By Nick Shook
Around The NFL writer
Read full post on NFL.com
Matt Nagy made a name for himself as an offensive coordinator under Andy Reid in Kansas City, which meant devising different ways to take advantage of a short-to-intermediate passing game.
Nagy became quite the schemer by his final season in Kansas City, accentuating his team’s strengths and gameplanning away from its weaknesses. Much of that relied on the skills of quarterback Alex Smith. Now in Chicago, Nagy’s offense will instead rely on Mitchell Trubisky.
The new head coach is ready to bring some signal-calling wisdom from his veteran quarterback to his second-year face of the franchise. Turns out, it might not be as difficult as imagined.
“[Alex and Mitchell are both] driven,” Nagy said, via ESPN. “They are completely driven and competitive. Hate to lose. Want to win more than anybody. They don’t just talk about it; they show it by their actions.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing what Mitchell does and I’m really going to use everything I learned from Alex [Smith] to help him out.”
It’s interesting to hear a coach speak of learning from a player, no matter how seasoned he might be. What’s even more intriguing is that Smith, often unfairly the butt of jokes made by those who never appreciated his achievements, could offer such lessons to a play-caller.
Either way, Trubisky sounds rather confident, telling NFL Network’s Good Morning Football crew, “I really feel I was built for this offense.” From what we know, he’s right: Trubisky exhibited skills similar to Smith’s — adequate and occasionally surprising arm strength, mobility, quick release — and vital to success in Nagy’s system. It’s an offense that takes the thousand little cuts approach, slicing up a defense with quick passes, sometimes out of run action that can double as an option or run-pass option.
In fact, it’s not all that different from what Doug Pederson was scheming for Nick Foles during Philadelphia’s Super Bowl run. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering Pederson learned under Reid, just as Nagy did. Yes, the Andy Reid coaching tree is growing new branches.
Smith found his greatest success in Reid’s system in the eighth year of his career. Trubisky won’t have to wait that long to learn a similar offense in Chicago. Armed with a much-improved cast of targets, he’s positioned to enjoy substantial improvement in the next year or two.