Did the Bears make Wednesday throwback day at Halas Hall without telling anyone? Early in the morning, Matt Nagy announced the bad news that Teven Jenkins will require surgery, drawing comparisons from fans to Chris Williams’ bumpy start to his career in 2008. The addition of Jason Peters mirroring that of Orlando Pace didn’t help either.
In the afternoon the trip down memory lane continued when Andy Dalton had a bit of a Mike Glennon moment at the podium, especially when you look at big quote boards on social media.
“Justin is going to have his time and Justin is going to have a great career but right now it’s my time,” Dalton said.
It’s undeniably reminiscent of Glennon’s “this is my team” press conference from 2017, but these two scenarios are not the same.
To start, Glennon admitted he was taken by surprise when the Bears drafted Mitchell Trubisky. According to Glennon, the Bears let him know about their plans 10 minutes after the pick was made. That’s not the case with Dalton. When he signed he made it clear he knew what the score was. He knew there was a chance that Ryan Pace could make a move to draft a rookie quarterback, and he signed in Chicago anyway.
More importantly though, Dalton seems genuine when he says he’s pulling for Fields and wants him to play well. Dalton, at least publicly, seems to relish the mentor role. Even Fields has expressed how Dalton has gone above and beyond to take him under his wing, and how much he appreciates it.
Now, to get the bigger picture, take a look at the full Dalton answer to a question about how he navigates the awkwardness of being the starter while everyone else clamors for Fields to finally play.
“You can’t focus on that,” Dalton said. “If you focus on that, then that’s gonna beat you down and so I know who I am, I know who I was created to be, I know where my identity lies and so do I want the fans behind me and this team and all that kind of stuff? Yes. Do I want them behind Justin? Absolutely, I do. But that’s not my focus. I can’t focus on all that right now. Like I’ve said before, Justin is going to have his time and Justin is going to have a great career but right now it’s my time and so my focus is on being the best player I can be for this team and do everything I can to help this team win.”
Moments before that, Dalton reiterated he understands the fans’ excitement. But it’s also understandable if he gets a little exasperated having to answer 10 questions about Fields every time he takes the podium.
“I think that’s just kind of life,” Dalton said. “I feel like I’ve been through a ton in my career and so I think all the experiences that I’ve gone through have helped me get to this point right now. I know that I’m supposed to be on this team. I know that I’m a big leader on this team and I know God has put me in this spot for a reason, and so for me, I’m just trying to do everything I can to make the most of it.”