Something weird is going on between Nick Foles and Matt Nagy. Nobody can call it a feud. Not in the traditional sense of the word. They aren’t outright calling each other out or anything like that. Yet it’s hard to deny there is a disconnect between the two in regards to the Chicago Bears offense. That disconnect seems to grow each week too.
It started a few weeks ago in the win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After a drive stalled out after a promising start, Foles was seen animatedly talking to Nagy on the sideline. The quarterback appeared to be upset the team went away from the no-huddle which had been working the entire drive. Nobody thought much of it at the time.
Then things went up a notch.
During the loss to the Rams in Los Angeles, analyst Brian Griese revealed that Foles told him Nagy would sometimes send in plays the quarterback knew had no chance of working because he wouldn’t get the necessary protection to execute it. That was the first true red flag that something wasn’t meshing between the two.
Now it appears there is yet another problem. It popped up in the 3rd quarter. Facing a manageable 3rd and 4, Nagy relayed a call into Foles. The quarterback looked to his wristband to get a grasp on the play. Something that continued even after breaking the huddle. By the time he seemed to have it figured out, the play clock was ticking down, leading to a delay of game penalty.
On the next play, Foles took a sack that killed the drive leading to a punt. Both he and Nagy were soon spotted on the sideline looking at the wristband trying to figure out what went wrong.
Nick Foles has preferences Nagy dislikes
After the game, that moment seemed to stick with the coach. He even spoke openly about his dislike for Foles’ usage of the wristband. Almost as if he felt that only enhanced communication issues rather than the other way around.
“YOU KNOW, WE’RE READING IT FROM A WRISTBAND. I JUST — I’M STRUGGLING WITH THAT RIGHT NOW. IT’S GETTING YOU INTO A HOLE. AND SO, THAT HAS TO — THAT HAS TO CHANGE.”
Foles, for his part, defended the usage of the wristband. It’s something he believes gives him an added advantage at the line of scrimmage.
“THE WRISTBAND IS BASICALLY FOR UNIQUE PLAYS THAT MAYBE THERE ARE DIFFERENT TAGS THAT BECOME LITTLE STORIES OF THEMSELVES. T’S JUST EASIER TO HAVE IT ON THE WRISTBAND TO MAKE SURE — I LIKE IT BECAUSE IT ALLOWS ME MORE TIME AT THE LINE OF SCRIMMAGE TO SEE THINGS… SO THERE IS A PURPOSE FOR IT. I BELIEVE IN THE WRISTBAND. I’VE DONE IT FOR A LOT OF MY CAREER.”
The problem is Nagy hasn’t. He didn’t have to deal with wristbands before he got to Chicago. Alex Smith never had one in Kansas City. Then Mitch Trubisky got one for obvious reasons and now Foles too. Is it a coincidence the Bears have dealt with constant communication issues since the coach basically arrived?
Either way, it’s just another distraction.
One that Nagy can’t seem to get over. He and Foles just aren’t meshing. This despite a lot of assurances that they’d be able to since Nagy’s offense is supposed to be similar to ones the quarterback has played in before. Yet as people should know by now it’s one thing to know the type of offense. It’s another to know the man running it.
If there isn’t chemistry between the QB and the play caller? Nothing else matters. Nick Foles and Nagy still appear in the process of trying to find that chemistry. Unfortunately, they’re running out of time. Eight games remain and the Bears’ grip on a playoff spot is slipping away due in large part to the offense.