BOURBONNAIS — “Excitement” has been the most commonly used word surrounding Chicago Bears training camp.
A new coach, new offensive scheme, solid free agent signings and returning a number of starters on a Top-10 defense grants a positive vibe and optimism.
After Tuesday’s practice, Nagy talked to the media about where quarterback Mitch Trubisky has improved, how wide receiver Allen Robinson fits in the offense, and the potential of his defense to improve even more.
Question: What’s the next step in establishing who some game-changers are and can be?
Nagy: We want to be up in the top of the league when it comes to turnovers. When you emphasize it and talk it everyday in practice, it not only helps them but helps the offense as well with ball security. When you’re tops in turnovers, your percentage tends to go up in wins.
Question: With Aaron Lynch out, it makes the team thinner at linebacker. Who have you seen step up to fill that void so far?
Nagy: Sam [Acho] and Kylie Fitts are the first two guys who come to mind. It’s great to have Sam here; he’s a consistent guy who you know always is going to get the job done. Kylie is having a great camp so far. He plays extremely hard, sometimes too hard, but you can’t ever fault anyone for going too hard in practice.
Question: What stands out to you about (center) Cody Whitehair?
Nagy: He’s a kid who wants to do right all the time. He has a little bit of a perfectionist in him, so the thing we’re getting through with him is the “next play” mentality. He wants to do the right thing and satisfy everyone, which is impossible, but it’s a trait you love about him.
Question: How has Allen Robinson stood out?
Nagy: I like where he’s at. Allen has done everything we’ve asked out of him. He’s working on getting a couple more routes down, but it’s more mental and muscle memory than anything. But that’s the benefit of having five weeks in the preseason and getting ready for Week 1.
Question: We’ve seen a lot of footballs in the air so far during camp. Is there a ratio you’re working on in terms of run-pass?
Nagy: When you get into R.P.O (run, pass, option) stuff, a lot of times the ball is thrown even though a run was called. That’s going to naturally happen. But there’s no ratio about it. We’re putting everything into a pot, stirring it up and seeing what certain situations call for.
Question: We heard Tarik Cohen call you “swag coach.” Do you think you have some swag?
Nagy: I have zero swag [laughs]. I’m just myself out here with the guys. I have heard a couple guys call me “Swaggy Nagy” since it rhymed, I guess. But I have no idea what it means. But that’s a big part of why we’re going to have fun. I want competitive, fun guys who trash talk a little bit as long as they know where to draw the line.
Question: For a second-year guy, what impresses you most about Mitch’s progress?
Nagy: I love his footwork and balance. I didn’t harp on that much during OTAs. But now that we’re in training camp and he has guys flying at him, you take more notice on his timing, which is really good, as is his anticipation. We’re working more with his downfield throws, and we’ll continue to improve every throw he’s making.
The Bears are off today and resume camp at 8:15 a.m. Thursday.