Lincicome: Deciphering the spoken words of Matt Nagy

  • Bears coach Matt Nagy during the Nov. 22 game against Baltimore at Soldier Field.

    Bears coach Matt Nagy during the Nov. 22 game against Baltimore at Soldier Field. Mark Busch/

Updated 12/17/2021 3:46 PM

Putting together a guide to authentic Matt Nagy gibberish may be more of an effort than most are willing to take on and, besides, it will be outdated in a few more weeks.

Nonetheless, before the Nagy tongue leaves our neighborhood for good, I unenthusiastically take on the chore of clarifying what he said from what he meant.


"It's no one's fault other than everybody's."

Don't look at me, look at them. And if they are looking back then they know who they are. Don't they?

"That was a rough one and I put it on me."

That is no way to start an argument.

"You can't just say, 'This team's going to win' or 'This team's going to lose.' Anything can happen. So what you can control is winning your game as much as possible. If you don't do that, and then the other team has a chance to lose, and they lose, and you didn't go about it the right way, now you just let that slip."

There are things we know. We also know there are known unknowns. There are also unknown unknowns. The ones we don't know we don't know. Are we clear? Are we clear!

"The Super Bowl is the goal. The goal is not to make the playoffs."

Mission accomplished.

"What we have to do is really start figuring out, OK, where are we?"

by signing up you agree to our terms of service

Still ahead of Detroit but don't look back yet.

"I think we have to say as a staff, why is that? Where is that? How do we get better?"

Multiple questions, multiple choices. No answers in four years.

"You learn from any criticism. You learn from any self-criticism. And you learn from when you do things the right way; you try to keep going."

The definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

"The coach needs to understand, when he's not teaching something the right way or he sees something wrong, he's got to be able to admit to his mistakes."

Again ... the definition of madness ...

"You've just got to go with your gut feeling."

OK, see, it's fourth and one on your own 47-yard-line with three and a half minutes to play and you trail by three scores, and your punter refuses to go into the game because it makes no sense to him, and he says, "Coach, don't you think we should go for it?" and you point to your stomach, burp and say, "I shouldn't have had those prawns."


"I think when you start changing things, you're not being yourself."

If only ...

"The quarterback needs to know when he's doing something wrong or how he can get better."

Unless he is Justin Fields.

"I was a player in the Arena League."

Proud to say it, mighty proud.

"If somebody comes out and has a poor game, it doesn't mean they're getting cut."

Otherwise the Bears would be playing with a long snapper and a bucket of Gatorade.

"For me, you understand that we always talk about 'we' and not a 'me' thing. And we always talk as a team. We win as a team. We lose as a team."

And often.

"I normally don't get frizzled."

Bewitched, bothered and bewildered and occasionally baffled and befuddled but, you can look it up, never frizzled.

"I've always considered myself a leader, a leader of men."

Ah, but the strawberries. That's where I had them. They laughed at me and made jokes but I proved beyond a shadow of a doubt and with geometric logic that a key to the wardroom did exist.

"Details. That's what it comes down to."

Should I wear the visor or go bald? Maybe the ball cap with the logo. No, better with just a "B" but that could mean Browns or Bengals so I better go with the "C." No, wait, the visor, I think. Maybe the camo. Details. Details.

"When you fail to communicate, there are gray areas. And when there's gray areas, then bad things happen."

Heads. We'll take heads and the ball. No, wait, tails and we'll kick. No, wait. What are our choices again?

"There are scenarios when I wish I would have made some different choices with the play call."

Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are he's running the ball on third and eight.

"I'll never forget the day I went home and told my wife, 'I'll never be a kindergarten teacher.' "

Regrets, I've had a few, but, still too few to mention. Except the day I went home and told my wife ...

"There was a lot of reflection wondering, 'What in the hell am I doing?'"

An epitaph if ever there was one.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.