If Bears fires Nagy, what assistants might not become collateral damage?


If Matt Nagy loses his job after the Bears-Vikings game on Sunday, once the sting pulls out, he’ll at least know he has no one else to blame.

But what chills me most about the ruthless way so many media and fans approach these moments is their utter disregard for the collateral damage they create.

Nagy currently has 24 quality control assistants and coaches. Many, if not most, have families and most, if not all, will also be unemployed.

Yes, this is the choice of assistant life coaches, but the distinct difference with the manager is that hardly any of them will even get an evaluation, and their latest scarlet letter will have little to do with their own. performance.

When new head coaches take control of football teams, it is with the guarantee that they can choose their own staff – putting their own staff around to give them the most control – 99% of the time .

Do Nagy’s 24 assistants deserve to be fired if he gets the ax? Clearly not, but almost all of them will.

A select few would likely be selected for the continuity, with quarterbacks coach John DeFillipo likely having the better shot for obvious reasons.

Yes, Nagy kept Vic Fangio and several of his assistants when he took over, but that was because everyone knew he was one of the best defensive staffs in the league.

Space doesn’t allow me to detail all 24 of these assistants, but a few guys are clearly worthy of careful consideration.

One is rookie backs coach Michael Pitre for his work with Khalil Herbert and his squad when David Montgomery was lost for four weeks.

D-line rookie coach Chris Rumph, who had to work without Akiem Hicks and Mario Edwards Jr. for long stretches and develop Khyiris Tonga, and outside linebackers coach Bill Shuey lost Khalil Mack early on and oversaw the resurgence of Robert Quinn and the continued development of Trevis Gipson. .

Special Teams Coordinator Chris Tabor is one of the most respected in the business and would find work quickly, and offensive coordinator Bill Lazor is on a life sentence with 9 years of college experience and 14 years now in the NFL, including the coordination of offenses in Miami and Cincinnati. There would be no shortage of opportunities.

Most interesting of all is young defensive coordinator Sean Desai.

By all accounts quite inexperienced when Nagy chose him, what kind of work did he actually do?

Asked Monday, Nagy replied, “From the start I thought he did a great job of adjusting and adapting to NFL play.

“What I love about Sean is that he’s extremely calm. And he does a great job of making sure the guys feel it. There’s no panic.

“He’s super smart so he does a great job of plotting with these coaches and preparation. He’s come on this year. It’s great to see.”

When asked to rate himself, Desai said, “Wow, that’s a great question.

“I think I grew up in so many ways.

“I think one thing you always want to do is always stay in the game and learn more about the game in the moment and when you’re in that role you have to be able to do it at a rapid pace, obviously from one match to another, from one week to the next, but within a match.

“And I think we grew up that way.”

Some figures support this growth. Desai’s defense through 16 games is fifth in total defense, third against the pass, first in sack percentage in QB quarterback and eighth in third down, all significant improvements from last season – except for the third. test, where they were also eighth last year. More importantly, their 23.5 points allowed per game, while not enough, is only 0.4 points lower than last year’s 23.1.

Considering he did it without Mack, Hicks, Danny Trevathan, Eddie Jackson and others for long parts of the season, Desai will actually have a pretty good story to tell, but if he doesn’t keep the job. here, the chances of him getting another coordinator position anytime soon are pretty slim despite the good job he has done.

For most of these guys, even though this is their chosen life, there still isn’t much right about it.



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