Joniak: Matt Nagy Happy To Be Mic'd Up

October 31, 2018 - 5:42 pm
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By Jeff Joniak--

LAKE FOREST (WBBM Newsradio) -- The Bears (4-3) were back to work Wednesday, preparing for a matchup at the Buffalo Bills (2-6) on Sunday. Here are the notes and observations of the day.

First impression

It's great to see a young coach like Matt Nagy be willing to allow eyes behind the curtain. Many old-school veteran head coaches are far less agreeable. Nagy is 40. He loves sports. He watches sports. He's a fan. He knows what fans like. 

That informs why he agreed to be videotaped and mic’d up during the Bears' win against the Jets on Sunday, the audio of which is available at chicagobaers.com. It's getting strong reviews from fans.

"I don’t mind it," Nagy said. "It’s just too important for so many people that care about the game in so many different ways. I think it’s great for everybody to understand when it’s authentic. There’s a lot of good stuff that goes on with coaches and players. There’s some personal things to that not everybody needs to know about, but if there is a balance of knowing that’s OK, I’ve been there growing up. You love seeing that kind of stuff, and you can appreciate that kind of stuff. I don’t think there is anything wrong with it."

My WBBM broadcast partner Tom Thayer agreed. He never had the chance to wear a microphone for NFL Films during his playing days. Decades removed from that time, he knows it would've been a special memory and keepsake for his family to enjoy. 

Second thought

Some players don't like getting mic’d up for a game by the team or NFL Films. They feel like it isn't always authentic or they might say something inappropriate. If a player loses a game while wearing the mic, forget about it. They blame it on the microphone. They will more than likely never do it again. Some coaches feel it’s an invasion of privacy. Others are just superstitious about it.

Third degree

While Nagy wore the microphone Sunday, we saw a significant and special moment with quarterback Mitch Trubisky. After Trubisky produced an uneven and less-than-productive first half, Nagy challenge him to be great in the second half. It was an awesome exchange and fueled Trubisky to get the offense back on track.

"Every single snap in every single game, really every single week, you’re striving for greatness," Trubisky said. "I think when he just pulled me aside ... I think it really just honed me in, made me focus a lot more and just made me that more motivated to just focus in and doing what I had to do to get the offense going."

Trubisky appreciated Nagy saying what he said.

"For what it's worth, I just want him to know that I am behind him, that I support him, but I also want him to know that I’m going to put my thumb on him to and make sure that I expect him to be great," Nagy said. "So I want to challenge him into seeing him do great things."

Nagy's most important job is winning, and he knows continuing to develop Trubisky is a critical component in the process of doing that.

Fourth-and-short

If you get the chance to watch any the Bills' win against the Vikings on Sept. 23, you will understand why Nagy wasted no time in explaining to his team that the Buffalo defense is serious. The Bills have 21 sacks, 14 forced fumbles and five interceptions in eight games.

Nagy emphasized there will be no overlooking the Bills because of their 2-6 record.

"If anybody on this team -- player or coach -- is doing that they need to get out of this building and out of this place," Nagy said. "Don’t even think about it. You can’t do that .

"We don’t think that way, so I’m not going to let our players think that way."

Jeff Joniak is the play-by-play announcer for the Bears broadcasts on WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9 FM. Follow him on Twitter @JeffJoniak.​