All the good work the Bears did last year might have been undone, simply because of the dramatic and traumatic way in which they lost their playoff game.
But Bears coach Matt Nagy was actually encouraged by the way his team has responded to losing on the double-doink field goal miss against the Eagles, which was the anticlimactic end of an otherwise brilliant season.
“[It was] their response to me of saying, ‘We were going to win the Super Bowl,’ ” Nagy said, via Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune. “They believed that. But now they also realize it’s not easy.”
“I wasn’t sure, after a loss like that, how they were going to handle it,” Nagy said. “Because they are young. So are they upset and deflated and disappointed? Yeah, they are. But they were actually more positive and more [eager] to get back [to Halas Hall], which fired me up.
“In that game, with the way we lost, there’s a natural reaction to almost feel sorry for yourselves as players and coaches that, ‘Man, we were so close.’ But, no, [it was], ‘We’re going to use this now as a motivation.’ That’s what’s fun to me, knowing we have guys on this team who truly care.”
Nagy said his next challenge is to make sure his team did not take last year’s success for granted.
“That’s going to be my biggest challenge as the head coach — to make sure there’s no complacency,” he said. “One of the fun parts in my position is being able to be creative and find ways of how do you do that. You’ve got to be motivational, but you can’t be monotonous with it.”
That’s a much better concern than worrying about how to rebuild, because after going 12-4 last year, the Bears have had a taste of the success Nagy hopes becomes traditional.