Enthusiastic Matt Nagy sold on the Bears’ future as he becomes franchise’s 16th head coach
LAKE FOREST – If fans of the team were watching his first words as Bears head coach, perhaps you were skeptical. Frankly, that’s a natural reaction.
This is the third time that such a news conference has been held at Halas Hall to introduce a new on-field leader. They did so with Marc Trestman early in 2013 and then again with John Fox in 2015. Promise of a new and more positive era of the franchise was preached, but never followed through as the team missed the playoffs with all five head coaches.
So why should Matt Nagy be any different? It’s a fair question that fans should ask for an organization that’s not won a Super Bowl since the 1985 season nor made the postseason since 2010.
But the enthusiastic new coach tried to sell the fans on Tuesday at Halas Hall when asked specifically what he would tell the new head coach
“Passion and positive energy, and creating a culture. I just got chills saying it,” said Nagy. “It’s real, so everybody in here, just having that energy, and that belief, and that trust of what’s going to happen on a daily basis.”
While it might take sometime for the former Chiefs offensive coordinator to convince fans of that, there is no doubt that Nagy is sold on the franchise to which he lead on the field in 2018. That was perhaps the biggest takeaway from his initial comments to the media as the 16th head coach in franchise history.
Starting with an interview at 8 AM in Kansas City and finishing with dinner later that night, Nagy was sold on the future of the franchise, especially from general manager Ryan Pace, describing the conversation as “powerful.”
“I go a lot on my gut feeling of how things are going to go. I had no idea, it was my first interview ever, interviewing for a head coaching position and I had no idea how it was going to go,” said Nagy of his interview with the Bears on Sunday. “As I went into the interview, in that room, I felt it. It’s a special feeling, and when we walked out, and we just had a conversation amongst the two of us, that you just kind knew this could be really good.”
Nagy even said that the vibe from the interview was as appealing to him as was the prospect of working with quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. He visited the Chiefs before the draft last Spring and Nagy described the day with the quarterback as “unbelievable.” Still, it’s the quick repore with Pace that Nagy continued to point out a number of times during the question-and-answer session as a critical reason he took the job.
“The direction of this team and this organization. You see it, you feel it, there is a want there to be great. So one of the things that I noticed right off the bat with Ryan is understanding how easy it is for us to have a partnership,” said Nagy of Pace. “It’s going to be strong. I told him, I said ‘I’ve got you, and this is something here that we’re going to do together, no egos involved.’
“I’m gonna help you with any questions you have you have, you do the same to me. You criticize me, I’ll criticize you. We may agree to disagree, but we’re gonna do it to benefit the team. In the end, we’ll be able to look each other in the eyes and respect each other and smile because we’ll make good things happen.”
Believing is one thing, but selling it to a frustrated fanbase is another. It might not be for another year or two until those rooters at Soldier Field and around Chicago buy in. All that Nagy can do now is try to sell them as well as the Bears did on Sunday.
“I come here and start meeting everybody and you see where they’re at. They’re hungry and the fans are hungry, and I get that,” said Nagy. “That’s why they selected me to come in here is to help get that culture back to where it’s just a prideful thing. We go out there each and every day in practice at the games.
“Now it’s talk, but we’ve got to make it happen.”
Having you head coach all in certainly is a start.