The Chicago Bears offense was hard to watch last season. Matt Nagy’s play calling was questionable, and Mitch Trubisky could not find a rhythm. These struggles made for a season headlined by great defense, bad offense, and angry Bears fans.
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To fix this, Nagy retooled the offensive coaching staff by bringing in a new offensive coordinator in Bill Lazor as well as a new quarterbacks coach in John DeFilippo to the Windy City. Nagy’s thought process in these moves were to create a center for offensive genius in Chicago that would help brainstorm schemes, game plans, and ideas that would lead to a revamped and refreshed offensive unit in 2020. Yet, more ideas doesn’t always mean better play.
Part of last year’s struggles was Matt Nagy calling plays that worked well in 2018 thinking they would work just as well in 2019. The fact is, defenses watch film too, and they were ready for what Nagy threw at them. The first step for the Bears offense to succeed is for Matt Nagy’s play calling to modernize and evolve. He can’t be calling the same plays he did last year thinking they may work this year.
This is where the new offensive minds in Chicago need to guide Nagy’s focus. With Nagy, Bill Lazor and John DeFilippo really need to make sure that the Bears offensive scheme evolves around giving Chicago’s playmakers the football.
Secondly, the Bears need more consistent quarterback play. They brought in Nick Foles from Jacksonville as someone who can compete with and push Mitch Trubisky for the starting job. Yet, at the end of the day, I think the Bears will roll with Trubisky. Although he has looked uncomfortable in the pocket in Chicago, there is a reason he was picked over Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson. Trubisky not only throws an excellent football, but when he shines, Trubisky shows off the athleticism and arm talent that made him a former first round pick. At the end of the day though, whoever the Bears quarterback is next season, they will have to play well.
If it’s Foles or Trubisky, it doesn’t matter. They both have talent, and whoever ends up starting will have talent around them. With Allen Robinson in the passing game and David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen as options in the running game, the Bears starting quarterback will have playmakers around them.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the Bears need to develop a ground game. Historically, the Bears are known for stingy defense and a strong running game. Every successful Bears team has had a great running back. Just look at Gale Sayers and Walter Payton. In more recent history, Matt Forte and Jordan Howard have led great ground games for the Bears.
Last season, the Bears could not move the football via the run game. As a team they averaged a putrid 3.7 average yards per carry. Yet even through these struggles, David Montgomery shined at times, rushing for over 880 yards and 6 rushing touchdowns in 2019.
Not all of the blame can be put on the Bears offensive line either. Although they certainly need to improve after being pretty bad last season, Matt Nagy needs to scheme a way to get the ground game working. Without a solid run game, the Bears offense won’t be able to move the football.
Whoever is playing quarterback next season needs to be able to hand the football off 25 times a game, not only to pick up yards, but to relieve pressure off the passing game.
Therefore, with some changes to Matt Nagy’s scheme via the influence of a new offensive coaching staff, paired with better quarterback play, and an established run game, look for the Bears offense to break out of the rut they were in last season. With the offense being able to score points next season, look for the Bears to have a shot at the playoffs as long as the Bears defense stays as dominant as it’s been over the past two seasons.