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Making the call: Bears coach Matt Nagy gives up play-calling duties ahead of meeting with Vikings

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Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy yells to his team during the second half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)

Bears coach Matt Nagy attempted to give his team’s struggling offense a jolt ahead of its game against the Vikings on Monday night by turning over the play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. Nagy announced the decision on Friday.

“It’s not easy,” Nagy told reporters. “It’s one of my favorite parts of coaching. I love it. I love it. … We need to do what’s best for us, not what’s best for Matt Nagy.” Nagy said the decision will enable him to “really look at all three phases from the head coaching position.”

Nagy was named the Bears’ coach in 2018 after serving as quarterbacks coach and then offensive coordinator for Andy Reid with the Kansas City Chiefs. Among the candidates to take over play-calling from Nagy was Bears quarterback coach John DeFilippo, who served as the Vikings’ offensive coordinator for 13 games in 2018 before being fired by coach Mike Zimmer.

The Bears opened the season with a 5-1 record, but quarterback Mitchell Trubisky was benched during the third game of the season and replaced by veteran Nick Foles. Foles still holds the job despite being 2-4 as the starter and the Bears having lost three consecutive games.

The Bears are 29th in the NFL in scoring offense with an average of 19.8 points per game. The Bears also are 29th in total offense.

Lazor, a longtime NFL assistant, also has been an offensive coordinator with the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals.

This marks the second significant change made by a team before facing the Vikings this season. The Atlanta Falcons fired coach Dan Quinn and replaced him with defensive coordinator Raheem Morris after opening 0-5. The Falcons beat the Vikings, 40-23, on Oct. 18 at U.S. Bank Stadium. Nagy isn’t out of a job, but clearly he made this move with an eye on keeping the one he currently holds.