The JF1 Countdown begins NOW
For decades, the NFL has been a conservative league from a coaching standpoint. Only in the past half-decade, thanks to luminaries like Andy Reid showing that yes, you CAN usher in a college based spread plays, and they can put even the world’s best defenders in conflict. These concepts had been all the rage in college since the early and mid-2000’s, but didn’t warrant a sniff in the NFL.
How different would the careers of guys like Marcus Mariotta, Jake Locker, or heaven forbid Johnny Football had been if they were allowed to matriculate into the league with a learning curve familiar to them. Or in the case of RG3, import the whole Baylor playbook to the Redskins and have it run by Kyle Shanahan your rookie year. Must have been nice.
Which brings us to (Denzel Voice) “My MANNNN”, Justin Fields. With undeniable talent with the poise and work ethic of a 10 year vet, he has all of the great traits needed to marinate into a great QB down the road, but he isn’t going to come out of the oven a perfect 350 degrees like a bubbling casserole.
Some folks however want to see that casserole cooking for a lonnnng time. Matt Nagy is playing the same “who can reach the mastery” level of my offense that he did with Mitch Trubisky. As well, he is taking his 2017 experience as the Chiefs QB coach watching unicorn Pat Mahomes tear things up on scout team, which only helps him justify why Fields should sit even more. But does Nagy have that luxury?
I was scrolling the twitter as once does, and someone (identify yourself random person! Haha.) made a valid point maybe a month ago. Nagy said it takes three years to master his offense. The person responded along the lines of, “Bro, you haven’t had the SAME players, let alone the same QB for three years. Do you think you’ll be around to see this nucleus of Mooney, Kmet, Monty, in 2023, or even 2024?”
That’s a massively high risk, so the brain trust that is Pace and Nagy find themselves in a riddle wrapped inside a conundrum. Do you push forth with the young nucleus on offense, most of which are 25 and under, and hope they hit the ground running before Mack, Hicks/Trevathan’s corpse, and or Gipson hit their limit? They could very well let that aging defensive nucleus sub itself out, which includes off of the financial books, and build around Smith, Johnson, Nichols if he is resigned, et al.
In fact, I think they protect their franchise golden egg, because if they didn’t get fired last year, they aren’t after 2022. It’s going to take a Marc Trestman 2014 absolute catastrophe of monumental proportions for team Pace or Nagy to get canned. (Can we talk about that 2012-2014 Trestman Phil Emery era at some point, because we all need therapy for that. It’s okay now.)
Even with an above average defense, a below average offense still leaves you at .500. Not that this is an exact science, but if you check playoff teams and where they finished, I would take a stab at it and say most hover around the top 10 or above in if not both categories. But, since IS the internet, feel free to tediously “research” that info with your own PFF account and then troll the hell out of me at your leisure.
Regardless, since everything that happens is the worst thing ever, Bears Twitter will be “atwitter” Sunday evening, calling for Nagy’s head on a platter before the second incompletion from Dalton skitters across the turf. New DC Sean Desai is part of the new wave of NFL defenses running two high safeties to keep deep shot offenses like the Rams and others from at least not exploding scoreboards, but Sean McVay has had a month to plan this out and it may not go well on opening night. I am legitimately excited for Desai this year though. Perfect meshing of brain and players. As for the offense though……