Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy doesn’t have many friends in Bears fans these days.  Already reeling from two consecutive 8-8 seasons (though one resulted in a playoff appearance), he now finds himself receiving vitriol for the Andy Dalton-Justin Fields dilemma.



Fans have no idea why Nagy would start Dalton Week 1 against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday Night Football.  To them, it’s simple — go with the superior physical talent.  The more exciting QB.  The guy you traded draft picks to move up for.  The future.

The good news for Bears fans is they will see Justin Fields start the final preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium.  It’ll be Fields’ first road game, and first start, in the NFL.

Something to hold fans over…

With that, let’s reach into this week’s Bears Mailbag.  Thanks to all who submitted questions.  Follow me on Twitter @DhruvKoul to continue the conversation.

Bears Mailbag

I think Bears fans are misinterpreting this as loyalty to Dalton.  It’s true the Bears may feel a tinge of obligation to Dalton after signing him with no idea they’d land Fields in the draft, but if you listen to what Nagy has been saying in his pressers recently, it’s evident the coaches feel that a) Fields is closing the gap, and b) they have not closed the door at all on starting Fields when they feel he is ready.

From most reports coming from the Bears beat in practices, Dalton has had the better camp, has shown excellent command of the offense and huddle, and has been making very good decisions.  Is he the superior athlete or physical talent?  Absolutely not.  But he’s been everything the Bears have wanted him to be and has helped shorten Fields’ learning curve so far.

But that’s just it, they feel Fields is still on his learning curve and they want him to close a bit more before he’s ready to play.  He is still learning to command the offense and the huddle.  He is still working on pre-snap recognition, though Nagy said Fields’ post-snap recognition has improved.

There’s merit to thinking he won’t iron these issues out without playing and that rep opportunities dry up when regular season preparation starts, but the Bears have a plan in place to ensure Fields gets his turns to learn.

Keep in mind, the Bears obviously do not have a clean slate here.  They have two obligations:  1) to develop Fields, and 2) they still have to win.  I don’t think the Bears can afford to go 5-12 this season — Nagy needs to win and he *cannot* go back to Dalton after he inserts Fields.

He needs to be absolutely sure.  The Bears don’t want a Tua-Fitz situation like 2020 in Miami.  At least they learned a lesson there.

I get the angst and excitement for Fields to play.  But Bears fans are treating Dalton like he’s Mike Glennon, and have since he was signed.  It’s ludicrous and unintelligent.  He won’t be anywhere near as bad.  He’ll hold it over until Fields is ready, and when Fields is ready, he will play.

I’m not sure why Bears fans think Nagy thinks they’re idiots, but I’m not sure what fans expected Nagy to say when Mitch Trubisky was playing poorly in Chicago?  He wasn’t going to rip his QB to the media, especially one who seemed to unravel when things didn’t go well or accordingly to plan.

I also don’t think this is about keeping his word to Dalton (read above as to why).  But keep in mind how the Bears treat veterans will affect their ability to sign future ones.  It’s evident the Bears are paving the path to insert Fields when he’s ready based on what he has said at recent pressers (he is nowhere near as steadfast as he was during rookie minicamp).  But he isn’t going to make the call to Fields until he’s sure he’s ready, because like I said above, they are not replicating a Miami situation.  Once Fields is the guy, he’s the guy.  There’s no going back.  Nagy needs to ensure he’s ready.

Covering the Bears, Cubs, and Bulls @SportsMockery. Chelsea FC fan. Jay Cutler stan.