A tight camera shot during Monday night’s ESPN broadcast of the Bears-Redskins game caught coach Matt Nagy delivering some heated words during a face-to-face meeting with quarterback Mitchell Trubisky on the sideline.
Not only was Trubisky just fine with the exchange; he actually enjoyed it.
“I love it,” Trubisky said. “I got fired up. That’s what you want from your head coach. You want passion and it wasn’t anything malicious. We were just on the same page and we were getting fired up. We were just communicating and he definitely got his point across, and I love to see passion out of my head coach.”
The one-sided conversation took place during a Bears timeout with 8:23 remaining the second quarter. On the next play, Trubisky completed a 15-yard pass to Anthony Miller on third-and-two, sustaining a drive that resulted in the first of three Trubisky touchdown passes to Taylor Gabriel in a 6:17 span.
“It’s really a non-issue,” Trubisky said. “It’s not a big deal at all. I didn’t even notice it at the time. We were just communicating and we ended up going down and scoring at the end of that drive if I remember correctly, so no big deal at all and I love to see that out of coach Nags.”
There was nothing unusual about a coach barking at his quarterback during a pivotal moment in an NFL game. The only difference is that it was caught on camera.
“I have a little bit of a heated side to me at times and I think there’s nothing wrong with that, but Mitch does, too,” Nagy said. “That’s just today’s world. That’s probably not the first and last time that’s gone on between a head coach and quarterback. Nothing’s personal. It’s just in the middle of the game, just us going at it and you [media] guys got a taste of it.
“We as coaches have that with each other at times, but it’s because we care. If we didn’t care, I would’ve never had that conversation with him. The same with him. We both know that. That’s not the first time and I promise you it’s not going to be the last time.”
Cohen apologetic, embarrassed: Another video from Monday night that caused a stir was also downplayed by those involved.
Running back Tarik Cohen celebrated the Bears’ victory by showing a live video feed on his Instagram account of himself in the locker room. The only problem was that teammate Kyle Long was in the background sans any clothing.
“It was my fault, my bad, and I’m willing to take responsibility,” Cohen told reporters Wednesday at Halas Hall. “I wouldn’t do anything like that on purpose.”
Long laughed off the incident Wednesday, joking that it was “Em-barr-ass-ing.”
“Monday Night Football, emotions are high,” Long said. “I’d say intelligence as a whole in the locker room after a win is probably pretty low. It’s unfortunate. I love Tarik. Tarik knows—we know—what happened and I feel like we’ve handled it really well. Tarik’s my guy.”
Nagy confirmed that it’s against NFL policy for players to broadcast live on social media from their locker room after games. He also hopes it’s a mistake that all of his players learn from.
“Without a doubt it is,” Nagy said. “First of all, it’s a league rule, so that’s that. And I think it’s unfortunate that that happened. Tarik feels bad and is apologetic and embarrassed that it happened. I think it’s something that you need to do is you learn from it. It was a mistake and nothing that is malicious at all. But it was a mistake, so let’s make sure that that mistake doesn’t happen again to all of our players.”
A powerful message: The 1936 throwback uniforms the Bears will wear Sunday against the Vikings are from a period between 1934 and 1945 when no African-Americans were on NFL rosters.
The five Bears players who lead the team’s social justice committee joined chairman George H. McCaskey in addressing that issue in a video they released this week. In it, they discuss lessons learned from the past and how they can be applied to future growth and inclusion. The five players are Trubisky, Akiem Hicks, Danny Trevathan, Trey Burton and Chase Daniel.
“It’s impressive,” Nagy said. “Our five players on the committee that brought this up and that started this, it’s powerful to me. It’s something that just we as an organization, as a team, it speaks volumes to who we are. I think it’s a special moment for all of us.
“For all of us to be able to talk about it and collaborate about this, it's just something of unity. It's who we are. And I'm proud of our guys for doing it. And you get that feeling just talking to everybody when we're in there discussing what's about to go on this weekend with the uniforms that it's a good time, it's a good story and I think that our guys deserve a lot of credit.”
Trubisky was asked why the players wanted to produce the video.
“We talked about it and wanted to be ahead of the story,” Trubisky said. “Obviously we know the time period where those jerseys come from. We live in a time where we want to control the narrative as a team and show people how we’re united and continue to be an example for our community and our city.”
With Mitchell Trubisky throwing three touchdown passes to Taylor Gabriel in the second quarter of Monday night’s win over the Redskins, senior writer Larry Mayer ranks the top 10 best performances by a Bears player in a single quarter since 1991.