On Thursday, the Chicago Bears an held a press conference to introduce the Matt Nagy’s coordinators as Mark Helfrich, Vic Fangio and Chris Tabor all took their turn at the podium.
For a team that has tended to conduct its business from behind the curtain, having these coaches speak with the media was a fresh of breath air.
In case you missed it, or can’t dedicate an hour listening to press conference, here are the highlights from each coach.
The head coach started things off by stating this is an exciting time as he enjoyed conducting the research, to dig down deep and find out what they are all about. He also expressed there was a theme with his new-hires, as each and every one of them are not just good coaches, but great men off the field. Nagy wanted to bring in guys who will help him strengthen his weaknesses and vice versa.
Nagy also pinpointed some things he was looking for when building his staff. His big key was whether or not they were all “heading in the same direction” and “wanting the same thing.”
On Fangio: Nagy echoed what he said his first day as head coach by stating that retaining Fangio was one of his top priorities. He also mentioned that he looks forward to learning from Fangio the ins and outs of what defenses do well. He also mentioned what Fangio has done with the Bears defense has been “powerful.”
The biggest thing going into it with [Fangio] was trying to figure out how his philosophy and my philosophy mesh together and if we can make it work as people, as peers, and as friends. It was easy to tell right away when we met that it was going to happen.” – Matt Nagy on Vic Fangio
On Helfrich:: Nagy said when he started researching some different names it was easy to tell that Helfrich was the guy. Like he did with Fangio, Nagy expressed that he looks forward to learning from Helfrich both as an offensive-minded coach, but also how to be a better head coach. (Talk about some serious humility)
Nagy also expressed that he brought Helfrich in to help him develop Mitchell Trubisky. The head coach also explained that he learned the importance of doing so from his mentor Andy Reid. Nagy said that Helfrich is going to be able to teach details and fundamentals, both of which are key to success in this league for every quarterback.
On Tabor: Nagy mentioned he heard nothing but great things regarding Tabor as both a coach and person (continuing the theme) and mentioned that it’s “neat” to bring him back to Chicago for a second stint. Nagy mentioned that Tabor has excelled in many facets of special teams and that he’s expecting good things from him.
Getting these guys on board is only going to make this team better. It’s only going to make me better as a coach, which was my number one goal going into it.” – Matt Nagy on his new staff
Helfrich opened up by stating just how impressed he is with Nagy in terms of the hiring and firing of coaches. He also mentioned just how excited he is about the staff in place and to be in the city of Chicago. Helfrich is also very proud to be a part of an organization with so much history and mentioned that “It’s an honor to walk into [Halas Hall].”
The Bears new offensive coordinator feels the potential within this team. He mentioned many times just how “close” he feels Chicago is and wants to help put the Bears over the top. When he looks at the roster, Helfrich feels like there is a lot of opportunity to succeed.
On Trubisky: Helfrich said the biggest thing that jumped out when watching film is that the quarterback is coachable. He also mentioned that he was impressed with Trubisky’s accuracy and ability to take care of the football.
On Developing Quarterbacks: Helfrich mentioned that the two qualities in order for a quarterback to reach his potential are talent and the willingness to be coached. Then, he holds the quarterback to that standard of greatness. His goal is to challenge the quarterback so much that by the time they take a snap, they are thinking as little as possible.
On What He’s Working On Right Now: He’s watching the roster from last year and perceive what their strengths and weaknesses are. Helfrich said that are some guys that look fantastic one play and then you lose them. He doesn’t know why it happened, but that’s what they will try to decipher throughout the offseason.
Helfrich said when he looked at the roster that he sees a fair amount of potential but that the goal will be to build competition at every position and find a way to “maximize everybody’s role.”
On the Rest of the Staff: “This is going to be a collaborative effort. We’re all in this together.” Helfrich mentioned that he will be in Fangio’s office a lot to learn from him, and said not doing so would mean missing out on a great opportunity.
Oh, Fangio … He opened up with a hilarious comment:
Alright, let’s continue this love fest. Go ahead.”
The Chicago Bears’ Defensive Coordinator said that he didn’t have any specific criteria as to what he wanted in place before he decided to return, but he did mention that feeling “comfortable” was very important with both the new head coach and overall direction of the franchise.
In typical fashion, Fangio didn’t really expound on many of his answers, but he did say what made him feel comfortable with Nagy was the head coach’s overall sense of where the offense is headed. (Sure seems like he was tired of dragging that unit around).
On whether or not he’ll retain the majority of his assistants on defense: “I believe so, yes.”
Fangio mentioned there is value in staying put with a group of guys who have played in his system, but mentioned it wasn’t the biggest determinant of his final decision. He also mentioned that he thought it was “good” that some players spoke out on his behalf, but said that it’s not necessary because it can put unneeded emotions in a business decision.
Was Fangio surprised he came back? No.
On the Bears current state of the defense: Fangio said the most important thing the team needs to do is improve the guys they already have.
I think guys like Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman, Danny Trevathan, Leonard Floyd and Eddie Jackson all have a lot more to give than we’ve seen. It’s our job to get them to improve and become even better players.” – Vic Fangio
Fangio also spoke about how it may be wrong to say that last year’s defense was a great one and mentioned that if they were, the team would have won more than five games. “There’s a lot of room for improvement there, a lot, and we need to do that,” said Fangio.
On Nagy: Fangio expressed how the head coach is very open to learning new things and improving the processes to get things done. Fangio also said that everything in regards to Nagy has been “all positive.”
Tabor opened up his brief time at the podium with a kind sentiment when he mentioned that “It’s great to be back.”
But then he fumbled when he accidentally called the Bears the … Browns. Tabor gets this one pass as he was with Cleveland for seven years. 😉
On What He’s Trying to Establish: Tabor mentioned that the Bears’ special teams is going to be an “aggressive unit that plays with good judgment.” He also mentioned that as a coach, you need to be willing to adapt and he’s not worried that he doesn’t have any specialists under contract. “Adapt or die. The dinosaurs didn’t do it and they became extinct,” Tabor said.
On Cohen: Tabor looks at No. 29 as a dynamic player who reminds him of Darren Sproles. He also mentioned that he likes the fact that Cohen is a risk taker, like Devin Hester.
On Nagy: Tabor called the head coach “A first-class guy.” He also said that with Nagy “what you see is what you get.” That Nagy is extremely talented and is a man with a plan.
One Last Thing …
After watching and dissecting the entire press conference, one thing is for certain and that is Coach Nagy has his coordinators on the same page and that there is a strategic plan in place to take the Chicago Bears to the next level.
Every coach mentioned that they feel the potential with both the staff and the roster to do some great things, and if everything falls into place, the future is bright.
It’s a very exciting time. There’s a “buzz” inside Halas Hall and it was felt when these coaches spoke.
If you want to watch the press conference in full, here you go: