Editor's Note: Nagy was hired on Jan. 8 to coach the Chicago Bears.
With two games to go in the 2017 regular season, there is already one head coaching job open and there are bound to be more in another two weeks. The New York Giants parted ways with Ben McAdoo following Week 13. When the 2017 regular season ends, teams such as Tampa Bay, Chicago, Cleveland, Indianapolis and Houston could also be looking for new coaches. While there is always an abundance of names floated around, few of them are really ready to assume a head job and have success.
Looking at the success rate of new coaches over the past ten years or so, the ones that almost always seem to have success are the coaches who come from the Andy Reid tree. The Buffalo Bills' new head coach, Sean McDermott, was once a defensive coordinator under Reid. The same can be said about Carolina head coach Ron Rivera. The Eagles' current coach, Doug Pederson, was also a former Reid assistant as the Kansas City Chiefs offensive Coordinator under Reid before he took over in Philly. Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh is one of the first from the Reid tree to become a head coach, and no one has to tell you about his success. It goes without saying that Andy Reid does a superb job in preparing his coaches for the next step.
This year there are two coordinators under Reid who will be hot names when coaching positions open. One is Chiefs special teams coordinator Dave Toub and the other is offensive coordinator Matt Nagy. Toub has been through the head coach interview process in the past, and it seems likely that this year will be the year that he finally gets a well-deserved head coaching position.
Nagy, on the other hand, will be new to the process but, because of his responsibilities in Kansas City and the success that Los Angeles Rams rookie Head Coach Sean McVay has had this year, Nagy could very well be a head coach within the next six weeks. I use McVay as an example because he is young and relatively inexperienced as far as years in the league, yet he has been able to turn the Rams around in one season.
Nagy is only 39 years old and he has been coaching in the NFL for eight seasons. Before coaching, the Delaware grad was a quarterback in the Arena Football League and passed for over 18,000 yards and 374 touchdowns.
Following his Arena League career, Nagy became an offensive assistant for the Philadelphia Eagles under Reid for one season (2010) and then spent two years as an offensive quality control coach. When Reid became the Chiefs head coach in 2013, Nagy was hired to be the Chiefs quarterback coach, working closely with Alex Smith. Under Nagy’s guidance, Smith put up some of the best numbers of his career. He spent two seasons at that position, and then in 2015, he was promoted to co-offensive coordinator with former Vikings head coach Brad Childress and still worked with the quarterbacks. This season he was named sole offensive coordinator for the Chiefs.
Under Reid, the offensive coordinator is heavily involved with the game planning each week but it has always been Reid who called the plays. That changed three games ago when Reid gave the play-calling duties to Nagy. Being that Reid has always called the plays since he has been a head coach, the move is huge and speaks volumes about what Reid thinks of Nagy as a coach.
In the three weeks since Nagy has become the Chiefs' play caller, the Kansas City offense has averaged better than 425 yards and 29 points per game. In the past two games, the Chiefs have averaged better than 33 minutes per game in time of possession. With those kind of offensive numbers, most teams win!
While there haven’t been a lot of young coaches that have become head coaches, the success rate for those who do is very good. Jon Gruden, Mike Tomlin and McVay are just three examples. Adam Gase in Miami was 38 years old last year when he became a head coach. While he had success in 2016, he has struggled this year, but the Dolphins also lost their starting quarterback (Ryan Tannehill) in the preseason to a leg injury.
Nagy may or may not get a head coaching job this year, but his is a name to watch the next few years if he is unsuccessful this offseason.