For returning Kansas City Chiefs quarterbacks coach Matt Nagy, it was a no-brainer to come back to head coach Andy Reid’s staff — where he had served for a total of 10 years in Philadelphia and Kansas City — after being fired from the Chicago Bears’ head-coaching job.
“In the end, after I was fired, I had some time to get away,” he said of the experience. ”But I think it got to a point where it just made sense to get [back]. Football’s in my heart. It’s in my blood. It’s in my wife’s heart and my wife’s blood. And my kids — they love it. So why not come back to a great place — a special place — and get it going again?”
It was also a place where he would be working with familiar faces: quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes — who joined the team during the last season before Nagy departed — and Chad Henne, with whom he was familiar from an entirely different time.
“It’s been fun to be back in that quarterback room with Pat,” he noted. “I remember watching Chad since he was a sophomore in high school. I actually coached against him. And he put up — as a sophomore — like 300 [yards] and four touchdowns and I was [like], ‘This kid’s special.’
“Now here we are — however many years later — and I’m coaching him here at this level. And then to be in there with Shane [Buchele] and Dustin [Crum], to be back with Coach Reid, to be back with Eric Bieniemy [and] the rest of the coaches on this offensive staff... it’s awesome. They’re just good people who do things the right way. It’s exciting for me. It’s fun — and it’s refreshing.”
But it all comes back to Mahomes, who became the NFL MVP the year after Nagy left.
“It was neat to see him do that right away,” he recalled. “We were just talking about, ‘Were you surprised?’ No... I wasn’t surprised that he did it.
“He’s just such a special player. He’s rare. And when Kansas City came to Chicago — and you had to look across the sideline and see that dude over there? It was like, ‘OK. Maybe just score 24 — instead of like, 42.’”
Nagy said that despite Mahomes’ incredible accomplishments over the last four seasons, he’s still a player that a coach can mold.
“I’m so excited to be in that room with him,” said Nagy, “and to see the personality that he has. He has a great balance of how to be a great quarterback — but yet, be a great leader. And he’s still coachable.
“A guy like this? You’ve done everything. You’ve won a Super Bowl. You’ve been to four straight AFC championships. And yet, he’s still coachable. He wants that. There’s a hunger there. And that’s what’s exciting for me.”