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Why Bears' coach is having a blast Bears: Nagy not certain if kicking game is fixed.

PHOENIX -- I am not a morning person to say the least!

But when the Bears head coach Matt Nagy blew into the meeting room at the annual "coaches breakfast" at 8:15 Tuesday morning at the NFL's annual league meetings, seemingly relishing an hour with a handful of my fellow ink-stained wretches and me, our day got a lot better.

A remarkably successful rookie campaign as the biggest Bear in the den at Halas Hall has done little to curb his enthusiasm or diminish the joy Nagy takes from being an NFL head coach.

While everybody on my side of the table wanted to talk football, Nagy most enjoyed telling us about his dear friend and mentor, Andy Reid's penchant for texting, comfort food, emojis and bitmojis.

I confess, I never expected to learn from Nagy what a Bitmoji is because I had no idea.

When asked how he and Reid comforted each other following their gut-wrenching playoff losses last January Nagy explained, "See coach is real big into, what are those emoticons or whatever a like of yourself a bitmoji?

"I probably just told you, but he's big on bitmojis.

"He builds himself in a Tommy Bahama. So he has

a Tommy Bahama and then he'll send me a picture of like eating a bunch of cheeseburgers or something.

"Then I have mine. And I send him back mine. We have fun with it."

Who knew?

Nagy even offered to share his and Reid's Bitmojis, "So I'm all Bear'ed a I'm Bear'ed up. They don't have a visor. So I got to talk to somebody.

"There's coach. You see coach with the pancakes. See, I'm not lying. That's it right there."

Sorry Coach Reid, blame it on your buddy.

We did talk a little football as Nagy expounded on where he's at with his running backs.

"With Mike (Davis), we saw somebody that a he was in a position in Seattle where he didn't have a lot of tread on his tires, not a lot of carries, shared some carries.

"I liked his vision. I thought he had really good vision. He was a guy that can make you miss between the tackles. We liked that.

"All these guys were so different in what they bring to the table. When you have a Jordan Howard, a Tarik Cohen, a Mike Davis, they all have different traits and anytime you can add guys to your position, it's good."

Nagy is also excited about Cordarrelle Patterson and what he added to the Patriots run game.

"I liked it! Yeah, yeah I mean you see how big he is. He's 228 you know. I like him back there returning kicks too."

The Bears coach isn't certain if he and Ryan Pace have fixed their kicking game yet but he would like us to get the contestants names right.

"Um I don't know (laughs)! If I knew I'd tell you, you know.

And by the way it's crazy, you guys keep talking about this, what his last name, it's Blewitt.

"That's not even his last name. It's French and it's Blue A. You guys are crazy. I mean I understand why you did it but now it's Blue A."

We did go deep on next steps for Mitch Trubisky, the changes to the Bears 'D,' the pending trip to London, opening vs. the Packers, a potential swapping of positions for Cody Whitehair and James Daniels and a number of the more mundane facets of Nagy's job, but mostly Nagy seemed to just want to have fun until it came to what his message to his troops will be this year about taking another step forward.

"Now, we're now the hunted, we're not hunting anymore, we're the hunted.

"But that's pretty cool. That's what you want.

"Within our Halas Hall, our players are going to realize and they're going to feel it from our staff and from myself that last year is gone.

"I don't care, this is a new year.

"We've got to get better in OTAs, we've got to get better in training camp, and then when we get to week one, we've got to go 1-0."

It seems Nagy's convinced having fun and winning championships don't have to be mutually exclusive.

* Hub Arkush, the executive editor of Pro Football Weekly, can be reached at harkush@profootballweekly.com or on Twitter @Hub_Arkush.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Date:Mar 27, 2019
Words:731
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