Bears name Matt Nagy head coach fresh off 5-11 season
Ex-Chiefs offensive co-ordinator drew praise for work with QB Alex Smith
The Chicago Bears have hired Kansas City Chiefs offensive co-ordinator Matt Nagy as their new head coach, hoping he can help lift a foundering NFL franchise emerge from one of its worst runs in history.
The Bears announced the move Monday, a week after firing coach John Fox. The Bears are just 14-34 record in the past three years for a .292 winning percentage that ranks as the second-lowest in their history. They Bears were 5-11 this past season.
The 39-year-old Nagy spent the past 10 seasons working under Andy Reid in Philadelphia and Kansas City. He did not call plays until late this season, but drew praise for his work with Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith. In Chicago, he will be trying to develop No. 2 overall draft pick Mitchell Trubisky.
The Chiefs won the AFC West, only to blow an 18-point halftime lead in a playoff loss to Tennessee on Saturday. The Bears met with Nagy in Kansas City on Sunday and wasted little time hiring him.
Chicago also interviewed Philadelphia quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, Minnesota and New England offensive co-ordinators Pat Shurmur and Josh McDaniels, Vikings defensive co-ordinator George Edwards and Chicago defensive co-ordinator Vic Fangio.
General manager Ryan Pace, who recently got a contract extension through the 2021 season, announced the decision and will have a lot riding on Nagy's performance.
Pace has had some big hits in the draft such as star running back Jordan Howard (2016, fifth round) and notable misses such as oft-injured receiver Kevin White (2015, first round). Injuries have consistently exposed a lack of depth, and Pace's record in free agency has so far been shaky in trying to replace talented players such as receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, tight end Martellus Bennett and kicker Robbie Gould.
Fox helped restore some of the professionalism that was missing under former GM Phil Emery and coach Marc Trestman. But Fox's conservative approach and some questionable decisions during games were sore spots.
The Bears were 3-15 against the NFC North under Fox and dropped all six division games this past season.