The Chicago Bears enter a very interesting week in training camp.  Joint practices with the Miami Dolphins will precede their first preseason game of 2021 — against the same Dolphins on Saturday at Soldier Field.  In anticipation of this, the Bears released their first unofficial depth chart of training camp.



Plenty to dissect, and the thread above comments on a couple of key items.

For Bears fans, they’ve checked out on Andy Dalton since his signing and are instead eagerly waiting for Justin Fields to emerge under center on Saturday.  Let’s see how he does in his first action against live bullets at NFL speeds.

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

Bears Mailbag

Like I said above, Bears fans have been checked out on Dalton since he was signed.  And I get it, he’s been something of a poster boy for average QBs during his career, and was done dirty by Cincinnati last offseason, when they released him late into the offseason, where the only opportunities were backup roles.  I get that.

But also, having had a bottom-three QB room the last two seasons, how desperate do you think the Bears are for even sniffing average QB play?  I’ve maintained for a long time now that the Bears’ offense would be substantially better with just average, low-variance QB play.  That’s Dalton.  He instantly makes the offense better.  Here’s proof that I am not going off recency-bias (check the time stamp).

(Keep in mind, those three games I watched as part of that tweet, the first two were his *statistical worst* of the season.)

Now, yes, I understand the Bears have a shiny new toy in Justin Fields and fans are excited about him.  They should be — he’s a physical talent that the NFL hasn’t quite ever seen before.  That, too, a pocket passer first!  Everyone expected him to destroy Dalton in training camp.

Guess what?  Dalton’s not only held his own, but looked GOOD in camp.  While I always expected Dalton to be the steadier QB early on as Fields takes his lumps and learns, the fact that Dalton has looked legitimately good in making very good throws, developing chemistry with Allen Robinson, and showing incredible command of the offense is fantastic.

Fields has yet to see a single live bullet — he will this Saturday against Miami.  If he looks strong even with the risk of being hit and his processor looks up to game speed, then the Bears may have a legitimate decision to make.  Until then, they have the luxury of letting Fields get comfortable.  The future is Fields and there’s no denying that.  And yes, there’s an element of truth that playing is the best way to learn.  But there is no need to be desperate here — Dalton has it handled until Fields is fully immersed and truly understands NFL speeds, and we could certainly be having a different conversation after the preseason is over.

Let’s put it this way, Dalton would’ve destroyed both Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles in last year’s uninspiring QB competition in camp.  Like, truly destroyed.  That awfully-quarterbacked team with a Swiss-cheese offensive line won eight games and made the playoffs.

Just imagine.

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