A ‘dark side’ to Matt Nagy? The coach says yes, when the Bears need it

LONDON, ENG - OCTOBER 06: Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy watches players warm up before the game between the Chicago Bears and the Oakland Raiders on October 6th, 2019 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England. (Photo by Martin Leitch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

LONDON –  Great leaders of teams tend to find the right mix of being tough and being somewhat relaxed.

So far, Matt Nagy seems to have done that well with the Bears. We’ve seen the fun in his approach through post-victory “Club Dubs” along with his creativity in play calling.

Even his comments to the media tend to be mostly delivered with a generally positive tone, which sets the mood he’s brought to Halas Hall since early in 2018.

“They know what my feelings towards them as people and players. We have a ‘happy-go-lucky’ attitude throughout the building. We have fun,” said Nagy.

On occasion, just like most coaches in all sports, there comes a time where that kind of attitude won’t cut it. There has to be a fiery dose of motivation that comes from a different place that inspires a different emotion from an athlete.

Nagy voluntarily gave a term for his way to ditch the fun for some tough talk.

“But every now and then, though, you need to be able to show a dark side,” said Nagy on Monday in London. “They need to see that and feel that, and it just so happens that yesterday was one of those days.”

That’s when the Bears delivered a lackluster effort in a 24-21 loss to the Raiders in London – the second disappointing loss for the group so far this season. The defense was sluggish and so was the offense in the first half when they fell behind 17-0. Nagy watched his team take a 21-17 lead in the third quarter, then slow up in the fourth to finish off a difficult defeat.

Performing as a whole below expectations, and a bye week ahead, Nagy thought it time to bring out the “dark side” to let his displeasure known to the players.

“I had to do that last year, too. There were times where we had to do it. This year it’s just coming a little bit earlier, you know,” said Nagy. “That’s where we’re at. I just really trust and appreciate who these guys are as people, and I trust them; I trust that they’re going to figure out a way, along with us, what they answers are. We stick together.”

“So, we’re 3-2 and we’re at a point right now where we’re going to be OK and we just get answers.”

Will his talk on Sunday help expedite the finding of them?

“They felt it, I know they felt it,” said Nagy. “But they also know the importance they mean to us as coaches and to me as a head coach. I’ll always have my arm around them, I’ll always be there to listen, too, because that’s apart of this, too,” said Nagy. “Let’s listen to them and see how we can collaborate together to get answers.”

They’ve got a week to think about it before taking the field again, when the players hope to see the happier side of Nagy for the rest of the 2019 season.

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