After the Chiefs blew a 21-3 lead in a game during which Matt Nagy called all of the offensive plays, leaving Nagy “numb,” the Bears offered to delay by a day or two his interview, in order to allow him to process the disappointing end to his team’s season. When presented with that opportunity, Nagy had a different thought.
He wanted to move the interview even earlier.
So the Bears met with Nagy in Kansas City from 8:00 a.m. local time until 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, with dinner later that night. By the next morning, Nagy had been offered — and had accepted — the job.
The Bears, based on introductory remarks from G.M. Ryan Pace at the press conference introducing Nagy as the 15th coach of the franchise (and the third in five years), seemed to already know that they wanted Nagy. Nagy didn’t need very long to know he wanted the Bears.
As mentioned during Monday’s PFT PM podcast, Nagy maybe should have opted for some extra time. Beyond the fact that it’s never good to make important life decisions within a day or two after experiencing the kind of failure that causes any competent and rational person to wonder whether they are actually incompetent and irrational, Nagy may have had other choices, including waiting for the next hiring cycle.
Instead, Nagy pounced on the first organization to tell him, essentially, “We believe in you even though you really didn’t do a very good job in a big spot last night.”
It was clear from Nagy’s first-ever Bears press conference, which featured few memorable moments or glimpses of a man who will command the locker room the way the likes of Ditka or Halas once did, that Nagy was thrilled to be given a chance to fulfill his dream to be an NFL head coach. So what if there may have been better options for Nagy? So what if there’s a confusing dynamic in the organization regarding the accountability of the General Manager (who received an extension on the same day the last coach got a pink slip) for the failure to develop a successful franchise? So what if the rumors and rumblings persist that longtime team president Ted Phillips, who claims to not meddle, actually does?
Nagy, who first became a full-time coach in 2009, wanted to be an NFL head coach. There are only 32 of those jobs. Thus, regardless of whether it was the best choice for Nagy (who admitted that he hasn’t had the time to research any of the vacant jobs), it was a vacant head-coaching job, he wanted the job, and the team wanted him.
Pace spoke about the fit with Nagy, and the fact that Nagy rushed to accept a job that may have caused a candidate with other options to step back and ask some tough questions made for the right fit: Someone who will gladly accept the assignment despite the very real concerns regarding a team that hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2010, and that has only four postseason appearances since Phillips became the president of the team.
None of this means Nagy won’t thrive. Chiefs coach Andy Reid has said Nagy is the best coaching candidate Reid has ever worked with, and his coaching tree includes names like John Harbaugh, Ron Rivera, Sean McDermott, Doug Pederson, and Todd Bowles.
So we’ll give Nagy the benefit of the doubt moving forward. But given the team’s history and Nagy’s inexperience, it’s fair to be skeptical about whether this one will go any better than it did with the last two coaches.