Matt Nagy Says Bears Need to Run More on Offense: 'I'm Not an Idiot'

Megan ArmstrongAnalyst IIOctober 21, 2019

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 29:  Head coach Matt Nagy of the Chicago Bears walks to the sideline prior to a game against the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field on September 29, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Vikings 16-6.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Chicago Bears have the 28th-ranked rushing offense, and head coach Matt Nagy knows that isn't good. 

"I know we have to run the ball more," Nagy said Monday, per ESPN's Jeff Dickerson. "I'm not an idiot." 

The Bears lost Sunday 36-25 to the New Orleans Saints. In the game, Chicago only ran the ball seven times for 17 yards.

The second-year head coach's comments Monday were preceded by him telling reporters postgame Sunday  that he was "still searching for answers" in the running game, adding, "I really thought our run game would be better."

Having no ground presence has only compounded the pressure on Mitchell Trubisky. Sunday's meeting with the Saints was the 25-year-old quarterback's first game since Sept. 29 when he dislocated his shoulder, and his return wasn't pretty. 

Trubisky went 34-of-54 for 251 yards and two touchdowns, though both touchdown passes came in garbage time. The Bears plan to stay committed to their 2017 second overall pick, though, rather than have backup Chase Daniel return under center.

Nagy would not disclose whether he plans to relinquish play-calling duties (h/t 670 The Score), and he defended his decision to call so many passing plays against the Saints (h/t the Chicago Tribune's Brad Biggs):

"It's really simple math. As a play caller, when it's 2nd-and-9 and 2nd-and-10 and 2nd-and-8 and you're moving the ball throwing it, you're getting first downs throwing it. That's what the objective is, to get first downs. I don't care if I have to throw the ball 60 times a game, if that's what's going to help us win a game, or if I have to run it 60 times, I don't care, I want productive plays. It's not that hard. That's probably why.

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"That's probably where that went, and then you come out in the second half and you want to be more balanced. As bad as all that was and everything that's going on, we came in the locker room, it's 12-10. As bad as that was, 12-10. Think about that, right? So, now you come out in the third quarter, they go down, they score and then we fumble first play. That's hard. That's hard. And then before you know it, now you're down nine points and then it's double digits and now all of a sudden you throw—you have to throw the ball every down because time matters."

The Bears traded away Jordan Howard to the Philadelphia Eagles in March. Their primary running back has been rookie third-rounder David Montgomery, who has 231 yards and two touchdowns on 71 attempts. Montgomery had just two touches Sunday, fumbling one of them. In second behind him is Tarik Cohen with 47 yards on 20 attempts.

All in all, Chicago is the only team in the NFL without at least 300 yards of offense in a game this season (h/t NFL.com's Kevin Patra). 

At 3-3, it's not all doom and gloom for the Bears just yet. But unless Nagy figures out how to recall what made him such an enticing head coach candidate as the Kansas City Chiefs' offensive coordinator, Chicago is headed nowhere fast.

Check out the latest edition of Stick to Football, including a look at the Bears' quarterback situation for 2020:

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