In turn, Nagy went from Kansas City, where he had an opportunity to groom a young but tremendously talented quarterback in Patrick Mahomes, to Chicago, where he'll groom a young but tremendously talented quarterback in Mitch Trubisky. Nagy essentially traded the 10th overall pick in 2017 (Mahomes) for the second overall pick from that same draft (Trubisky) when he signed on with the Bears.
However, before Nagy even accepted the job in Chicago, he already had a relationship with his new quarterback.
Trubisky visited the Chiefs before the 2017 draft and spent about six hours in the classroom with head coach Andy Reid, Nagy and the offensive staff. After the visit concluded, the Chiefs were more than impressed. Nagy himself really liked Trubisky and had a good feeling about the kid from North Carolina. Perhaps the success of that meeting played a part in the Bears' decision to hire Nagy, who had no prior head-coaching experience, to lead the organization back to relevance and mentor a second-year quarterback to success.
"I'm sure they knew or at least found out that he had a good visit here and that they got along," Reid said after practice earlier this week of the Bears' awareness of the Nagy-Trubisky connection. "I think that's important for a quarterback, and you're getting him while he's still young. It looks like he's fitting in really well with the offense. He's done a nice job."
Reid knew he was going to lose Nagy eventually. He'd already prepared the proper moves within his staff ahead of time. And Chicago appears to be the perfect fit for both player and coach because of how well Nagy works, not just with quarterbacks, but young quarterbacks in particular.
"I think Matt's going to do a great job, he did a great job here over the years," said Eric Bieniemy, who was promoted to the Chiefs' offensive coordinator spot after Nagy's departure. "And I'm sure working with the quarterback that he has right now, he's looking forward to that challenge and getting the best out of him."
Mahomes served as Alex Smith's backup last season, and while it was Mahomes' only season with Nagy, the coach made an instant impression on the young flamethrower.
"When I met with Coach Nags, it was awesome ever since the start," Mahomes gushed of Nagy this week. "He's been through the process. He's tried to make a career of his own as a quarterback, then moved over to coaching. Just having someone that has been through that process and knows how to relate to the young guys and especially the quarterback position will help you really understand the offense and really understand what the defenses are trying to get."
Success in the NFL isn't measured by how strong your relationship is with your coach. It helps, but you need results. Trubisky has publicly stated several times that Nagy's offense is the type of system he should be playing in. Nagy wants to go downfield, and often. During the Bears' joint practices with the Broncos last week, Trubisky threw deep ball after deep ball. After the first day of practice, Nagy was asked if that was something they want to see Trubisky continue to do, as opposed to checking down, even if he's not connecting.
"That's never going to stop," Nagy quickly said. "Not in this offense."
Last year in Kansas City, with Nagy calling plays for a good portion of the season, Smith was the best deep-ball passer in the NFL. Smith led the league in deep passer rating (131.4) and accuracy rate (56.5 percent), according to Pro Football Focus.
Nagy and the Bears will host Mahomes and Reid on Saturday for the all-important third preseason game. It's the final dress rehearsal for both coaches to get a chance to evaluate what they've taught their young quarterbacks.
Looking at the Bears offense under Nagy, Reid feels as though he's looking in the mirror. Nagy, of course, has always put his own spin on things, as Reid expected and Trubisky likes.
At one point leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft, Nagy was sitting in a meeting room for six hours, grilling Trubisky as if he were going to be his quarterback. Now he is. It just came together a little differently than everyone would have expected.