Chicago Bears News: Matt Nagy not ready to crown Justin Fields

Chicago Bears (Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports)
Chicago Bears (Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Chicago Bears began the voluntary portion of the their offseason program with OTAs this week and Bears head coach Matt Nagy has once again addressed the rumors that rookie quarterback Justin Fields may unseat veteran Andy Dalton as the starting quarterback for the team.

Since the Bears made the decision to trade up to the 11th overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft and select Fields last April, Nagy has insisted that Dalton was going to be the starting quarterback for the Bears when the team takes the field in Week 1 against the Los Angeles Rams.

To no one’s surprise, that mentality has yet to change.

While speaking with reporters after practice on Wednesday, Nagy once again confirmed his desire to have Dalton as the starting quarterback to begin the season while providing clarity on the quarterback depth chart.

While confirming that Dalton is currently QB1 on the Bears’ depth chart, Nagy also clarified with reporters that Fields is Dalton’s backup with veteran Nick Foles currently penciled in as the third string quarterback.

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The idea of Foles being the third string quarterback for the Bears seems to be tied to the idea that the team is attempting to trade the veteran. Rumors have it that the Bears and Eagles were working on the framework of a trade that would have sent Foles back to Philadelphia before the former Super Bowl MVP balked at the idea.

While Foles may believe his chances at seeing the field next season are better with the Bears than they would have been with the Eagles, it doesn’t change the fact that the quarterback picture for the Bears right now is a two-person frame that includes only Dalton and Fields.

The Chicago Bears plan on starting the season with Justin Fields as the backup to Andy Dalton with Nick Foles being the third string quarterback.

The months of June, July, and August in the NFL are known as lying season. Meaning the truths that are spoken during those three months are often not the truths that are seen on the field when the season starts in September.

Much like it made sense for the Bears to roll out the “QB1” campaign for Dalton once he was signed in March as a way to cover up their pursuit of Fields, it makes sense for the Bears to use a similar smokescreen now. There is no strategical advantage to Matt Nagy naming Justin Fields as the Bears’ starting quarterback at this point in time.

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Chances are that Nagy will continue to echo the “Dalton is our starting quarterback” sentiment until the end of pre-season. Then, at that point, if Fields proves that he is ready to be the team’s starting quarterback, Nagy will change his tune. For now, however, Andy Dalton is still penciled in as the Chicago Bears’ starting quarterback.