BOURBONNAIS -- With the dog days of training camp here, the coaching staff enlivened Monday’s practice with some personal participation. Head coach Matt Nagy and QB coach Dave Ragone were the guest throwers during a session when receivers and defensive backs went one-on-one.
“We’ve got to show the guys out there we can have a little fun, right? And compete,” said the 40-year-old Nagy, who played quarterback for six seasons in the Arena Football League. “I’ve got to always just challenge myself, too, because before you know it, it’s going to be gone.”
Nagy and the 38-year-old Ragone, who played three years in the NFL, clearly enjoyed cranking up their arms, but players seemed to get a bigger kick out of it.
“It’s awesome,” said QB Mitch Trubisky, who will see his first action in Thursday’s second preseason game. “(Nagy) got warmed up this morning; he had to get that arm ready to go. We’re out here having fun every day. This is the best game in the world, and luckily we get to come out here and practice every day. For him to hop in, it shows that we’re just out here having fun. You love to have a coach throw a couple dimes on the defense. It was fun to have him in one-on-ones.”
Nagy threw some impressive deep balls, but he also got picked off by Kyle Fuller, who had the good sense not to taunt his coach — not that he needed to.
“He got me. I can’t believe he got me,” Nagy said, only partly in jest. “That’s ridiculous that I let that happen. That’s unacceptable. The thing with Fuller is, he doesn’t have to say much. He just kind of gives you that look. It’s actually worse by him not saying anything. I’m going to go back and watch it (on film). I’m going to evaluate myself and see where I was, and if there were any drops in there, those guys are going to hear it. I’m going to get on them.”
Nagy was asked what the scouting report on him was in the Arena League.
“Slow, not very strong, decent arm,” Nagy said, “and hopefully they say gritty and tough. I kind of like that.”
As much as the coach participation lightened up practice, Nagy said it also served as a team-building exercise.
“That’s what it’s all about inevitably, is us being together, being close,” he said. “For the players to feel like, ‘Hey, there’s no separation between players and coaches; we’re all one.’ I think it just kind of brings you together. It just kind of happened for us, and I hope they enjoyed it, hope they had fun with it. The wideouts were coming up to me and telling me what routes they wanted instead of listening (to) the quarterbacks. They were excited, I could tell. It was cool.”
Sitting it out
WR Josh Bellamy (shoulder) and OLB Isaiah Irving (ankle) did not practice Monday, joining WR Taylor Gabriel (foot), CB Cre’Von LeBlanc (groin), C Hroniss Grasu (ankle) and OLB Aaron Lynch (hamstring) on the sidelines.