Is Matt Nagy underrated and undeserving of recent criticism? The head coach of the Chicago Bears has been under fire for over a year now after he has yet to take the team beyond the promise displayed in his 12-4 debut season with the team in 2018 — and one former NFL player and current analyst thinks that criticism is unfair.
Ross Tucker played in the NFL from 2001-07, playing for five different teams in that span. The former offensive lineman has worked as an analyst since retiring from the league and he had a viral moment on Twitter this week when he shared his thoughts on the Bears’ current head coach, along with former quarterback Mitch Trubisky.
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Tucker: ‘Let’s Give Matt Nagy More Respect’
Tucker thinks fans and analysts who are critical of Nagy need to put more respect on the head coach’s name.
“The guy is 28-20, has two playoff berths, would have a playoff win if it wasn’t for Cody Parkey and the ‘Double Doink’, has had zero losing seasons — all with a quarterback that the NFL thinks so highly of, he’s getting paid 2.5 million dollars to back up MVP candidate Josh Allen,” Tucker began, referring to the one-year, $2.5 million deal Trubisky signed with the Buffalo Bills this offseason.
Tucker then doubled down on his defense of Nagy:
People talk about Matt Nagy like he’s some terrible coach. Playoffs two out of three years, 28-20, should have had a playoff win — thank you, Cody Parkey — with a quarterback that nobody wanted. Forget what any of us think about Mitchell Trubisky. Nobody in the NFL wanted him. The Bills took him — as a backup, and I’m pretty sure he wasn’t even the Bills’ first choice to be the backup for Josh Allen. $2.5 million for one year, behind an MVP candidate. Let’s just give Matt Nagy a little bit more respect.
I don’t get all the Matt Nagy hate in Chicago. At all. ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/cs9jo3eipK
— Ross Tucker (@RossTuckerNFL) April 5, 2021
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Nagy’s 28-20 Record is Slightly Deceiving
While he has been a solid leader in the locker room in some ways, in others, Nagy is deserving of at least some of the criticism that has been thrown his way. He was hired in 2018 to help develop Trubisky, which clearly never happened, and his play-calling was often criticized as not being catered to his former quarterback’s strengths.
Nagy’s career record of 28-20 should also be credited far more to a dominant defense anchored by Akiem Hicks and Khalil Mack than anything else the offensive-minded head coach has done for the team. The Bears ranked 22nd in scoring last year (23.3 points a game), and 29th the year prior (17.5 points a game). Nagy has some positive qualities, but showering him with praise for his winning record without crediting the defense he inherited seems like a huge omission.
For his part, Nagy has also confirmed he’ll be calling plays once again in 2021 after surrendering play-calling duties over halfway through the season last year. The Bears offense looked more run-centric with offensive coordinator Bill Lazor calling the plays, but with Trubisky gone and a potential new quarterback coming via the draft, Nagy will be back at the helm of the offense.
“I’m going to be the one calling the plays this year,” Nagy told the media over a week ago. “But that’s an exciting thing for me. … The fun part right now is building what we want to do better. Getting that right with coaches and players that are going to be with us.”
We’ll see how that goes for him. Bears fans await with fingers crossed.
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