As some of you might know I am a huge Chicago Bears fan. I quit writing articles this season because the pain of it all became un-bearable (get it?). The team somewhat salvaged the season by finishing 8-8, which was completely due to rallying around their coach.
The team clearly regressed. One of the biggest reasons is the Quarterback- the second overall pick from 2017 whom the team traded a bunch of draft capitol to move up one pick for- #10 Mitchell Trubisky.
Trubisky finished the year regressing in every statistical category. This included an unbelievably awful 6.1 yards per passing attempt.
Why don’t you check out some of his throws on the season:
Despite the team committing to him, their actions would mean more than these words.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT TELLS THE STORY
In the end of season press conference, General Manager Ryan Pace and Head Coach Matt Nagy clearly saw what we all saw. First of all, Pace would not commit to picking up Trubisky’s fifth year option. Secondly, the GM and coach also said that they need to bring “competition” into the Quarterback room. Finally, Coach Matt Nagy also stated he wants Mitch to be more obsessed: “it has to get to a point where you’re so obsessed, no matter what you’re doing, you’re always watching film.” This is after Nagy saying that the quarterback WAS obsessed this the prior offseason.
The offseason continued with Matt Nagy taking control with his new offensive staff:
- Offensive line coach Juan Castillo from his Philadelphia days.
- Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor whom he previously considered hiring.
- Tough Quarterback coach John DeFilippo whom Nagy played against while in college.
- Promoted quarterback coach Dave Ragone to passing game coordinator.
In other words, he brought in a group of quarterback experts to fix the Bears biggest issue. Check out DeFilippo‘s style of coaching:
Judging by the comments made, coaches hired (especially DeFillipo), no longer were the Bears going to coddle Trubisky.
And then Free Agency Began..
The anticipation build up for months until the start of free agency. Big news broke almost immediately:
Bears twitter went CRAZY. Ryan Pace clearly showed by his actions that he didn’t trust Trubisky.
Several hours later the deal fell through (Bridgewater’s camp were likely using the Bears for leverage). Soon after, the Bears were linked to several quarterbacks including Andy Dalton. There were crickets until Bridgewater signed with the Panthers later in the day. All of the sudden the Bears were reportedly speaking to Cam Newton.
Two days passed with no news- and then this happened:
The Chicago Bears trade for Nick Foles
In a disappointing move for many Bears fans, the Chicago Bears traded a 4th round compensatory pick (#140) to the Jacksonville Jaguars for former Super Bowl MVP Quarterback Nick Foles. It was only one-year ago that the Jaguars gave Foles a 4-year 88 million dollar contract, the largest contract in team history.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter the Bears restructured Foles’ contract to make this work”
From Jacksonville’s side this made complete sense. They were ready to give the reigns to Garner Minshew on the heels of Minshew-Mania. Minshew set several franchise records and now is the franchise leader and unquestioned starter.
For the Bears, however, this all made complete sense. and I’ll tell you why:
We will see what Mitch Trubisky is really made of…
For the first time in his career, Mitchell Trubisky will be pushed. As I stated above, there will no more coddling by Matt Nagy. Mitchell will finally have much needed competition from a guy the coaches already trust.
The question is: will Mitchell Trubisky take control or shrink in the corner?
The impact of COVID-19 on the upcoming season.
Because of the coronavirus epidemic, NFL teams can’t gather at all for offseason practices. Coach Matt Nagy was fully aware of this. The connection is clear: Nagy and Doug Peterson were former offensive coordinators in Kansas City. Foles was coached by Doug Peterson in Philadelphia in 2017 and 2018 (when he was Super Bowl MVP). Foles knows the offense inside and out and doesn’t need time to adjust.
Nick Foles’ Familiarity with the Bears coaches
Now the offensive staff hires make even more sense. Nick Foles has played with offensive coordinator Bill Lazor in his best pro year with the Eagles in 2012. He has experience with John DeFilippo in 2017 and 2019 with both the Eagles and Jaguars. Head Coach Matt Nagy knew him well at both Philadelphia in 2012 and Kansas City in 2016. Matt is very endeared to Nick and helped him at one of the lowest points of his career in 2016 where he contemplated retirement:
“I went to training camp; I signed late,” Foles said after Sunday’s game in Washington. “I came to Kansas City and went to get my physical, and I was dropped off at Nagy’s house in Overland Park. I had known him from my rookie year (with the Eagles). I got to spend time with his family and hang out. Then I drove back (to training camp in St. Joseph, Mo.) with him. I didn’t have a car and he let me use his car during training camp so I could get from place to place. And he just rode with a coach, and that’s just who he is as a person.”
Nagy had similar sentiments:
“I can still remember the day that Nick and I were in my car together when I picked him up from the airport. He came over to my house and was seeing my kids. And he was just living life a little bit — the things away from football. And we got him back up loving the game. And you see what he’s done last year and where he’s at now. So I have tons of respect for him.”
Chicago is in a WIN-NOW mode
Chicago’s biggest off-season move was the signing of sack specialist Robert Quinn. The Bears were not playing games with their 5 year-70 million dollar contract. Quinn completes their dominant defense and gives Khalil Mack relief from double and triple teams.
The window to win is now. The defense is in their prime and they just need an offense that will keep the defense off the field. The Vikings lost several players (Including their star wide-out) and look prime for regression. Green Bay won eight games by only one score last year, and Aaron Rodgers is not who he used to be. The Lions are still the Lions.
The best case scenario for the Bears is that Mitchell Trubisky plays really good football. Competition lights a fire under Mitch and Foles is able to pour into him all his knowledge and experience. The Bears go to the playoffs.
Make no mistake, however, Foles is here to start. This is Nagy’s guy and he likely will be the starter week 1 (At worst, week 8).
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