Bears' Cole Kmet Making Strong First Impression

"He has the want," coach Matt Nagy says.

Chris Emma
May 20, 2020 - 12:34 pm

(670 The Score) During a preseason game in 2014, then-Chiefs quarterbacks coach Matt Nagy watched in awe as second-year tight end Travis Kelce ran a post route over the middle of the field, beating a safety to the end zone for a 69-yard touchdown.

Kelce was coming off a rookie season that was ruined by injury and was looking to establish himself in the Chiefs' offense. He proved a point with that touchdown.

"That’s when we knew, ‘Wow,'" Nagy recalled.

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Nagy is hopeful he'll see something similar with rookie tight end Cole Kmet, one of the Bears' two second-round picks in April. Amid a virtual offseason program that's in place because the coronavirus pandemic led to on-field work being canceled, Nagy is already realizing special qualities in Kmet.

When Nagy clicks into a Zoom meeting, he often looks to test players on their understanding of the playbook.

"I have yet to trump him in a Zoom meeting on a question," Nagy said on a teleconference last week. "I can’t trick him. He knows it all.

"This kid has that. I guarantee you, and I’ll put it out there: He will know this playbook inside out. That’s not going to be the issue."

The Bears selected Kmet at No. 43 overall, choosing him over a number of intriguing possibilities. Nagy and the Bears envision him being the impact tight end whom their offense was missing. 

When Nagy took over as the Chiefs' offensive coordinator in 2016, he inherited a Pro Bowl tight end in Kelce, a dangerous threat who opened up the rest of the offense. 

Nagy pointed out the "different styles" in Kelce and Kmet, but he's feeling excited to add a key weapon into the offense.

"The ceiling for him is so high," Nagy said of Kmet. "Because, number one, he wants it. 

"He has the want. So, when you see that ceiling of someone like Cole, you see the personality, the size, the strength, the makeup, all that, how do you not get excited about that? I am, and I’m looking forward to his future."

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.