There will come a point when we stop trying to guess or predict Matt Nagy’s plans for developing Justin Fields. And, frankly, I’m curious to see what it looks like when the rubber hits the road. Because while we can look into Nagy’s past, development plans from other teams, and other quarterback paths, what Chicago does with Fields will ultimately be its own thing. In the end, it will be a data point for others to dissect down the line.
For the time being, the plan, via Nagy, is as follows: “Justin is gonna get the 2 reps, and the Nick’s going to get the 3 reps.”
And there you have it.
Andy Dalton opens up as QB1, receiving reps with the first-team offense. Promises made, promises kept — am I right? Behind Dalton will be Justin Fields, getting reps with the second-team offense. Rounding up the squad is Nick Foles, handling QB3 duties.
It’s quite the fall for Foles, who was the Super Bowl LI MVP with the Eagles, highly paid starter with the Jaguars two seasons ago, and a well-compensated backup for the Bears last year. But judging by Nagy’s assessment of things, it seems as if Foles is taking this in stride. After all, if Foles was the consummate pro when working behind Mitchell Trubisky (while simultaneously trying to unseat him) last year, then why wouldn’t he do the same for Fields. That’s one of the reasons the Bears swallowed hard in taking on Foles’ salary and re-working his deal to bring him into the quarterbacks room last year in the first place.
In the end, this isn’t about Foles. Heck, it’s not even about Dalton. The focus here should be on Fields already settling in as QB2. That means he is always just one play away from taking over Dalton’s gig. But perhaps more important than that, Fields is getting the second-most reps during practices. This is probably the most important development here. Remember, Mitchell Trubisky began his Bears tenure as QB3 behind Mike Glennon and Mark Sanchez. To be clear, I’m not always going to make Trubisky comps when discussing Fields’ development. But it’s noteworthy that Trubisky was given the fewest reps and that the Fields development plan won’t mimic that path. Feels like a good thing to me.
Nagy spoke for almost 20 minutes. We’ll examine some of the other things he said in due time. But if you want to watch his entire press conference now, check it out below: