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PapaBear.OR
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Nagy's Offense: The Run Game
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Nagy has installed an inovative and creative offense, surprisingly it has struggled on several levels.  Much is being blamed on a young QB, many point to an ongoing learning curve for all, the young signal caller included along with all players. While I think both are true the most glaring inefficiency I see is the running game in this offense struggling which has little to nothing to do with the QB or a players learning curve and everything to do with the system itself and how it is being used.

Below is an article that breaks down nicely exactly what I think I'm seeing on the field each week. By following the link you will find still shots and video clips illustrating the concepts presented.

Numbers Game: Why Jordan Howard can't find room to run in Bears' offense

Jordan Howard is off to the least productive start of his young NFL career. Through three games, he’s averaging under 3.5 yards per carry and fewer than 60 yards per game.

Despite what the traditional statistics say, the Chicago Bears’ running back is still having a strong season, individually.

The problem has been everyone around him. Bad run blocking, some poor scheming and a limited quarterback have all made it easier for opposing defenses to slow down Howard, and the all-22 film from Week 3 against the Arizona Cardinals showcased the problem.

Sometimes, Nagy’s offensive schemes can make the problem worse. The young head coach calls for a lot of pre-snap motion, which can do a lot to help the offense, except when it makes the problem worse for Howard.

Here again, the Cardinals put more defenders in the box than the Bears can account for with blockers.

The problem is, the play design brings Taylor Gabriel in motion from the left side of the screen, and he’s going to bring another defender into the box.

Gabriel isn’t a blocker; he’s just going to keep running, so the motion only gives Howard a worse front to face. And to top it off, the run is also designed in the same direction as the motion, so any defensive player following Gabriel will just be headed toward Howard too.

It’s not hard to tell that this run won’t go anywhere, even before the snap.

https://bearswire.usatoday.com/2018/09/25/chicago-bears-jordan-howard-matt-nagy-offense-arizona-cardinals-week-3/

Nagy needs to pay less attention to his complicated yet creative passing attack and focus on effectively using his best weapon.  Quit trying to be so damn cute with it and establish a punishing ground attack and all the rest will open up and begin to come easy.  This comes back to scheme and system, and playcalling on game day with adjustments as required.  I believe this is the real root to most, maybe all, of the offensive problems right now and by extension a struggling young QB.

me654
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Re: Nagy's Offense: The Run Game
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I get use the weapons you have, but the Bears hired Nagy and he will without a doubt implement his style like it or leave it. Its still a coaches game and they arent going to let the players dictate their style. In fact im certain a few loved players will be traded at some point to allow room for players that fit into "Nagy's system" not the other way around. Its not a ground and pound game anymore. choose that and stay basement dwellers. 

At this point I do think he has adjusted well until his system is 100%. Hes running more and I think mixing it up well while throwing in some of his more innovative plays. Its going to take time but I like it.

"Jay Cutler can throw a football and cut it through the elements as well as anyone out there. Arm talent immense, the upside you love it. The reason I'm critical is I wish I had it"-Trent Dilfer

PapaBear.OR
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Re: Nagy's Offense: The Run Game
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me654 wrote:

I get use the weapons you have, but the Bears hired Nagy and he will without a doubt implement his style like it or leave it. Its still a coaches game and they arent going to let the players dictate their style. In fact im certain a few loved players will be traded at some point to allow room for players that fit into "Nagy's system" not the other way around. Its not a ground and pound game anymore. choose that and stay basement dwellers. 

At this point I do think he has adjusted well until his system is 100%. Hes running more and I think mixing it up well while throwing in some of his more innovative plays. Its going to take time but I like it.

I understand your point but I think you are missing mine.  I'm not suggesting Nagy change his overall "style" to fit a ground and pound although I will say the most effective leaders will taylor their system to take advantage of the talent they have, not the other way around.

My point is Nagy's run component is not well planned/designed or executed.  No runners are going to be efficient in it regardless of  their style of running because the design of the plays are often broken (see link to illustrations of examples) and the way he mixes them in (when and how often) are not complimenting the flow the game itself, dictating to the defense and setting up the pass game.

Butkus never wore an earring

The Shadow
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Re: Nagy's Offense: The Run Game
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This is why I think Nagy is so reluctant to get away from a pass happy offense and blend in some really effective run plays. He is a former QB! His brain is wired to see the game through the QB eyes, not the running backs. Everything is predicated on putting the QB in a position to throw the ball affectively and in any direction, with multiple options on each play.

Having a lot of tools does not make you a Carpenter.  -Vic Fangio

 

PapaBear.OR
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Re: Nagy's Offense: The Run Game
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The Shadow wrote:

This is why I think Nagy is so reluctant to get away from a pass happy offense and blend in some really effective run plays. He is a former QB! His brain is wired to see the game through the QB eyes, not the running backs. Everything is predicated on putting the QB in a position to throw the ball affectively and in any direction, with multiple options on each play.

I think there is truth to that, and he has had success with it although he had Andy Reed over his shoulder at all times likely inserting a heavy dose of common sense where needed to keep it on track.

I don't object so much to the overall concepts and in fact it's refreshing after suffering through two years of Dowell Logains.

What is worrying me right now is specifically the design of the running plays he does have, and not even so much the freaquency of them so much as the timing (when and where in the drives and the flow of the game he calls them). 

