Be You, indeed.
First-year Bears coach Matt Nagy followed that self-imposed decree all year long, and it worked. That’s not how it looked like it was going to go.
The Bears officially introduced coach Matt Nagy on the same day the Raiders officially re-introduced Jon Gruden. And Gruden, a seasoned broadcaster after nine years with ESPN, gave a press conference that blew Nagy’s away. Proving yet again that winning a press conference doesn’t mean squat.
The Bears won the NFC North, the Raiders struggled at the bottom of the NFL. And Nagy is the PFT 2018 coach of the year.
The award typically hinges on whether and to what extent a team exceeds the generally accepted expectations entering the season. Several teams did; none did it like the Bears.
The trade for pass rusher Khalil Mack helped beef up the defense, and Nagy’s expertise running an offense gave the Bears something they haven’t had much of in recent decades. Something they’ll have for the next decade or so, if Mitchell Trubisky continues to develop.
Other coaches who received serious consideration include Chargers coach Anthony Lynn, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, Saints coach Sean Payton, and Ravens coach John Harbaugh. At the end of the day, Nagy did more with the Bears relative to what was anticipated than anyone else. And so, for the second straight year, a first-year coach wins the award.
With eight new coaches coming in 2019, there’s a 25 percent chance it will happen again.