Bears’ Justin Fields Says He Feels Fans’ Desire for Him to Start Week 1 over Dalton
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Justin Fields understands the Chicago Bears traded up for the No. 11 pick in this year’s draft to select him as the franchise quarterback of the future but not necessarily to be the starter his rookie season.
He’s trying to stick to that plan even if fans around his new city aren’t too keen on waiting for his time to come.
Speaking to reporters Thursday, Fields admitted he’s aware Bears supporters want him to start immediately but isn’t letting that distract from what his coaching staff wants to see him do in 2021.
Instead, Fields will serve as the backup to Andy Dalton with Nick Foles serving as third-string QB. Dalton signed a one-year, $10 million deal with the Bears before the club selected the Ohio State product.
Fields added that Dalton has “completely” taken him under his wing, joining the veteran for family dinners and trying to soak up as much as he can from the former Cincinnati Bengals star.
The rookie just understands the best thing he can show the organization is his ability to learn and develop from those trying to teach him. It’s exactly what the coaching staff wants to see from him, too.
“There will be a process and a plan,” Bears head coach Matt Nagy told reporters Wednesday. “We will stick to that. That plan is not going to change tomorrow. The plan is not going to change in training camp. The plan is a plan and it’s been thought out.”
That plan, however, does come with some benchmarks the head coach isn’t afraid to let the public in on. After helping coach a rookie Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City before taking the top job in Chicago, Nagy knows what to look for when college QBs make the leap to the NFL—even if the plan is to sit them as a rookie, like Mahomes did with Alex Smith running the Chiefs’ offense.
“I would say with Patrick at this point of time in vet minicamp to where Justin is, is great,” Nagy said. “Their personalities, football-wise, football IQ, all of that stuff is very similar on that side. Their actual personalities are a little bit different but that’s the beauty of life. We all have different personalities. I just think that right now for Justin, the biggest thing is to make sure that he’s continuing to just really listen and just get better, and then probably just keep asking the right questions, and I think he’s doing that more and more as he feels comfortable.”
Fields can’t exactly stop fans from getting excited over his potential—or even tune it out in a town as QB-starved as Chicago—but that doesn’t mean he can’t enjoy the moment either.
“I feel like there’s no reason not to embrace it,” Fields said.
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