Speaking to the media Monday, Bears receiver Allen Robinson II and right guard Germain Ifedi both applauded the candid comments that coach Matt Nagy made last Friday about the team's offense needing to improve.
Less than 24 hours after the Bears had rallied to beat the Buccaneers 20-19 despite not scoring a second-half touchdown, Nagy told reporters Friday that "the details right now in this offense are not there."
"I think everybody should be fired up about that," Robinson said. "That's what also makes the players that we have in this locker room special, is we don't have any complacency. None of our quarterbacks are complacent. Our receivers aren't complacent. Nobody is walking around here satisfied.
"Yeah, we fortunately have started 4-1. It's tough to win in this league. But at the end of the day, we're not sitting back waiting on praise or thinking that we have arrived or anything like that. We know we have a long way to go, and we also know the capability [of the offense] if we reach that point and if we are the offense we say we want to be. So again, everyone should be fired up around the offense."
Nagy was certainly fired up Friday when he lamented the lack of details.
"When you try to make plays go and when you coach plays schematically, us as coaches and them as players, you need to do everything exactly the way it is supposed to be done," Nagy said at the time.
"So if that means running a route at five steps and not three steps, or if that means running a route at three steps and not seven steps, that has to happen. If it means to set a certain way and block somebody, that's what that means. If it means to throw on a certain time with your feet, do that. If it means to make the right play call at the right time, then do that as coaches—meaning myself.
"We're all in this thing together. But I refuse to allow this to happen. And us as coaches, we're going to use the next couple days here to make sure that whatever we're doing, we're being the greatest teachers we can be. And then on your end as players, you better be the best students you can be. And if you're not, we're going to have to figure something out. That's my challenge to the offense right now.
"Nothing's [a lack of] effort. There's zero [problems with] effort. I love our guys and the effort that they have is phenomenal. None of it is effort. None of it is not caring. But darn it, when you play in this offense, you better be freaking detailed. And we're not a detailed football team on offense right now. And we need to get that back."
Like Robinson, Ifedi had no issues with Nagy's critique of an offense that ranked 26th in the NFL in scoring, 27th in total yards and 30th in third-down percentage after Sunday's games.
"He's completely right," Ifedi said. "I've seen what he's said and it's completely right. If we don't embrace what he said, if we don't take that as a great challenge and something we should wear every day, then we're wrong. We have to be better. We have to be more detailed."
Speaking specifically about the offensive line, Ifedi believes the unit must look in the mirror, be critical of itself and then correct its mistakes.
"We have to hold ourselves accountable and be more detailed," Ifedi said. "And then things will start to come. Things will start breaking, that big run. Those [explosive plays] will come. But we can't shoot ourselves in the foot. We can't be behind the chains. We can't miss assignments. We can't have bad technique. You have to do things right."
“If we don’t embrace what he said, if we don’t take that as a great challenge and something we should wear every day, then we’re wrong. We have to be better. We have to be more detailed.” Germain Ifedi on Matt Nagy
As Nagy prepared for a team meeting on Zoom video Monday, he clarified that his comments last Friday weren't about any one play or individual players.
"The frustration that I felt from watching the tape was more on just overall details," Nagy said. "It wasn't so much specific personnel or certain plays, per se, that we've got to do different because we're not doing the details right. I think it's just more of the big picture is where I'm coming from, and they understand it.
"We'll be meeting with them today to kind of go over some of that. We still haven't met with them since the game, so we'll do that and then we'll put that behind us and get rocking and rolling for Carolina, which is what we've been working on as a staff over the weekend."