Former Chicago Bears Coach Matt Nagy Dives Back Into It With Kansas City Chiefs

Prior to last season, recently-fired head coach Doug Pederson attended the Chicago Bears’ training camp while the team was under Matt Nagy’s watch.

It gave Pederson a low-key way to remain involved in football for several days before taking the year off from official NFL coaching duties.

When his head coaching tenure with the Bears ended, Nagy thought about taking time away from the game like Pederson, his former coaching colleague on the Kansas City Chiefs.

“But in the end,” Nagy said, “football’s in my heart. It’s in my blood.”

So Nagy returned to Kansas City, where he served on head coach Andy Reid’s offensive staff from 2013 to 2017. His new title is senior assistant and quarterback coach.

“It’s good to have him back,” Reid said. “He’s good for the quarterback room. He’s been there and done that before. He has a lot of experience under his belt.”

Nagy led the Bears to a 12-4 record during his first season in 2018 but never finished with a winning record after that, going 34-31 overall.

“A lot of my failures that I’ve had, I’ve tried to use to the best of my ability to be better,” Nagy said. “It really allows you to grow.”

Nagy’s time with the Bears was valuable. He said he not only guided special teams, offense and defense, but also learned how to better deal with players, respond to wins or losses and even handle the media.

“I had four years of real-life experiences,” Nagy said. “You have highs and lows and you learn and you have so many different hats that you put on in that time.”

Nagy’s main role with the Chiefs will be working with the quarterbacks — a role previously handled by Mike Kafka before he became the New York Giants offensive coordinator.

In Kansas City, Nagy has been reunited with Patrick Mahomes, who was a rookie during Nagy’s final year as Chiefs offensive coordinator.

“To come back four or five years later and see in that room how much Patrick has grown, it’s amazing,” Nagy said. “It gives me chills to talk about it because I also know his ceiling is even higher, and that’s exciting for all of us.”

Nagy wasn’t surprised that Mahomes responded with a 50-touchdown, MVP season in his first season as starter. He then had a firsthand look the following season when Mahomes guided the Chiefs to a 26-3 win against Nagy’s Bears in 2019 en route to winning Super Bowl LIV.

“He’s just such a special player,” Nagy said. “I’m so excited to be in that room with him.”

Understandably, Nagy endured criticism for his inability to develop quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who was drafted ahead of Mahomes in the 2017 NFL Draft.

But the 2018 NFL Coach of the Year does have a lot of experience coaching and playing the position.

An All-American at Delaware, he threw passes to Chiefs general manager Brett Veach, a wide receiver on the Blue Hens. Nagy then quarterbacked four teams in the Arena Football League before joining Reid’s Philadelphia Eagles coaching staff.

Reid is notorious for putting in grueling hours, something that is often required of an NFL head coach.

The time constraints on Nagy won’t be quite as demanding as they were when he had that role with the Bears.

“My son the other day was saying, ‘Dad, it’s crazy. You got a little bit more free time,’” Nagy said. “I’m embracing that. It’s fun.”

Nagy seems reenergized by joining the Chiefs. That organization has won six straight AFC West titles, and its goals remain as lofty as ever.

“I just want to do everything I can to help us,” Nagy said, “and do everything I can to be great.”