What a week it has been for Matt Nagy and the Chicago Bears. Starting quarterback Andy Dalton was diagnosed with a bone bruise after a knee injury knocked him out of Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Then, it was rookie Justin Fields who got the nod in Dalton’s place. After the victory, though, the controversy began — and it’s reached an all-time high as of this very moment.
In what became the publicity stunt of the century, Nagy refused to answer a question on Monday about whether or not Dalton was his starter when healthy. A little while later, Nagy sent a P/R rep back into the room to let the media know that Dalton is, in fact, the team’s starter when healthy.
Putting all cowardliness aside, Nagy is dead wrong for this type of answer.
Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy doesn’t understand how to give proper respect to all his player.
By reiterating that Dalton is his starter when healthy, Nagy is failing to give proper respect to the team’s new starter in Fields. It’s pretty simple. Nagy has done everything he possibly can to give Dalton the benefit of the doubt while backing him to a fault.
Now that Fields is his starter, Nagy has to turn his support to the rookie. It’s understandable that Nagy wants to continue to support Dalton, but no one knows just what Fields will be able to accomplish during his first, second or even third start if Dalton is out for that long.
How does Nagy know Fields won’t be the right man for the job once Dalton is healthy?
All Nagy is doing, right now, is setting himself up to look even worse should Fields play well enough to keep the job. A proper answer to the question regarding Dalton being the starter when healthy would have been, “Andy’s health is priority number one, and for now, Justin is our starter. We will cross that bridge when we must.”
Instead of opening any door to Fields potentially playing well enough to keep the job, Nagy slammed it shut.
The problem with this notion is that Fields could storm right through that door himself, convincing even Nagy that he should keep the job.
Who is to say that Fields doesn’t come in and light it up against Cleveland in Week 3? What if he ends up starting in Week 4 against Detroit? The Lions’ defense has had a rough go at it, and that could end up being a major statement game for Fields.
If Fields has two excellent games, what will Nagy have to say for himself? The backtracking will become more than just evident. It will be laughable. Let’s see if Nagy is a big enough man to answer for his mistakes, should Fields play lights out.