As I watched the game last week against the Giants, I was struck by color commentator Jay Feely’s comment that he thought Giants head coach Joe Judge was failing because he struggled to hire a staff after spending his entire professional coaching career in New England. As a result, Judge, who I am sure is a fine coach, had limited opportunities to work with and evaluate coaches around the league. Basically he was inbred and, when it came to finding good people to assemble a staff, he had a hard time picking people outside the family. Judge has already fired his offensive coordinator and there may well be a lot of turnover in the offseason if he survives to 2022-2023.
The reason this stuck me is because, to a limited extent, Matt Nagy has had the same problem with the Bears. Nagy spent his entire coaching career with Andy Reid. He also has had limited exposure to coaches around the league. He didn’t struggle as badly as Judge in that area because he already had a defensive staff under Vic Fangio assembled for him when he was hired by the Bears. The minute Fangio left and took his coaches with him, Nagy was in trouble.
As I watched these last two seemingly interminable games, it occurred to me to hope sincerely that when the Bears finally put Nagy out of his misery and let him go after the season, that they take the opportunity to find a head coach with more diverse experiences around the league. This will allow him to not only be able to choose a better staff through his connections but such a coach will be more likely to be able to provide solutions to problems that his players encounter. This is something that Nagy continually struggled to do.
- The Bears very evidently wanted to run against the Vikings this game and I’d say they did so with reasonable success. But for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why they kept doing it out of the shotgun, especially early on. If you really want to run a downhill running games, getting the QB under center is far and away the best way to do it. Perhaps running back David Montgomery or quarterback Andy Dalton expressed a preference for the shotgun. But it makes me uncomfortable thinking about the Beras trying to run a spread offense.
- Once again, I thought the Bears were feeding Darnell Mooney the ball too much this game. It wasn’t quite as bad as last week but Allen Robinson still seems to be an afterthought.
- As I watched Damien Williams score a touchdown on a throw out of the back field at the end of the first half, I wondered where that has been all year. Didn’t they draft Montgomery in part because he was so good at catching the ball? Why did it take so long for them to pull it out and why not with Montgomery?
- The Bears offensive line was flat out poor protecting Dalton at critical times during this game, giving up 7 sacks. Admittedly some of them were coverage sacks. Nevertheless, most of the offseason focus is moving towards addressing the wide receiver and corner back positions and rightfully so. But this line still isn’t good enough to compete with the better teams in the league.
- The Bears were crowding the line of scrimmage at the first hint of anything resembling a run formation. Whatever happened, they didn’t want Viking running back Dalvin Cook beating them.
- The Bears got good pressure on Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Occasionally it was the result of the games that they were running up front. But the truth is that the Viking offensive line just isn’t good. Its a chronic problem for them that head coach Mike Zimmer and the Viking front office have never solved.
- The Vikings offensive game plan puzzled me. For whatever reason, they didn’t start doing the obvious thing and attack the Bears weak defensive backs until very late in the first half. I know that they consider themselves to be a running team but you have to be flexible and take advantage of the match ups, too. I thought they were exceptionally stubborn in this case.
- Even considering the fact that the talent isn’t there, I thought the Bears defensive backs played exceptionally poorly. The broken coverages were frequent and inexcusable.
- Aqib Talib might be the worst color commentator I’ve ever heard. I learned nothing today.
- OK. I’m sticking my neck out on this one. But with both of these head coaches very possibly losing their jobs tomorrow, am I the only one thinking that Mike Zimmer might make a pretty good Bears head coach?