After seeing the Bears sign Andy Dalton and draft Justin Fields, I’m priming myself to cover our third quarterback derby as a site. It will be an exciting time for us as fans, observers, and enthusiasts for better quarterbacking in Chicago.
Except The MMQB’s Albert Breer seems to think there is no quarterback competition to be had in Chicago (bold emphasis mine):
“I think, for the time being, the Bears’ quarterback situation is very status quo.And that’s not to say Justin Fields hasn’t come as advertised—he has. The staff there has seen strong command, confidence and the quiet leadership style he carried himself with at Ohio State. He’s also shown himself to be very self-aware and coachable—in the words of one staffer, ‘playing the rookie role very well.’ That sets Fields up nicely heading into the summer. But it hasn’t changed the course for the Bears. … And until a rookie like Fields starts getting work with the 1s, the truth is that you don’t really have a quarterback competition.”
Alright, so the vibe here is that Andy Dalton is the true QB1. Got it.
Then again, it sounds like Fields will have every opportunity to snatch that title:
“That said, the Bears are going to get Fields a lot of work in preseason games, so he’ll have opportunity to show who he is as a player.”
Thinking about this has my brain considering one of those old adages that never made sense to me — you can’t have your cake and eat it, too. And yet, it makes sense to me in the prism of this Bears quarterback ordeal. Moreover, the Bears are legitimately trying to have their cake, while eating it, too. Frankly, this whole concept fascinates me.
The Bears might want to slow-play Fields’ development. And they could want Dalton to succeed after giving him assurance he would be QB1. But Chicago’s football team also seems open to the idea of Fields playing his way into a starting role, too. The first steps toward doing that is to kill it in practice. To that end, it’s noteworthy knowing Chicago will give him a lane for which he can win the QB1 role. And it’s not as if the Bears are against starting Fields in Week 1. In fact, they aren’t.
In the end, I find myself circling back to what Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy has previously said about what will happen at quarterback. We’ll all know when it will be Fields’ time to shine. And in the meantime, it looks like he’ll get ample opportunities to show what he can do.