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Training Camp Report

Nagy feels Bears must create identity on offense


Matt Nagy understands the importance of creating an identity on offense this season, something the Bears coach conceded was lacking last year.

"The No. 1 thing we talked about doing is we have to have an identity on offense," Nagy said Tuesday. "I don't think, necessarily, last year you could say we had an identity."

After ranking 29th in the NFL in both yards and scoring in 2019, the Bears addressed their offense during the offseason. They replaced their offensive coordinator and three position coaches, traded for Nick Foles to create competition at quarterback and completely revamped their tight end position.

Nagy is confident that the changes will help the Bears establish an identity on offense, but he acknowledges that it won't happen overnight.

"We will see what that is and what we think it is," Nagy said. "It could take weeks before you truly know with your players and scheme and everything. Right now, I feel pretty good about an identity in training camp. [But] only time will tell."

Exactly what the Bears offense will hang its hat on in 2020 remains to be seen, but it's obvious that the unit must be able to both run and pass the ball successfully depending on the situation and the opponent.

"In this game, you want to be able to be balanced," Nagy said. "But yet, maybe, there's some games where you run the ball a little bit more because of the scheme that they have. Or maybe it's a particular formation or personnel. There's matchups involved. Some games it may be totally different. So that's predicated based on the team you're playing.

"You look at the Super Bowl. You have one team (49ers) that likes to run the ball a lot. You have another team (Chiefs) that likes to throw the ball a lot. And they both worked. So what is your identity as a team? Once you figure that out, then what's the rest of the team? What type of defense do you have? How are you playing that way? And how does it work together?"

The Bears have been formulating answers to those questions in practice at Halas Hall. One positive development Tuesday was quarterback Mitchell Trubisky leading the No. 1 offense to a touchdown in a two-minute drill. Foles generated the same result in last Wednesday's practice. The two remain locked in an open competition for the starting job.

In Nagy's end-of-season press conference last year, he revealed that Trubisky's No. 1 offseason objective would be to become a master of understanding coverages. Nine months later, the coach was asked how the quarterback has fared in that pursuit.

"I think, first of all, 'master' is a strong word," Nagy said. "That takes a while to get to. But I think that he's definitely 100 percent growing in understanding coverages, and I think that's all you can ask for. 'Master,' I think there's only a few of those right now when you really think about it. But he is doing everything that we asked in regards to progression and understanding where defenses are at. I think that's what's pretty cool to see."

With the Bears not required to release an injury report until a week from Wednesday, it's unclear where kicker Eddy Piñeiro is in his recovery from a groin injury. But one thing that's for certain is that Nagy has total confidence in kicker Cairo Santos—and not just because Santos made all of the field goals and extra points he attempted in last Saturday's scrimmage at Soldier Field.

Nagy was an offensive assistant with the Chiefs from 2014-17 when Santos spent his first four NFL seasons in Kansas City, converting 84.8 percent of his field-goal attempts (89 of 105).

"I just remember thinking that whole time that we were there, there was no concern at all whenever he was out there of making a field goal," Nagy said. "There was a lot of confidence in him. So, I think that's good. You want that with all of your kickers and he showed that the other day in Soldier Field.

"He has a great personality and he understands his role and where he's at and what his job is. So for me, personally, just selfishly having him as a player in Kansas City helps out, I think, probably, with the mindset here in Chicago."

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