Monday’s NFL: Bears hire Matt Nagy as coach
Lake Forest, Ill. — The Chicago Bears were looking for a coach to get the most out of quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and help a founding NFL franchise emerge from one of its worst runs.
They believe Matt Nagy is the right man.
The Bears hired Kansas City’s offensive coordinator as their 16th head coach Monday, hoping he can develop their promising quarterback and turn around a struggling team.
The Bears announced the move a week after firing coach John Fox, who went 14-34 in three seasons for a .292 winning percentage that is the second-lowest in team history. Chicago was 5-11 this season and hasn’t finished above .500 since letting Lovie Smith go following a 10-6 finish in 2012, two years after its most recent visit to the playoffs.
The 39-year-old Nagy spent the past 10 seasons working under Andy Reid in Philadelphia and Kansas City. He did not call plays until late this season, but drew praise for his work with Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith.
In Chicago, the former quarterback at Delaware and then the Arena Football League will be trying to develop Trubisky, last year’s No. 2 overall draft pick.
“He’s a good football coach, first of all,” Reid said. “I appreciate the way he comes to work and the attitude he brings. He puts his own flare on things. I think that’s important to know. Everybody does it their way.”
Packers get GM from within
Brian Gutekunst was promoted to general manager of the Green Bay Packers on Monday after working the last two seasons as the team’s player personnel director. He succeeds Ted Thompson, who is staying with the organization as a senior adviser. The Packers said Gutekunst will have complete control over all roster decisions, including the draft and free agency.
The Packers went 7-9 in an injury-plagued season, finishing with a losing record and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
Gutekunst has been with the organization for nearly two decades after being hired in 1998 by Hall of Famer Ron Wolf.
The team also promoted Russ Ball to executive vice president/director of football operations. Ball has been the salary cap expert and chief contract negotiator as the team’s vice president of football administration/player finance.
Belichick ‘absolutely’ staying
Bill Belichick says he “absolutely” intends to return as New England Patriots coach next season despite reports of turmoil involving himself, quarterback Tom Brady and owner Robert Kraft.
Asked about another report of his interest in coaching the New York Giants, the Patriots coach said he is focused on New England’s playoff game Saturday night against Tennessee.
An ESPN story last week highlighted purported disputes concerning Brady’s personal body coach and a supposed difference between Kraft and Belichick over the decision to trade backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
Handling of Newton probed
Interim general manager Marty Hurney insists the Carolina Panthers handled the medical treatment of quarterback Cam Newton “the right way” during Sunday’s 31-26 playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints.
The NFL and NFL Players Association announced Monday they plan to conduct a joint review to determine whether the Panthers followed the correct concussion protocol after Newton took a hard shot from Saints defensive tackle David Onyemata midway through the fourth quarter.
If the concussion protocol was not properly followed the team is subject to discipline, including a $150,000 fine.
Newton spent time on the ground after the hit. Then, as he was walking toward the sideline, appeared to stumble to one knee. He briefly pointed toward his right eye.
Newton sat out one play, but returned on the next offensive series and finished the game.
Jag stands by ‘slur’ claim
The Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue stood by his tweet accusing Buffalo Bills guard Richie Incognito of using “weak racist slurs” during their playoff game, but the second-year pro declined Monday to provide more details about what was said.
Incognito was not present in the locker room during Buffalo’s hour-long media availability Monday. He also did not respond to a text message from the Associated Press seeking comment.
Norton joins 49ers’ staff
The San Francisco 49ers have hired former Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. as an assistant head coach. Coach Kyle Shanahan announced the move Monday. He says Norton will become an assistant coach for defense and will be in charge of inside linebackers.