PHOENIX, Ariz. – For the first time since being fired in January 2022, Matt Nagy opened up about his tumultuous four-year tenure as head coach of the Chicago Bears.
Now the quarterbacks coach for the Kansas City Chiefs, Nagy appeared with the rest of his team at the Super Bowl 57 media night. CHGO’s Adam Hoge and Mark Carman led the way by asking Nagy a series of questions about his time in Chicago.
Nagy said he would’ve improved his communication
For a majority of Bears fans, listing what Nagy could’ve done better as the Bears coach could go on and on. From playcalling to half-time adjustments to figuring out how to best use Justin Fields (which is another takeaway), Nagy’s list of failures are pretty apparent.
But one of the main things Nagy would like another opportunity to rectify is also one of the things he feels is his strongest attribute: communication.
“Well there are a few things and I know some decisions that, in those four years, there are some decisions that I went through communication wise,” Nagy said. “I think that’s the biggest thing. One of my greatest strengths in my opinion was relationships, open communication and open honesty with players, and never at any point was I not that, but there were points where I could have been better. And I thought I was good at it and I wasn’t. You know what I’m saying? So for me, I know personal experiences without getting into detail of how I handled certain situations that I know I can be better at.”
He Regrets Justin Fields’ Debut Against Cleveland
Fields rookie debut will forever be remembered as an absolute complete disaster. The Bears finished with only 47 total yards. Fields ended with just one net passing yard and was sacked nine times.
That performance, according to Nagy, impacted Fields negatively.
“It was a really, really difficult game,” Nagy said. “I think there were eight or nine sacks and it’s not what we wanted for him for Justin. We didn’t want it for us. We didn’t want it for Justin.The last thing you want is to hurt somebody’s confidence, a young quarterback, like we did that game. No one wants that for anybody, and so we needed to learn from that and be able to change some things in how we handle him, but you end up running out of time and you also know that schematically, you know, it was a different situation.”
Nagy insisted there was a plan in place for the young quarterback. A plan that was in line with former general manager Ryan Pace and everyone else in the Bears organization.
“Everybody said you’re trying to do the Alex Smith, Patrick Mahomes deal,” Nagy said. “They’re all different and we wanted to make sure that we handled Justin – we knew that that was our future – and we wanted to handle him and do everything we possibly could to make sure that he succeeded, scheme, how we handled practices, everything. That was a unique situation with our quarterback room. They were all great. They handled it great, but it just didn’t go the way we wanted it to and again you just learn from it.”
He Believes in Fields’ Future
The 2022 NFL season started with a Nagy-Fields reunion at Soldier Field. The Bears hosted the Chiefs for the first preseason game of the year and won 19-14. But long after that game in early August, Nagy was still monitoring how Fields was doing in his second season in the NFL.
“I was so proud of the way that he grew this year as a quarterback,” Nagy said. “A lot of credit to their coaches and what they did with him. The schemes that they put around him and the way that he took on to that. Like again, we were a big part of drafting him and getting him to Chicago and we were all in on Justin.”
Like most of the NFL, Nagy saw how special of a quarterback he could be. He saw first hand how hard Fields studied, practiced and his hatred for losing and believes he can be one considered one of “The Guys” in the NFL. Still, Nagy admitted it’s difficult endeavor to develop a young quarterback.
“In fairness to every quarterback that is in this league, it’s hard to do what you think they’re going to be in one year,” Nagy said. “It’s hard. I don’t care what anybody says. Guys need time to develop, and there is plenty of instances across this league of that being true. At the same point in time, it’s hard and it’s stressful for these young guys, you know, cause they know time is of the essence. But, again, it didn’t work out with me and with Ryan Pace being a part of this.”