The list of NFL head coaching vacancies decreased by one on Monday as the Chicago Bears named former Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy as their new coach.
Nagy replaces John Fox, who was fired after three seasons. Nagy becomes the 16th head coach in franchise history and the Bears become the second team to fill their head coach vacancy following the Raiders luring back Jon Gruden.
The 39-year-old must have made quite an impression with the organization, because the Chicago Tribune reports he was the last of six known candidates to interview for the job.
The Chiefs were eliminated from the postseason on Saturday, Nagy met with the Bears on Sunday, and he was named head coach on Monday.
Nagy is an offensive coach and spent the last seven seasons coaching that side of the ball. He’s spent the last 10 seasons under Andy Reid, first in Philadelphia and then in Kansas City.
This season was his first as Reid’s lone offensive coordinator (Nagy was a co-offensive coordinator alongside Brad Childress in 2016). The Chiefs ranked sixth in points and fifth in yards this season, the highest ranking Kansas City had in points since finishing in the top three in scoring from 2002-2004.
Nagy got his coaching start in the NFL under unusual circumstances. He was an Eagles coaching intern in 2008 and then signed with the team as a backup quarterback in 2009 following a Kevin Kolb injury. But the NFL prohibited the move from coach to player, so Nagy’s player contract was voided.
Nagy remained a coaching intern for the rest of the 2009 season and was promoted to a full-time position in 2010.
Prior to coaching, Nagy played in the Arena Football League for six seasons. He also played at the University of Delaware, where he was a teammate of current Chiefs general manager, Brett Veach.
The main reason why the Bears brought in Nagy is to help develop quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. The Bears ranked last in passing yards and 31st in passing touchdowns. Trubisky showed some ability, but still ranked 28th out of 32 qualifiers in passer rating.
Nagy was reportedly a fan of the young signal caller leading up to last season’s draft, and the Chiefs may have selected him instead of Pat Mahomes had Trubisky been available.
Here is a great piece of intel: Source close to Matt Nagy tells @ESPN1000 that Nagy loved Trubisky in 2017 NFL Draft and the Chiefs loved him. Nagy has stayed close to him during this season. Nagy believes you can win big with Trubisky.
— David Kaplan (@thekapman) January 4, 2018
Bears fans are hoping the Nagy-Trubisky pairing becomes this year’s version of Sean McVay and Jared Goff with the Rams. Like Trubisky, Goff struggled in his rookie year while playing for a defensive head coach (Jeff Fisher). Then McVay, a young offensive mind, took over and Goff showed why he was worthy of the top overall pick.
Reid is one of the most respected offensive coaches in the NFL and he believes Nagy has what it takes to be a great head coach.
“Matt’s got a nice feel for the game,” Reid said in 2016. “He was a player, obviously, in the Arena League. And then we brought him on board. Some guys have a knack for it and he’s one of those guys. I’ve noticed with his participation that he’s got a pretty good grasp of the offense and defenses in this league. I think that presents a nice addition to that position.”
One of the coaching candidates who Nagy beat out for this position is the Bears current defensive coordinator, Vic Fangio. Chicago had a top-10 scoring defense this season, but it remains to be seen if Fangio wants to return in his current role after missing out on the head coaching position.
The Bears will have the eighth pick in the NFL draft but will be missing a Day 2 selection. They have their second-round pick but sent their third rounder to San Francisco in the deal that allowed them to draft Trubisky last year.
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