The Chicago Bears lost their opener for the seventh time in eight years on Sunday night. It was a predictable outcome, with the more talented Los Angeles Rams pulling away in the second half to win 34-14. It was the latest sign that 2021 could be a rough journey for this team as the roster begins what clearly looks like a major transition. That said, not everything about the game was bad.
A major bright spot was David Montgomery. The third-year running back delivered 108 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. He was easily the best player on the field for Chicago. However, he wasn’t the one Bears fans wanted to see most. That of course was Justin Fields. The young quarterback played a handful of snaps on the evening and certainly made his presence felt. He went 2-for-2 for 10 yards passing and scored a touchdown on a three-yard run.
Needless to say, fans clamored for the Bears to keep him in.
Especially after watching Andy Dalton who finished with 206 yards passing, an interception, and a fumble. While the veteran wasn’t that bad, it was a reminder of how limited he is at the position. Dalton failed to complete a single pass of 10 air yards or more. What made fans so frustrated was how predictable the outcome was. What exactly does Dalton offer this team that can make the offense better? Fields is clearly the more talented option at quarterback in spite of his inexperience.
As it turns out, Montgomery and others in the locker room might feel the same way. His comments on the young quarterback after the game were eye-opening.
Those are telling words that are hard to misconstrue. It’s apparent that Montgomery gets a certain vibe from the rookie quarterback. A feeling that the kid is made for the NFL. I reported a couple of days ago that there were already rumblings in the locker room that several players believed Fields was ready to play. The running back seemed to feed into that with those words.
David Montgomery and others may not care for Nagy’s plan
From the start, the Bears head coach has sold people on his idea. Sit Fields so he can learn from the safety of the sideline while the veteran Dalton handles the offense with steady precision. It is basically a call back to what Nagy saw happen with Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City. Fine in theory. There are just a few problems. Dalton, who is playing the role of Alex Smith, doesn’t have four years of prior experience in this system. He’s also never proven to be nearly as efficient.
On top of that, Fields outplayed him in the preseason and was as good or arguably better during long stretches of training camp. If it had been a true competition? Most would agree the rookie would’ve won the job outright. If younger guys like David Montgomery are making comments like this? Try to imagine how Akiem Hicks, Khalil Mack, and Tashaun Gipson feel. Older veterans who don’t have much longer in this league.
They’re trying to win now.
It isn’t a great look when from their perspective Nagy isn’t playing the best quarterback. This is why the head coach is playing a dangerous game. While his plan has good intentions, it runs the risk of dividing the locker room.