only Pederson is an offensive coordinator. But he has accomplished in two years precisely what the Bears hope their new head coach will do — he developed No. 2 overall pick Carson Wentz into a star.
Like general manager Ryan Pace, he started at the bottom. Nagy started off as an intern with Reid’s Eagles before following him to Kansas City. Nagy was the Chiefs’ quarterbacks coach for three years before being named co-offensive coordinator last year. He got the solo job this year.
Pace famously started his Saints career as a marketing
He’s young, but it might not matter. The Bears are interested in the idea of keeping defensive coordinator Vic Fangio around, and undoubtedly see what young Rams head coach Sean McVay, an offensive mind, has reaped by hiring veteran defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.
The Bears must walk a fine line between insisting a head coach take Fangio and trying to encourage them to consider it.