Matt Nagy Busts Offense to "Get These Freakin' Details Right"
Beating Tampa 20-19 Thursday ranked high among the victories during Matt Nagy's time as Chicago Bears coach.
No one called it a perfect win, though, and on Friday morning Nagy launched into a rant over the sporadic way his offense has executed during all five games in a 4-1 start.
He'll get few arguments from anyone, and probably even his own offensive players.
The Bears will go into this mini-bye weekend with one of the league's worst offenses, propped up by one of the best defenses.
"You gotta be able to run the football," Nagy said.
There is no debating this, but the Bears will hardly find this easy going forward if they lose guard James Daniels for any length of time. He suffered a pectoral injury and left Thursday's games. Undrafted guard Alex Bars replaced him and had a few problem plays, although he held his own.
"I thought once we got behind 13-0, we had to do a little bit more in the pass game. And we did," Nagy said. "We were more effective that way."
In the last two games the Bears have 63 yards rushing on 30 rushes, a 2.1-yard average. They started with 414 yards in three games and ranked 11th in rushing then.
"The last two weeks, I've said it over and over, these two teams we've faced on the front line and linebackers, they're really good," Nagy said. "That's not to take anything away from other team that we played, that's just the simple truth.
"These two fronts that we've played the last two week, that's what they are."
The strength of opposing defenses still did not excuse the offense and he even tempered the postgame Club Dub celebration by stressing this to players then.
"We talked to the guys after the game in the locker room—the O-line specifically and the tight ends and David Montgomery, had a good conversation with him," Nagy said. "And I think the biggest thing is just all of us understanding that, hey, this is the NFL and there are a lot of great teams and great players in this deal.
"What we got to do is none of us can get frustrated with the last two weeks, the amount of struggle that it's been, numbers-wise, to run the football. I really believe in these guys. I really think that we can only get better offensively. I know that they're gonna work super hard to do that. I know that they're gonna work hard at the details when they hear me harp on the details this next following week."
Nagy didn't spare his passing attack from the criticism, even though it was Nick Foles and his receivers who made the win possible by overcoming a 13-0 deficit.
The interception Foles threw in the second quarter wasn't necessarily a source of Nagy's unhappiness because of how it occurred. He cited strong defense by Carlton Davis for that one, but found plenty of fault elsewhere.
"I thought offensively, just looking at it and you start wondering about the sloppiness and where things are at and how to get to where we need to go—I just look back after watching the tape and the details right now in this offense are not there," Nagy said. "So that's our job as coaches to make sure that we get these freakin' details right.
"It's as simple as that."
Nagy saw not paying attention to detail as leading to some frightening situations for the offense.
"To be in a situation like we were yesterday in that second half, I've never been a part of something of third-and-17, third-and-18, third-and-2, third-and-24, third-and-29, third-and-19, third-and-8, third-and-nine and third-and-nine," Nagy said. "I've never been a part of that.
"So we've got to get that, that, that, that thing there has to get fixed. That’s that. So offensively, we got some stuff to do."
The details hardly seem a simple concept to football fans who don't know the intricacies of the playbook, and Nagy sought to clarify this a bit.
"So if that means running a route at five steps and not three steps, or if that means running a route at three steps and not seven steps, that has to happen," Nagy said. "If it means to set a certain way and block somebody, that's what that means. If it means to throw on a certain time with your feet, do that. If it means to make the right play call at the right time, then do that as coaches. Meaning myself.
"And so we’re all in this thing together. But I refuse to allow this happen."