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Bears Nagy Football

Matt Nagy responds to a question after being introduced as the Chicago Bears' new head coach on Tuesday.

He hasn’t coached a single game yet. He hasn’t made a single controversial decision on fourth-and-one. He hasn’t yet lost to the Packers.

So for now, everyone — even the frequently fickle Chicago media — seems to love new Bears coach Matt Nagy.

And to be honest, there is very little not to like about Nagy, who was named the Bears’ head coach early last week after a fairly brief stint as the offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Most of us have spent the past week delving into his background and haven’t found much of a negative nature.

He’s 39 years old, bright, personable, articulate and has made a quick ascent up the coaching ladder. Just eight years ago he was selling real estate around his home area in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

He’s the son of a high school coach and a devout family man. He’s married to his high school sweetheart and has four sons.

Although we haven’t seen this side of him yet, he apparently is a ferocious competitor who wants to win in everything he does. Just ask Eddie Conti, who set all sorts of receiving records at the University of Delaware with Nagy throwing the ball to him.

"We would go play miniature golf, and it was like a death match," Conti said in a recent story. "It was like the Super Bowl."

We even like the coaching staff Nagy has begun assembling. He has persuaded defensive coordinator Vic Fangio to stay with the Bears, has brought in former Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich as his offensive coordinator and has brought back Harry Hiestand, one of the best offensive line coaches the Bears ever had.

The honeymoon may end next Sept. 9 when the Bears play their first game, but right now it looks as though the franchise is headed in a good direction.


We found one small Quad-Cities connection in Nagy’s background. In 2003, he was teammates with former Pleasant Valley and Iowa State receiving star Chris Anthony with the New York Dragons of the Arena Football League.

Nagy never got to throw a pass to Anthony in an actual game, however, as he missed the entire 2003 season with a torn ACL. While he was out, he served as a color commentator on the Dragons’ radio broadcasts.


The coaching staff that Nagy has hired may help shape the future of the Bears’ offensive line. Helfrich coached both Kyle Long and Hroniss Grasu at the college level and Hiestand comes to the Bears from Notre Dame, which has several top offensive line prospects in the upcoming draft.

Some of us would love to see the Bears consider taking Fighting Irish left tackle Mike McGlinchey with the eighth pick in the first round.

And some of us would love to see Grasu never play for the Bears again.


Remember the good old days when the Big Ten basketball schedule had at least some rhyme and reason?

This year’s schedule is pretty wild. From last Tuesday until Feb. 11, a span of 33 days, there is at least one Big Ten men’s game scheduled every day. That includes Fridays, Mondays, every day.

*** already has come out with odds on which teams are most likely to win college football’s national championship next season, and not surprisingly, defending champion Alabama is a slight favorite at 6 to 1, followed by Georgia at 7 to 1.

However, there are four Big Ten teams not far behind. Ohio State is listed as 8 to 1, Michigan 10 to 1, Penn State 15 to 1 and Wisconsin 20 to 1.

The website also lists the odds for 21 possible Heisman Trophy candidates and there are two Alabama quarterbacks on that list. Two-year starter Jalen Hurts is 22 to 1 and Tua Tagovailoa, who replaced him in the second half of last week’s national championship game, is 50 to 1.


After last week’s column lamenting the omission of Roger Craig from the list of finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, reader Craig Nemecek wrote that he feels there has been one even more glaring omission.

He feels former Miami defensive back Dick Anderson should have been enshrined in Canton long ago.

Anderson, the starting strong safety on the Dolphins’ undefeated 1972 team, made three Pro Bowls, was first-team All-Pro twice and was the NFL defensive player of the year in 1973. He had three seasons in which he had eight interceptions in an era in which NFL teams played only 14 games.