Matt Nagy says Andy Reid has been a ‘calming presence' for him


Plenty of assistants have come and gone during Andy Reid’s 20-year run as an NFL head coach. Reid tries to keep in touch with as many as he can, but when it comes to Matt Nagy, who’s worked under Reid in Philadelphia and Kansas City, there’s something different. Just don’t ask him to explain it. 

“Nags and I talk quite a bit,” Reid told reporters on Wednesday. “I like talking to him. He's so passionate about it and he works hard, long hours, and we end up talking. I can't tell you why. I don't know why. That's just the way it seems to work.” 

Reid noted that he talks more often with Nagy than with any of his other former assistants, the list of which includes four current NFL head coaches (Doug Pederson, John Harbaugh, Sean McDermott and Pat Shurmur) and one recently-fired NFL head coach (Ron Rivera). Nagy truly appreciates his mentor's counsel, so much so that perhaps the quickest way to get a long answer out of the Bears' coach is to ask him what Reid has meant to his career. 

“Coach Reid just took me under his wing and we built trust with one another. I'm just very appreciative,” he said. “We're real with one another. One of the things I hope Coach appreciated from me was just that if I ever felt something or believed in something, I said it in a respectful way. And then I could handle it when he told me what he felt in a respectful way as well.” 

In addition to Reid, Nagy is also closely tied to Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes. Nagy was the offensive coordinator in Kansas City when Mahomes was drafted in 2017, and the two worked side-by-side during the QB's “redshirt” season as Alex Smith’s backup. The QB room also included offensive quality control coach Mike Kafka, whom Nagy praised for focusing on Mahomes’ day-to-day progression while Nagy worked with Smith. As Smith led the Chiefs to a 10-6 season, Mahomes got to sit back and, according to Nagy, “ learn how to practice, learn how to draw plays up and the things that maybe he didn't do in college.” 

“That was a great room to grow up in,” Reid said. “Matt Nagy is your coach; Mike Kafka, who played, he was in there; and then Alex Smith. I mean, c’mon. That was like the University of Quarterbacks for you, right there. That’s a tremendous environment.” 

Nagy called Reid a “calming presence,” which has come in handy as the Bears have underachieved their way to a 7-7 record through 15 weeks of the season. Their frequent conversations haven’t been quite as joyful as they were last season, when Nagy was winning 12 games, the NFC North, and Coach of the Year awards, but Reid insists that Nagy – and his current quarterback – are still headed in the right direction. 

“I think he's great for the city of Chicago,” he said. “I was in Green Bay for all those years and then in the NFC for those years, so I know Chicago. Chicago is a tough place. It's a blue-collar place and that's what he is. He's a central PA guy and he's got that toughness. I just think it's a great fit.” 

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