Look first at the design of the plays.  The text I posted from the article relates to still shots you can see if you follow the link illustrating the poor design of one example from the Cards game. 

There is a reason arguably one of, if not the best, running back tandum in the NFL is suddenly struggling to average 3 yards a touch and it has nothing to do with the RBs or the QB.

 

Butkus never wore an earring

PapaBear.OR
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Re: Nagy's Offense: The Run Game
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Howard was met at or behind the line of scrimmage on 17 of his 24 carries in Arizona, according to Pro Football Focus, and picked up 70 yards — nine more than his total rushing output — after contact. That was the fourth-highest mark among all NFL backs in Week 3, per PFF. He also forced four missed tackles en route to earning PFF's highest grade among Bears on offense, 74.2.

So PFF adds some important context to Howard's lackluster numbers over the past two weeks, and here's some more: the Seahawks, who held Howard to 14-35 rushing and met him within two yards of the line of scrimmage on 11 of his 14 carries, currently rank ninth in Football Outsiders' DVOA on 'D' and the Cardinals are at No. 11 in run 'D' DVOA. For all of the tumult surrounding these NFC West clubs, they're not exactly slouches defensively.

http://www.southernminn.com/around_the_web/sports/article_1df11efb-a49b-55f1-875b-a571937fb26f.html

These are not numbers that suggest Howard is in some sort of slump or is losing his touch or vision or power.  These numbers support the fact that Howard is an absolute beast making something out of nothing despite some obvious problems in the design of the running plays themselves.

Butkus never wore an earring

BamaBear09
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Re: Nagy's Offense: The Run Game
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PapaBear.OR wrote:

Howard was met at or behind the line of scrimmage on 17 of his 24 carries in Arizona, according to Pro Football Focus, and picked up 70 yards — nine more than his total rushing output — after contact. That was the fourth-highest mark among all NFL backs in Week 3, per PFF. He also forced four missed tackles en route to earning PFF's highest grade among Bears on offense, 74.2.

So PFF adds some important context to Howard's lackluster numbers over the past two weeks, and here's some more: the Seahawks, who held Howard to 14-35 rushing and met him within two yards of the line of scrimmage on 11 of his 14 carries, currently rank ninth in Football Outsiders' DVOA on 'D' and the Cardinals are at No. 11 in run 'D' DVOA. For all of the tumult surrounding these NFC West clubs, they're not exactly slouches defensively.

http://www.southernminn.com/around_the_web/sports/article_1df11efb-a49b-55f1-875b-a571937fb26f.html

These are not numbers that suggest Howard is in some sort of slump or is losing his touch or vision or power.  These numbers support the fact that Howard is an absolute beast making something out of nothing despite some obvious problems in the design of the running plays themselves.

My biggest issue with the game against the Cards is that they didn't seem to attack the perimeter like they did against Seattle... the middle was so clogged and when they ran those sweeps from time to time they were effective.  I didn't see any of the jet sweeps to Gabriel or Cohen, just them trying to pound up the middle and the interior o-line was getting out muscled by the interior of the Cards d-line.  Howard really hasn't had a lot of running room so far this season.  I love to see how well Howard has taken to catching swing passes as he looks supremely more natural doing that now but he's a great zone runner and the line is not providing him with much in the way of creases or cutback lanes... hell they aren't even allowing him to start moving down the line before he has a defender in his face...

PapaBear.OR
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Re: Nagy's Offense: The Run Game
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Butkus never wore an earring

Corn Cob
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Re: Nagy's Offense: The Run Game
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For BamaBear and PBO post above....

Concerning Howard's rush yards....I thought Kush played his worst game of the season against the Cardinals. Not sure if it was who he was lined up against or what but I'm hoping he bounces back to form against the Bucs.

Matt Nagy: "I know we need to run the ball more. I'm not an idiot."

PapaBear.OR
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Re: Nagy's Offense: The Run Game
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Corn Cob wrote:

Concerning Howard's rush yards....I thought Kush played his worst game of the season against the Cardinals. Not sure if it was who he was lined up against or what but I'm hoping he bounces back to form against the Bucs.

Left guard Eric Kush committed two penalties in the first half against the Cardinals, including a chop block that backed the Bears up 15 yards.

Kush, though, is still in good standing with coach Matt Nagy. It doesn’t sound as if second-round pick James Daniels will be replacing him anytime soon.

“He’s done a good job,” said Nagy, who coached Kush with the Chiefs. “He’s a kid that works extremely hard at trying to home in on his weaknesses and get better at his strengths.

“So far, he’s done pretty well. Now with most guys, there’s been a few things that he wishes he could have back on some runs and protections. But those happen to some of the great ones, too. So I like where he’s at. He’s putting the work in every day, and we appreciate that.”

https://chicago.suntimes.com/sports/bears-buccaneers-mitch-trubisky-big-plays-matt-nagy-analysis/

His chop block was the one that frustrated me, it was blatent and there was no need for it...... but no signs of a change coming anytime soon. 

Butkus never wore an earring

Corn Cob
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Re: Nagy's Offense: The Run Game
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I think my pet cat has been neutered....

Matt Nagy: "I know we need to run the ball more. I'm not an idiot."

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