For the first time in what feels like forever, there is optimism surrounding the quarterback position with the Chicago Bears. The arrival of first-round rookie Justin Fields brings with it the promise of a new era for the organization and those fantasies of contending in the NFC North have only been heated up over the last few days due to his impressive showing during rookie minicamp. However, Fields won't be given the keys to run Matt Nagy's offense off of that performance alone and it would appear the No. 11 overall pick still has a ways to go before he's dubbed QB1.
Nagy reiterated on Sunday that veteran Andy Dalton, who signed a one-year deal with the club earlier this offseason, is the starter at the moment and is "going to get the one reps" once the club opens up organized team activities next week.
Despite both Dalton and Fields being new to the Bears, the former has a decade of NFL experience under his belt, which may give him the early edge to possibly win the job out of the gate. While Fields is the clear future under center in Chicago, Nagy appears to be taking the slow approach with his young quarterback, opting to ease him into the league to prevent any speed bumps in his development.
"I know that time is the biggest question right now for Justin and I completely understand that, because there is an excitement, there is that want for all of us to see what Justin can do," Nagy said, via NFL.com. "We'd be lying to you if we didn't say that or believe that. But we got to make sure as we go through this thing that we also do what's best for the Bears and for Justin."
While Nagy may be holding out from clearing a path atop the depth chart for Fields, the quarterback is making no qualms about wanting to be the club's starter.
"I think everybody on our team should be striving for a starting job and if you're not, there's no reason for you to be here," Fields told reporters Friday. "Of course, I'm gonna do everything that I can to get that starting job. It's really not up to me, Coach [Matt] Nagy has a set plan on my development. I'm just going to work hard, keep my head down, and just keep grinding it out every day."
Determining how the quarterback reps will be split throughout the summer will be one of the more intriguing developments with the Bears. Not only are Fields and Dalton part of that discussion, but so is former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles. Nagy relayed that he and offensive coordinator Bill Lazor have not yet created a clear pie chart of who'll take what reps heading into the rest of the offseason program. That said, it wouldn't be surprising to see that situation be a bit more fluid depending on the strides Fields makes or doesn't make as these weeks and months progress.