Andy Dalton is going to be your Week 1 starter for the Chicago Bears. At least that’s what the Bears told Dalton when they signed him.
“They told me I was the starter, that was one of the reasons why I wanted to come here,” Dalton said in his introductory press conference. “Every conversation I’ve had has been that.”
While that certainly squashes any notion that the Bears might open up with a competition between Dalton and Nick Foles, as we know situations change constantly in the NFL. An assurance like that likely wouldn’t preclude Ryan Pace from drafting a rookie quarterback in the upcoming draft if the opportunity presented itself.
If the Bears do end up drafting a quarterback, Dalton understands that's part of the business as teams try to set themselves up as best as they can.
"I've been the starter and helped the backup throughout my career. I think it's what you can do to help the next guy. We'll see if that's the case and what we do in the draft. But I've got no problem with that."
After starting in Cincinnati for nine seasons, Dalton signed with the Dallas Cowboys to backup Dak Prescott in 2020. But when Prescott injured his ankle in the first half of the season, Dalton was thrust into the starting lineup again. He said that shifting from starter, to backup, then back to starter helped him grow not only as a player, but as a person too.
“I don’t take for granted the chance and the opportunity to play, and to be the starter,” Dalton said. “That’s another reason why this is so attractive, is to come in and be the starter from day one… that’s an enticing pitch.”