Just when I thought I learned all I could about Matt Nagy this past season, I watched the 49ers playoff win again the Packers and was given yet another reason why I think this guy is a legit fraud. Case in point: In a post-game news conference, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan was asked about his play calling and therein, the lack of pass attempts. Shanahan’s response was as unselfish as it was honest:
“‘Cause it was working,” Shanahan said of calling run play after run play. “If it’s working you stay with it. Our guys were running so hard. Our line coming out the ball, our backs. All eleven of our guys how they’ve been all year. The guys fought hard as heck. We’re going to put it all in their hands.”
When I heard this, I immediately thought to myself: “Self, this is a guy who is confident enough in himself that he isn’t trying to prove himself to everyone. This something we are never going to hear from Matt Nagy.”
The reason why is because Matt Nagy needs to be cute, needs to be the guy who is changing the game, needs the attention and admiration.
Shanahan doesn’t. He was born into the coaching game and realizes it isn’t about the guy calling the calls, it’s about the guys on the field. If running the ball gives you the best chance at winning, then you run the shit outta that ball. Shanahan saw his dad do this, relying on Terrell Davis all the way to back to back World Championships. Sure, he had John Elway under center, but at that point, John Elway, while very good, was a shell of his former self. Think more game-manager than game-changer.
But you didn’t come here to read about Elway or the 90’s Bronco’s. You want to hear yet another reason why Nagy has failed the Chicago Bears this season. The Shanahan quote and comparison is simply the cherry on top of the Matt Nagy May Not Be Cut Out For This Shit Sundae.
Nagy is guy who constantly is trying to prove himself – something he has done often in his football playing career. He has always been a try hard guy; constantly being told No, but always asking and trying again. This mentality has served him very well in getting to this point, but now, in his current role, it can be viewed as counterproductive. Nagy is trying to prove himself as this game changing offensive mastermind – the RPO CFO if you will – and is being blinded by his own aspirations.
So, would a Nagy offense that focused more on the run game made a difference between a 10 wins and 8 wins this past season? No. But that’s not the point. The point is adjustments needs to be made on almost a play by play basis. Throw away your scripted first 10 plays – run the plays that will give you the best chance to win, regardless of if they are on a play sheet or if it is run or pass.
As fans, we often take a micro look to on field performance. A run play didn’t work? Oh, that player must suck. A QB throws an interception? He blows, put in the backup. However, if you take a more macro look at Bears offensive struggles in 2019, a majority of the blame needs to be placed at the feet of the Head Football Coach, Matt Nagy. The offensive talent on this team was never put in a position to succeed – that’s on him.
The 2020 Bears will be better, but only if their coach and leader takes a look inside himself and realizes…it’s not about him.
Final Grade – D