Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy and his assistant coaches spoke to the media Monday following a 33-22 defeat to the Arizona Cardinals.
Here are three things we heard from the group at Halas Hall when the Bears turned their attention to their Sunday night away game against the Green Bay Packers.
1. Availability of Justin Fields for Sunday’s game will be “an ongoing discussion for us all week,” Nagy said.
Medically speaking, the fields weren’t cleared of broken ribs in Week 13 against the Cardinals, so the rookie quarterback must clear that bar first before he can be considered against the Packers. After that, according to Nagy, the decision will be based on how Fields handles the pain.
For now, the Bears will be preparing for both Fields and Andy Dalton to start and change their plan as they watch Fields this week, starting with their first full training session on Wednesday. Fields was restricted in training this past week before Dalton made his second straight start. The veteran scored four steals on a losing streak.
If Fields can’t aggravate the injury while playing, there is a clear benefit for the Bears to bring him back on the field to continue his development, which Nagy believes was accelerating before the rookie was injured against the Baltimore Ravens on November 21.
“Going back to playing for San Francisco, I really felt like the game was slowing down because of him,” Nagy said. “Now that he comes back there to be able to help get to different points in the attack – if we have a check on the line, if we have some height, where he can get to something in the game – see him kind of grow in this aspect (it would be nice). I really felt that his confidence was starting to grow. On practice. On the field. In itself.
When Fields does return, the Bears want him to continue learning how to minimize the awkward bumps that could cause more injury.
“There are times when he tries to make a move and realizes he can’t get away with it against a faster player that he probably played against,” said quarterback coach John DeFilippo. “Do not be offended by the ‘big ten’, of course, a great conference, but it’s just a monster. I think he’s really learning what you can get away with and what you can’t. I really think that when you have such a sports player, I think that there is for sure some learning curve in it. ”
2. Nadia plans to learn more about the headset issues that the Bears are concerned about.
Nagy spoke about the problems Sunday night after the game and clarified on Monday that they started early in the fourth quarter when the Bears started moving on their 2-yard line. Dalton began to point to his ears that he was not hearing offensive coordinator Bill Lazor calling the game in the coaching booth, which led Nagy to instead redirect game calls from the sideline.
After it was revealed that Dalton’s spare helmet wasn’t working either, the Bears eventually got a walkie-talkie for Nagy, DeFilippo said, allowing him to forward calls from Lazor to Dalton.
Nagy said he doesn’t think protecting the Bears has the same problem. He asked aside if the cardinals were in trouble, but received no answer. He said he would try to get answers on whether the Bears or the NFL are responsible for resolving the issue.
“I just didn’t get there today,” Nagy said.
Nagy is not the first coach to raise concerns about headset malfunction this season. Following the New York Giants’ defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs on November 1, Giants coach Joe Judge said they had headset problems all season and had to burn two timeouts due to those issues.
At the time, the NFL issued a statement about the giants in the New York Daily News, which said: “We are investigating this issue with all parties involved; however, we are confident that there is nothing to do with the Bose headset. ”
3. Tight coach Clancy Baron said it was important for Cole Kmet not to be affected by a fall from affecting his play.
Kmet took full responsibility for his discarded catch, which Cardinals defender Budd Baker grabbed for an interception and returned 77 yards. Kmet said the weather was a factor as he rolled back and the ball flew out of his hands, but he noted that he needed to focus on finishing the catch.
The Baron said that he and tight end veteran Jimmy Graham talked to Kmet about not letting the falling cloud hang over him.
“It will happen,” Barone said. “Probably the only guy that has never happened is the guy who has never been thrown the ball. The main thing is to see: “Can he get through this?” And he did it. He came back in the second half of the game and did two pretty tough catches with a guy on defense hanging over him and had to make two pretty good catches by the end of the game to help us try to get down and score again.
“So watching him grow up was a plus. It’s one thing to do something bad, but how do you deal with it? And Cole handled it like a pro. ”
Kmet had three catches on seven targets at 41 yards, but also allowed the Cardinals to pass midfielder Chandler Jones to overturn Dalton’s pass, leading to the quarterback’s third interception.