Matt Nagy excited for Bears to be in prime position

  • By Grant Gordon
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In prime time with all the world watching, the Chicago Bears will kick off the NFL's 100th season against the rival Green Bay Packers.

The NFL's annual Thursday Night Kickoff will not only start the centennial season, but one in which the Bears will play a league-high five prime time contests.

And Bears coach Matt Nagy is plenty pumped to be playing under the lights.

"So, what I learned from coach [Andy] Reid when we were in Philadelphia and Kansas City is that you don't want to be a team that has a bunch of 12 or 1 o'clock games," Nagy said Friday on Total Access from the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship in Nevada. "You want to have as many prime time games as possible. We're excited to be in that position."

Following his days as an assistant under Reid for five seasons in Philadelphia and five in Kansas City, Nagy's first campaign as a head coach was a memorable one. The Bears pulled off a worst-to-first turnaround as they posted a 12-4 record that included the NFC North title.

Thus, they will go from two prime time games in 2018 to a scheduled five in 2019.

Last season, the Bears also began their slate against the Packers, losing in heartbreaking fashion when an injured Aaron Rodgers rallied Green Bay.

"What a rivalry. It goes back to George Halas and Vince Lombardi," Nagy said. "For me, personally, selfishly, to be a part of that, I'm completely honored. I can't wait. I know our guys will be ready and our city and our fans are just so stoked."

Nagy will also face Reid for the first time, standing off sideline-to-sideline in Week 16 on Sunday night.

"We have tons of respect for the teams that we're playing," said Nagy, whose team is one of 10 with five prime time games. "We have a tough schedule, but our guys know that. We wouldn't want it any other way."

2019 Chicago Bears prime time schedule

»  Bears vs. Packers, 8:20 p.m. Thursday night Sept. 5

»  Bears at Redskins, 8:15 p.m. Monday night Sept. 23

»  Bears at Rams, 8:20 p.m. Sunday night Nov. 24

»  Bears vs. Cowboys, 8:20 p.m. Sunday night Dec. 5

»  Bears vs. Chiefs, 8:20 p.m. Sunday night Dec. 22