Thankfully, Nagy Can’t Be “Candid” About What He Doesn’t Know

Adam Jahns at the Chicago Sun-Times on new head coach Matt Nagy’s apparent lack of willingness to talk about the Bears position in the 2018 NFL draft.

“As candid and open as Bears coach Matt Nagy was during his news conferences at his first mini-camp, he remained tight-lipped about one subject.

Don’t ask Nagy too much about the NFL Draft because he won’t say too much.

“He’ll be as sly as a John Fox.

“What’s Nagy’s sense for the caliber of players who could be available at No. 8?

“’You can ask [general manager] Ryan [Pace] that one,’ Nagy said with smile. ’He’s the expert.”’

A couple things here.

First, though it was subtle in this case, I’m tired of hearing Jahns and others bash John Fox for his unwillingness to give anything away by talking too much to the local press.

It doesn’t make its way into the papers, themselves, that much if for no other reason than because a good editor wouldn’t allow it. But the complaints have been rampant on any podcast many of these guys spend any time on and they haven’t entirely stopped with Fox’s firing.

I get it. He made your job a little more difficult. But I don’t want to hear you whine about your problems any more than you would want me to walk into the newsroom and spend 10 minutes every week whining about mine.

Fox was afraid to say too much and said too little as a result. Again, I get it. But his first job was to win. Providing story lines for the press was secondary.

I might add that although Nagy might be saying more, he’s not that much better than Fox or any other head coach in the NFL.

When asked about the fact that defensive end Leonard Floyd wasn’t able to participate in last week’s mini-camp, Nagy played dumb, claimed he wasn’t concerned, that he didn’t know where Floyd was at in his recovery and that it was something for the training staff.

Your best outside linebacker and practically the only decent pass rusher currently on the roster sprained his knee, couldn’t play the last six games of the season and now, four months after the last game, he can’t even participate in a mini-camp. And you aren’t concerned? You haven’t spoken to anyone about where he’s at in his recovery? Really?

Wow, how candid. Gee, what a breath of fresh air. [eyes rolling]

Give me a break.

Second, on the more positive side, Nagy’s non-comment on the draft does signal something that I like to see. It means that the organization is probably leaving the draft to Pace. Not that Nagy doesn’t have input. He absolutely should. You don’t want your coaching staff stuck with players they don’t believe in.

But in the end, you want the draft to be in the hands of the people who spend their entire year preparing for it. And if you are Pace, you should certainly play your cards close to the vest and keep everyone, including Nagy, on a need to know basis. He did that last year, apparently not telling Fox he was drafting Trubisky until the last minute. And rightfully so, as Fox apparently had a habit of running to his friends in the media with such information. Nagy might or might not be better but no one can leak information they don’t have.

In this respect, the Bears are running the organization the way it should be run.

Rashaad Coward Move to Guard Shows the Right Kind of Thinking

Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune answers your questions:

“Can you give us a little information about Rashaad Coward moving to guard? How often do things like this work out? I can’t think of any Bears moving positions like this in recent history. Curious what they saw in Coward. — @djjaco10

“When the Bears were strapped for offensive linemen in practice last season, they briefly moved Coward to the other side of the ball. He caught the attention of the organization at that point. There was discussion during the offseason about what to do with the undrafted player from Old Dominion, who appeared in one game for the Bears as a rookie. Should they allow him to compete at nose guard as a potential role player behind {Eddie Goldman} or give him a shot with a position switch? The decision was made to flip him to guard. It’s certainly interesting, given his 6-foot-5, 320-pound frame and his ability to move. There’s no question it will take some time, and position switches for undrafted players are long shots. Let’s be realistic: The odds already are stacked against undrafted players. The Bears liked the way Coward worked last season, though. A similar transition worked for the team with former defensive tackle-turned-right tackle James “Big Cat” Williams — although that was a quarter-century ago.”

This move caught my eye as well and I consider it to be a good sign.

I’m not a big fan of the this head coaching hire. Head coach Matt Nagy was an offensive coordinator for only two years and he’s called plays for only a half of a season. He’s never installed an offense.

But one thing a new head coach brings, especially a young one, is new ideas and (slightly) outside the box thinking. This is an example of that. Need a left guard? Don’t necessarily think the guy you have can do the job of that you’ll get a good draft pick? Why not look at the players at other positions and see who you can try?

Coward has the right body type and he won’t need to be as athletic at guard as he would have at defensive tackle. He wasn’t going to start there and you really aren’t losing that much defensively. On the other hand, if the team is very lucky, he might at guard.

I like it. I like it a lot.