The Chicago Bears weren’t going to let one bad playoff game change their minds about Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy.
Less than 48 hours after Nagy directed the Chiefs’ offense during a miserable playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans, the Bears will hire him as their next head coach. Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times first reported the news. Nagy’s first priority will be developing quarterback Mitch Trubisky, the team’s 2017 first-round pick who showed some promise as a rookie.
Nagy did a fine job with the Chiefs’ offense, at least before Saturday night. Quarterback Alex Smith turned in what might have been his best season, as he led the NFL in passer rating. Rookie running back Kareem Hunt led the NFL in rushing. Andy Reid gave up play-calling duties to Nagy late this season, and the Chiefs had a nice surge. Losing to the Titans on Saturday after taking a 21-3 halftime lead was brutal, but the Bears’ belief in Nagy wasn’t shaken.
The Bears can only hope this hire turns out as well as the last time Reid’s offensive coordinator got hired elsewhere. The Philadelphia Eagles hired Doug Pederson from the Chiefs two years ago. Pederson led the Eagles to the No. 1 seed in the NFC this season.
Nagy had an unusual path to becoming an NFL head coach. As recently as 2009 he was an offensive coordinator at Palmyra Area High School in Pennsylvania. He became a coaches assistant with the Eagles in 2010, after spending time as an intern with the team in 2008 and 2009, and was with Philadelphia through 2012. Then he joined the Chiefs on Reid’s first staff there in 2013. He was Kansas City’s quarterbacks coach before becoming offensive coordinator.
Nagy played quarterback at the University of Delaware, then for six seasons in the Arena Football League. He was with the New York Dragons (2002), Carolina Cobras (2004), Georgia Force (2005-06) and Columbus Destroyers (2007-08).
The Bears fired John Fox after losing 10 or more games each of the last three seasons. When the team fired Fox and gave general manager Ryan Pace a contract extension, it talked about getting Trubisky more help. That included getting a head coach who could get the most out of a talented, young quarterback.
Pace’s future is tied to Trubisky, the second pick of last year’s draft. Now Nagy’s is too.
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