The Bears will hire Matt Nagy as their next head coach, according to Adam L. Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times. Nagy, the offensive coordinator of the Chiefs, became available over the weekend when Kansas City was eliminated from the playoffs by the Titans.
The hire is now official. Nagy will replace John Fox and become the Bears’ latest offensively geared HC, following Marc Trestman in that regard. Nagy was also in the running for the Colts’ head coaching job, interviewing on Sunday, and the Bears did not want to risk losing him. The 39-year-old offensive coordinator will now be tasked with reigniting the dormant Bears offense and putting young quarterback Mitch Trubisky on the right track.
Nagy also interviewed with the Bears on Sunday, and the storied franchise selected the second-year Chiefs OC out of a six-interview process. The Bears also met with Josh McDaniels, Pat Shurmur, George Edwards, John DeFilippo and incumbent DC Vic Fangio. This marks the latest Andy Reid disciple to land a coaching opportunity, following three-year Chiefs OC Doug Pederson — whom Nagy succeeded.
The Chiefs turned to Nagy late in the season to call plays, and the AFC West champions re-routed their season upon doing so. Kansas City won its final four games after losing six of seven during a midseason swoon. Although the Chiefs stumbled yet again in a home playoff contest, Nagy helped coax breakout slates from Tyreek Hill and rushing champion Kareem Hunt.
Nagy will also serve as the Bears’ play-caller, Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). However, his first big decision will be in addressing who oversees Chicago’s defense. Mortensn reports the franchise would like to retain Fangio, but his contract expires at midnight. The veteran DC also has received significant interest elsewhere and could depart for another opportunity.
This also narrows McDaniels’ options. The perennial HC candidate has interviewed in Indianapolis and New York. ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano and NBC Sports Boston’s Tom Curran (Twitter link) point McDaniels as being a likelier fit with the Colts than Giants.
Alex Smith also had a career-best season under Nagy’s guidance, and the Bears will team the young coach with Trubisky after centering their search around offensive-minded leaders. Nagy was a Trubisky fan when the North Carolina product declared for the draft, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter), and he’ll have the biggest say in attempting to take the raw passer to the next level in his development.
The Chiefs ranked fifth in total offense under Nagy. He’ll now helm a Bears attack that finished 30th. Affected by multiple injuries at wide receiver, the Bears relied on their ground game. Their new HC figures to attempt to augment the team’s aerial corps. Trubisky himself finished with seven touchdown passes and seven interceptions, completing 59 percent of his passes while going 4-8 as a starter.
The Bears have not produced a winning season since the 2012 campaign under Lovie Smith, and they’ll turn to Nagy to right the ship.
Sam Robinson contributed to this report.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.