Bears coach Matt Nagy gives up play-calling vs. Lions but insists ‘everything goes through me’

Matt Nagy spent four years as an offensive assistant with the Chiefs and then was brought in by the Bears as head coach to try to revitalize their offense ahead of the 2018 season.

Since then, Nagy has never been one to shy away from calling plays. But in his team’s 24-14 Week 4 victory over division rival Detroit, it was coordinator Bill Lazor’s game plan that propelled the offense.

For Lazor’s efforts, the Bears — led by rookie QB Justin Fields — scored more than 20 points for the first time this season and gained a season-high 373 yards. Through the first three weeks, the Bears were second to last in points and last in total yards.

Nagy didn’t expand on what he meant when he said “ultimately it goes through me” with regard to play-calling.

This isn’t the first time Lazor has called plays. He drew up the schemes and game plans late in the 2020 season as the Bears drove to an NFC wild-card berth. In the seven games Lazor called plays, the Bears’ offense averaged 27.7 points and 348.9 yards per game.

Last April, Nagy said he’d retake the play-calling duties from Lazor, who previously was an offensive coordnator with the Bengals and Dolphins.

“As far as calling plays, I’m going to be the one calling plays this year,” Nagy said. “That’s an exciting thing for me to get back to knowing where we’re at. The fun part right now is doing what we want to do better, getting that right with coaches and players that are going to be with us.”

But Nagy was cryptic this week and wouldn’t commit to saying who would call the plays against the Lions.

“Without getting into specifics of what we’re going to do and how we’re going to do it with — not just that stuff but other topics — I’m going to keep that internal and I think that’s the best part right now for us,” Nagy said.

Then came Sunday’s postgame when Nagy said Lazor called the plays and complimented his OC’s scheme.

The Bears will take on the Raiders next week and the Packers the week after that. It’s unknown whether Lazor or Nagy will be in the quarterback’s ear going forward.

But whatever Lazor did Sunday worked and was enough to get Chicago (2-2) back to .500.

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