Every week during the regular season we get an opportunity to talk with the opposing head coach via conference call. This week it was Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy. I also scanned the Chicago media websites and the Bears website to see what else Bears players and coaches are saying about this week’s matchup with the Lions.
Here’s what they had to say:
1. The Bears' offense came to life in the second half last week vs. the Giants in a 19-14 victory. A lot of that success came when they went up-tempo.
“You’re just seeing space ... seeing the defense and you’re just kind of reacting,” Trubisky told the Chicago Sun-Times about playing with more tempo on offense. “It’s something I’ve been doing my whole life, so it’s more natural for me.”
Nagy said the Bears are top one or two in the NFL in the percentage they run the no huddle. Don’t be surprised if the Bears utilize some up-tempo series against Detroit Thursday.
2. The mission stays the same this week for the Bears' defense, defensive tackle Nick Williams told chicagobears.com, no matter who plays quarterback for the Lions Thursday.
“Whoever they put at quarterback, we have to go in there and win the football game,” Williams said. “No matter if (Driskel) is up or down, we just have to go in there and stop the run and get after the quarterback and that’s our job.”
3. Nagy and his coaching staff will have a little more time to prepare this time around in the event the Lions do throw a different quarterback at them on Thursday.
Remember Week 10 in Chicago, questions about Stafford’s availability for the game didn’t start to be made public until Saturday afternoon. That wasn’t a whole lot of time for Nagy and Co. to do any extra prep work on Driskel.
With Driskel battling a hamstring injury and showing up on the practice report Monday, Nagy and the defensive coaches have more time to take a look at Blough. Nagy said they’re preparing for Driskel, and will have a plan in place if Blough has to play.
4. Nagy said sometimes when a new player comes in and gets an opportunity to play, it can provide a spark. That’s what he’s seeing right now with Detroit’s run game behind new starter Bo Scarbrough.
Nagy thinks Scarbrough is a good fit in Darrell Bevell's offense. Nagy has a lot of respect for Bevell’s scheme and how he uses players within it.
5. This time last year the Bears were looking to lock up the NFC North title. This year they’re fighting to keep their playoff hopes alive at 5-6.
“When you go into these years they know they are all different,” Nagy said. “Whether they’re all good-good, bad-bad, good-bad-good – it doesn’t matter, they’re different.
“It’s just about how you handle them, and I’m really proud of our locker room for the way that they handled that four-game stretch that we had of losing. We battled back and won, and we’ve just learned a lot through this process. I think that in the end it shows kind of who we are as a team.”