Jordan Howard is tired of running into eight-man boxes. He's hoping Matt Nagy's creative play-calling can change that for him.
The Chicago Bears star running back said on Good Morning Football on Thursday that the Bears' offense was too basic and too predictable under John Fox in 2017. With new head coach Matt Nagy, who's regarded as a bright offensive mind, at the helm, Howard is expecting change for the better.
"I actually got a text earlier that day that he was going to be announced as our coach so I was pretty excited about that with his offensive background," Howard said of Nagy. "We struggled on offense this past year so I'm definitely excited about that because we need some help."
Fox's offense, which was led by OC Dowell Loggains, ranked third-to-last in the NFL with just 287.4 yards per game. It averaged a league-worst 175.7 passing yards per game and a league-low 473 passing attempts. That led to Howard seeing an awful lot of opposing jerseys at the line of scrimmage, which is something he's hoping changes with the new coaching staff.
"I felt great about that because last year we were pretty much basic and everybody knew what we were going do, they knew what was coming pretty much every play so it was pretty easy for them to stop us," Howard said when asked for his reaction to Nagy saying the Bears' new offense would be fun. "Now, I feel like we're going to be a lot more creative and have defenses off balance."
As offensive coordinator in Kansas City last season, Nagy led a Chiefs attack that (for most of the season, at least) utilized creative play-calling to push quarterback Alex Smith, tight end Travis Kelce, running back Kareem Hunt and receiver Tyreek Hill all to career years.
Hiring Mark Helfrich, who coached under Chip Kelly in Oregon's high-flying offensive days, as offensive coordinator in Chicago should only add to that innovation. And the idea of all that has made Howard a happy running back heading into the offseason.