Matt Nagy: Trubisky 'certainly a part of' going to Bears


An Andy Reid disciple and the play-calling mastermind behind the Kansas City Chiefs' late-season turnaround, new Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy spent much of Tuesday's introductory press conference answering one question: Can he pull the same trick with Mitchell Trubisky, as he did with Alex Smith?

Nagy lauded Trubisky and praised Chicago's early selection of the QB in the 2017 draft, but also insisted that his role as the 16th coach in Bears history will be more than just developing the face of the franchise.

"It's certainly a part of it, but that's not the reason why I'm here," Nagy said Tuesday. "I'm here because of the organization and the direction and I could feel that from the moment I was in that interview process.

"This is a team game and everyone on this team is just as important as the quarterback, but that was certainly a part of it."

General manager Ryan Pace echoed those sentiments in the opening minute of his remarks.

"This is about more than the quarterback," Pace explained to reporters. "Yes, that's the most important position on our team, but this is about 53 players and it's about leading a group of men and it's about winning in all three phases."

As Kansas City's offensive coordinator, Nagy got an up-close look at Trubisky during the 2017 draft process, bringing the future Bears QB into K.C. for a day-long visit. Nagy told Chicago media Tuesday that his pre-draft sit-down with Trubisky was "unbelievable" and that the QB "knew football inside and out."

Chicago ended up snagging Trubisky early on in the draft, trading up one spot into the second selection to draft the North Carolina quarterback. Trubisky enjoyed a fine rookie season, replacing Mike Glennon as the starter in Week 5. In 12 games, the rookie compiled four wins, threw seven touchdowns to seven picks and completed 59.4 percent of his passes.

K.C., meanwhile, traded up eight spots after Chicago to draft Patrick Mahomes, who sat on the bench until Week 17 when he finally got his shot. Nagy added that dealing with a rookie quarterback of his own in 2017 will help inform his tutoring of the Bears' young signal-caller.

"It's a different way to teach for me, but that was good," Nagy explained. "It kind of brought that out of me to understand, listen, he doesn't know the concept of this play. ... It made me a better person. It made me a better coach."

The hiring of Nagy to tutor Trubisky after a milquetoast rookie season under an unachieving coaching staff looks, on face value, like an attempt to mimic what the Los Angeles Rams did last offseason with Sean McVay and Jared Goff. They say it's a copycat league, after all.

So regardless of what Pace and Nagy claim, the success of this new era of Bears football will depend on the development of Trubisky into a quarterback worthy of the second overall pick.

Here are some other important nuggets from Nagy's first showing as HBC of "Da Bears":

»  Vic Fangio's fate in Chicago is still up in the air. After being passed over for the head coaching job, the defensive coordinator is reportedly being courted by the rival Green Bay Packers to fill the same role, vacated by the fired Dom Capers. Nagy said Tuesday that the two have talked and that the Bears will "make a clear decision" soon regarding retaining Fangio. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per sources informed, that the team is expected to retain him and a deal should be done soon.

»  Nagy said he will call plays for the Bears next season. He took over play-calling duties from Reid in Week 13, after which K.C. enjoyed a four-game winning streak and averaged 28 points per game.

»  As much as he'd probably like to, Nagy couldn't escape questions about the last game he coached, Kansas City's second-half collapse in Saturday's wild-card loss to the Tennessee Titans. "I was numb for a lot of the night for so many different reasons," Nagy said. "I called every single play in the second half. Again, that's a learning situation for me. ... For me, that was a failure in my book."

Nagy specifically addressed the elephant in the room, the Chiefs' inability to get over the loss of Travis Kelce on Saturday. "You lose a player like Kelce, you've got to adapt," Nagy admitted. "I know that our offense and our offensive staff supports me, Coach Reid supports me. I called every single play in the second half. I stand by it. I promise you I'm going to learn from it."