Less than 48 hours away from kickoff against the Los Angeles Chargers, Bears coach Matt Nagy told reporters that the team was not changing its approach. The team will keep the same pregame agenda this weekend that it has used for the first six games. Nagy believes that consistency will help right the ship after two losses rather than a massive overhaul.
"It's just about us just doing it on game day," said Nagy. "These guys have responded well in practice, they've responded well to what we're teaching, to our coaches on how they teach. These guys, they're leading themselves right now as well."
Nagy has experience in midseason turnarounds. Last season, notably, saw the Bears at the same 3-3 record after six games before finishing 12-4. In 2015, when Nagy was serving as the Kansas City Chiefs' quarterback coach, the team started 1-5 before winning its next 11 games.
"When I went through this before in Kansas City," said Nagy, "I learned from coach [Andy] Reid, and his biggest strength was not changing."
Nagy stressed that there would be tweaks to the Xs and Os, but the structure of the team would remain as it is. The coach does not see any virtue in change for change's sake.
"We're all looking for the same thing," said Nagy. "We want to win, and we want to have fun. And we all have the answers. Everybody has all the answers. We all have all the answers. But really when it comes down to it, when you start changing everything, to me, that's a sense of insecurity."
Keeping the faith: In a similar vein, Nagy reiterated his support for quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Nagy said that any change in quarterback would not happen in the middle of the game.
"We have too many things going on right now within our offense and with us in general," said Nagy. "To sit there and point blame at one particular person right now is not fair. What we need to do as a team right now is we need to win, and we do that as a team. To me, that's the simple solution."
Trubisky's numbers, though the air and on the ground, are down this year, and the quarterback struggled to get the offense moving in his first start back from a shoulder injury suffered in Week 4. Nagy was doubtful that a change in personnel, rather than a change in execution, would be successful.
"We are who we are right now, and that's what we have,” Nagy said. “That's where we're at, and it's about focusing on how do we get better as us, play-by-play. We have to be able to understand that. I think our guys do. I just like the fact that our guys do understand that and they realize that we're not about pointing fingers, we're about getting better and focus on what we can control."
Nagy on Rivers: While much of Nagy's efforts during his time as the Chiefs offensive coordinator was doubtless spent on scouting the other defenses in the AFC West, he kept an eye on what his division rivals were doing on the offensive side as well.
Nagy had some good things to say about Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, getting a good look at the veteran quarterback when he worked with him a few years ago at the Pro Bowl.
"What you see constantly is he's one of the best anticipatory passers in the NFL," said Nagy. "He throws the ball super early."
Nagy said he'd never forget one Rivers throw to Antonio Gates on an out-and-up route several years ago.
"You just sit there and watch it five times and see how early he threw it," said Nagy, "and [Gates] was another 20 yards downfield when the ball was released."
Nagy made clear that he knows the Bears will face a formidable foe on Sunday.
"He's able to understand defenses," said Nagy, "what you bring him at him defensively with blitzes, dropping guys. He's seen it all. It's experience. It's somebody that I have a lot of respect for."
Solid start: Nagy was all smiles when he discussed one of the team’s most positive developments: consistency at kicker.
Through six games, Eddy Piñeiro has hit 9-of-10 field-goal attempts and has been perfect on 11 extra-point tries.
Nagy mused about the offseason's most pressing concern becoming an afterthought.
"It's been eventful," said Nagy. "It's been pretty positive. I mean, the good part is that he's had a heck of a start so far, and I appreciate that. It goes into this whole building and who he is and coach [Chris]Tabor and coach Jamie Kohl and coach Brock [Olivo] and just everybody giving this kid a chance, and then him taking it and running with it."
Nagy cites Piñeiro's 53-yard game-winning field goal against the Broncos as a turning point in the young kicker's development.
"Who knows where his career ends up in the end," said Nagy, "but that kick in Denver-- it's amazing how life works and how that can help somebody confidence-wise."