Bears HC Matt Nagy said he informed the organization when he was hired that his system would take a “few years to get going” similar to when he was the Chiefs’ quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator from 2013-2017.
“When I first got here . . . I explained to everybody that this offense, it takes a few years to get going,” Nagy said, via ProFootballTalk. “We saw that in Kansas City because it took a few years, not just with the players that were coming in and were drafted, but the scheme — them learning it and understanding it. After three or four years, it really started picking up and going. I feel like we’re at that spot right now. We’ve got some guys that have been on this team for two, three, four years, and they know the offense as well as I do — where that wasn’t the case two or three years ago. When you have that and you have a guy like Andy and these quarterbacks that come in and understand it, that’s where it gives me confidence.”
Lions DB coach Aubrey Pleasant was overall happy with second-year CB Jeff Okudah‘s performance in the Lions’ preseason loss to the Steelers.
“Started a little slow, rebounded very well,” Pleasant said, via Detroit Free Press. “To me, it’s not about how you start, it’s about your finish. That’s why they’re in the preseason and that’s why you see our starters out there trying to get better.”
Okudah broke up a pass intended for Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, but “got a little greedy with his eyes” which resulted in a big third-down pass on the Steelers’ second drive.
“It was a condensed split, he kind of wanted to jump one route, but didn’t play what he saw,” Pleasant said. “I like it because he was thinking, but I don’t like it because I need discipline.”
Pleasant said he wants his group playing with “controlled aggression” and noted one of the hardest things for young guys to do is “learning what to do and how to do it at the same time.”
“If you look at what he was asked to do at Ohio State, it was look at this guy, eliminate this guy, eliminate this guy only,” Pleasant said. “Don’t look anywhere else, don’t worry about any checks, don’t worry about any balances, don’t worry about anything. And now, it’s the NFL, it’s a different game. Sometimes you got to communicate, sometimes you got to get off. Sometimes people put you in splits where you can’t always press and you got to make sure you’re sharpening your tools in your toolshed so when you do, you’re able to use those.”
Packers CB Kevin King spoke about his poor performance in the NFC Championship game against the Buccaneers when allowing two touchdowns. He called the results a “learning experience” and is using it to improve.
“Things like that, I don’t know if you ever necessarily get over,” King said, via Matt Schneidman of The Athletic. “But it’s a learning experience. … You can use things to get better. You listen to all these guys who have the greatest success stories, they’ve all used those ‘failures’ as turning points. In their minds, as humans, it’s kind of just evolving in that stage of life. … I’ve challenged myself all offseason and continue to challenge myself to come out better from that situation, so ‘failure,’ that’s just a word.”
King said he never looked to have a “fresh start” elsewhere as a free agent this offseason and instead re-signed to a one-year, $5 million deal with the Packers.
“I’m not the type of guy that just tries to sweep s*** under the rug, you know?” King said. “‘All right, let me get a fresh start somewhere.’ No. No. I want to finish this with my guys. The guys who’ve believed in me and the guys who continue to believe in me. And like I said, I’m going to do my part to uphold my side of the bargain. We’re here to win a Super Bowl. And I just want to do my one-eleventh on defense, and that’s what I’m here to do.”
King reiterated that he had no doubts about returning to the Packers.
“But sweep it under the rug? Go to a new team? No. Of course, there’s definitely some money that you couldn’t turn down in terms of somebody trying to bring the Brinks truck out. It’s all a business, of course. But if the money was all good, I was going to be a Packer, no doubt about it.”
Packers HC Matt LaFleur said he has “a lot of faith” in King and thinks his value to the team is “much higher” than the public perception.
“I think our value (of him) within our building is much higher maybe than public perception is out there,” LaFleur said. “He’s a guy I have a lot of faith, a lot of confidence, in. I think when he’s healthy, he’s really tough to deal with. His length when he challenges guys at the line of scrimmage and gets his hands on them, that’s a tough matchup for most wide receivers.”