Back in the Saddle

Bears coach Matt Nagy enjoys the challenge of calling plays and he'll do it again this season after the team had its best offensive success last year when he quit doing it.
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The Bears are leaving themselves open to second guessers.

What else is new.

They signed Andy Dalton as quarterback, a passer who has worked with offensive coordinator Bill Lazor in the past. And Lazor last year took over play-calling responsibilities from coach Matt Nagy when the team's offense turned around its fortunes in time to make a run to the playoffs.

So what happens now after the Bears have reunited Dalton with an offensive coordinator who has succeeded in getting the offense going again?

Nagy is taking back play-calling duties, of course.

Nagy during Friday's press conference announced he will be calling plays again this season.a

"As far as calling plays, I'm going to be the one calling plays this year," Nagy said. "That's an exciting thing for me to get back to knowing where we're at. The fun part right now is doing what we want to do better, getting that right with coaches and players that are going to be with us."

Nagy didn't want to dwell on the benefits of the play-calling change.

"For me, again, without getting into too much of last year, there's a lot of things that go into that," Nagy said. "When we look through the scheme (evaluation) and where we're at, it was for me just something that I feel good about. That's like a minor deal for us right now.

"We're just going through all this stuff this film and seeing where we're at. We've got bigger things to worry about than that. That's where we're at right now."

The Bears averaged 27.7 points for regular-season games after the announcement Nagy would stop calling plays and Lazor would do it. They averaged 19.7 points a game when Nagy was calling plays. However, they also played against the toughest defenses on their schedule when Nagy called plays while Lazor's offense went against a stretch of weak defensive opponents late in the season.

Nagy said the scheme evaluation has been going on recently and is near completion. The more important aspect of all of it to Nagy is getting the coaches together with their new quarterback and backup Nick Foles to begin work.

"Now, with this year being new, we bring a new quarterback into play with Andy as the starter and Nick understands that and so, the process that we go about through this isn't just a one-day process," Nagy said. "There's a lot that goes into it.

"There's going to be some things that Andy likes that Mitch and Nick hated, and vice versa. But we're going to work together to figure out what that is."

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