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“Monday Funday” Proves That Matt Nagy Does Things His Way

Nagy surprised the team with something that he coined “Monday Funday.” Players and coaches were split into ten 11-man teams, where they competed in an Olympics of sorts.

For any professional sports team, the length of any particular season is long. The Bears are diving into Organized Team Activities (OTAs) this week. It feels like yesterday that the season dramatically ended at Soldier Field on the foot of Cody Parkey.

Nonetheless, the Bears are back in action. OTAs typically consist of weightlifting, play scheming and a number of other things. However, Coach Nagy walked into the meeting room Monday and told his team they were scrapping that for the day.

Nagy surprised the team with something that he coined “Monday Funday.” Players and coaches were split into ten 11-man teams, where they competed in an Olympics of sorts.

Competitions included: Hitting the crossbar with a football from 15 yards away (I know someone who’d be great at this), coaches running four sprints across the width of the field, throwing a ball through the goalpost from 55 yards away, shooting volleyballs into garbage cans (this was very much life-sized beer pong), team dodgeball, and several others. Watch it all unfold here:

Look at how much fun every single member of this team is having. Smiles all around, hugs, everything positive. Nagy built a culture last season in Chicago, something the Bears hadn’t seen since Lovie Smith. This year, he is tasked with expanding on last year. This is a beautifully constructed start.

The competition ended in a pizza and chicken wing buffet for everyone. The winning team consisted of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Leonard Floyd, Chuck Harris, Ted Larsen, Bilal Nichols, Pat O’Donnell (O’Donnell knocked Taylor Gabriel out of dodgeball to clinch the victory), Ellis Richardson, and Allen Robinson, plus coaches Mark Helfrich, Donovan Raiola, and Deshea Townsend.

The four top teams were awarded prizes. First-place selected the prize of a steak dinner at training camp in Bourbonnais. The second-place team chose the prize of one fewer rep at a pre-camp conditioning test. Third chose a curfew extension one night at training camp. Finally, fourth was awarded free haircuts from a professional hair stylist.

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix explained after signing with the Bears that the way Nagy made things fun played into his decision to come here. Things like today only grow this mindset among NFL players of exactly what Matt Nagy and the Bears are all about. You may see more and more players make decisions like that of Clinton-Dix.

As for the Bears, championships aren’t won in May. However, the work that is required to win a championship does begin in May. Actually, it starts earlier than that. Practice and weightlifting are important, and the Bears resumed that Tuesday, but building a strong team bond is just as important and it seems nobody does that better than Coach Nagy.


Featured Photo: Chicago Bears/Twitter

Patrick is an avid Chicago sports fan. He is a Blackhawks season ticket holder. Blogging all things Bears, Blackhawks and White Sox, Chicago is well covered. Oh, and catch him talking and drinking on Four Feathers Podcast and Bears On Tap.

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