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Bears players are big fans of coach Nagy

Bears veterans and rookies alike have been impressed with first-year head coach Matt Nagy.

"He's a cool coach," said inside linebacker Danny Trevathan, a seventh-year pro. "He's always giving us little details and smiling, but we know he's a hard worker just like we are. He's up there working just like we are.

"He's always putting us in the right position and he takes care of us. Where I come from, you take care of coaches like that. You go out and make plays for those coaches."

Nagy was hired by the Bears on Jan. 8. He spent the past 10 seasons as an NFL assistant, working for coach Andy Reid with the Eagles (2008-12) and Chiefs (2013-17). In Kansas City, Nagy served as quarterbacks coach from 2013-15 before being promoted to co-offensive coordinator in 2016 and offensive coordinator in 2017.

Since his first day on the job with the Bears, Nagy has created an exciting new vibe at Halas Hall with his energy and enthusiasm.

"I like the way he came in," Trevathan said. "He came in humble, but he was hungry. He came anxious, moving around in the meetings. I like that. That gets me fired up. I feel like we've got a good leader up here in the head coach."

Bears players describe Nagy as hard working and detailed-oriented but also as someone who likes to make football fun.

"Nagy can be stern and he can be playful also," said cornerback Prince Amukamara, an eighth-year pro. "I think when you're a first-year coach, you want to win [over] your guys and you want to be firm, and he's doing that. You can't really tell he's a rookie coach. I feel like he was born for this, and he's doing a great job."

Amukamara revealed that he and Nagy sometimes engage in a little good-natured trash talk on the practice field, something the veteran cornerback enjoys.

"I like to talk stuff," Amukamara said. "Last year with coach [John] Fox I couldn't really talk stuff because he's a defensive coach. But this is Nagy's offense, so if I get a pick or something, I'll talk stuff to him. He'll say something like, ‘We're coming at you, 2-0.' That just brings out the competition, and you always want that in your head coach."

Nagy has also made a positive impression on Bears rookies.

"The energy is the big thing you notice," said fourth-round pick Joel Iyiegbuniwe, an inside linebacker from Western Kentucky. "He hates pessimistic people, loves to be optimistic, good vibes, and all the players will tell you that's what they get from him."

When first-round pick Roquan Smith was asked what has stuck with him about Nagy, the inside linebacker from Georgia said: "Just being relentless, hard work, integrity and just doing things the right way and be yourself."

Judging by the final two words of his answer, Smith obviously has noticed at least one of the half dozen or so motivational sayings that Nagy recently had plastered on hallway walls at Halas Hall. It's the coach's favorite message and reads simply: "Be You."

"Just be yourself, that's what really sticks with me and resonates," Smith said. "Just being myself because that's what you can do best, just be yourself in all phases."

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