Bears using Cordarrelle Patterson as a running back in training camp

Matt Nagy is known as an offensive mastermind, and he’s finally proving it in training camp

The Chicago Bears hired Matt Nagy as their head coach due to the fact that he was hyped up as this offensive mastermind during his time as the offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Chicago’s offense looked strong in his first year, but last season, it was downright anemic. Not all blame can be put on quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Some of that criticism deserved to go to the running game, because they couldn’t get anything going. David Montgomery didn’t live up to the hype he had following the 2019 NFL Draft, and Tarik Cohen is their primary passing-downs back.

Nagy’s heard this idea for quite some time, and he’s finally caved in. In Chicago’s first padded practice on Monday, speedy wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson lined up primarily as a running back! Prior to these padded drills, Patterson attended running back meetings instead of studying film with the receivers, which only added fuel to the fire. Now, it’s become a reality.

It’s a shame it took this long for Nagy to catch on

Patterson has been known for his speed ever since he stepped on the field with the Tennessee Volunteers. That’s why he wasn’t viewed primarily as a wide receiver upon entering the pre-2013 NFL Draft process. Since being selected by the Minnesota Vikings, Patterson was a threat as a kick returner in the pros.

Through his seven-year career, Patterson has logged a grand total of 6,101 yards and seven touchdowns on 204 returns. Last season, Patterson brought in 28 kickoffs for 825 yards and a score. That would certainly work in his favor to try and grab a quality amount of rushing carries, right? Wrong!

Nagy gave Patterson just 17 rushing carries last season for 103 yards. That was less than half the carries that Bill Belichick gave him during his lone year with the New England Patriots. Patterson had 42 carries for 228 yards and a touchdown when lining up at running back for the Patriots during the 2018 season.

For the Bears to succeed this season, Nagy needs to alleviate the pressure off the quarterback, whether that’s Trubisky or Nick Foles. Maybe Montgomery finally breaks through this season like they expected last year, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt giving Patterson a decent chunk of carries this upcoming season.

At this rate, what have they got to lose?