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Matt Nagy returning to play-calling for Bears offense, enthusiastic about Andy Dalton at quarterback

Mike Dinovo / USA TODAY Sports

Matt Nagy didn’t mince any words when revealing who will be calling plays for the Chicago Bears in 2021. The Bears have a new quarterback, but a familiar play-caller returning to his post. 

“I’m going to be the one calling plays this year,” Nagy said on a conference call with reporters. “That’s an exciting thing for me to get back to knowing where we’re at (as an offense). The fun part is knowing what we want to do better and getting that right as coaches for the players that are going to be with us.” 

Nagy gave up the play calling last November when the Bears offense was at its lowest point. Chicago ranked 29th in scoring average (19.8) and ranked in the bottom five of the NFL in points per drive after nine games (the game which Nagy called plays last season). The Bears were also second to last in the league in yards per play (4.8) and last in the league with 82.3 rushing yards per game.

When Lazor took over, Chicago’s offense improved. The Bears averaged 27.7 points per game in the seven games Lazor called the plays, which was eighth-best in the NFL. They were 10th in the NFL in rushing yards per game (129.4) largely due to the presence of Mitchell Trubisky re-emerging as the starting quarterback and the breakout campaign of David Montgomery — who had 628 yards and six rushing touchdowns in the final seven games, averaging 4.83 yards per carry. 

The Bears offense couldn’t muster a touchdown in its postseason loss to the Saints until the final play of the game, a Hail Mary pass to Jimmy Graham. That prompted Nagy and the Bears front office to move on from Trubisky and sign Andy Dalton as the starting quarterback

The move didn’t excite Bears fans, but has Nagy rejuvenated heading into this season. 

“Andy fits our style of offense,” Nagy said. “When you go through it with our scouts and coaches, he can handle the drop-back game, he can handle the RPOs, the play-actions, the movements. We just felt, as we went through those free agent quarterbacks, he’s one of the more complete quarterbacks that we evaluated in free agency and we’re excited to have him.”




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