There’s no more guessing what the pecking order is in the Bears quarterback room this offseason. After the team’s second day of OTAs on Wednesday, Matt Nagy cleared up the team’s plan for Andy Dalton, Justin Fields and Nick Foles.
“I’ve talked to all three of them,” Nagy said. “And as we go into these practices, as we got into training camps, knowing how valuable it is for Justin to get his reps and then Andy obviously to get his reps, too, Nick and I have talked and he understands that going into this that Justin is going to get the two reps and that Nick’s going to get the three reps. And Nick is a true pro and understands it, is still very competitive and that’s why I say like in all these meetings, it’s just really special to see how they’re trying to help Justin out and teach him how to play quarterback and how to watch film and study this offense but also Justin helping them, too, with what he sees, so it’s been really good.”
This could be an early indication that it will be Fields backing up Dalton on Sunday Night Football against the Rams in Week 1, but we still won’t know that for sure until the team releases its first depth chart. Fields could be taking the No. 2 reps just because, as Nagy said, they’re more valuable to him, as a rookie, than they would be to Foles, who’s a vet in his second year with the team.
For his part, Fields seems to be making the most of each one of those valuable reps.
“He’s done a really good job at just trying to digest everything we are teaching in this offense in particular right now,” Nagy said. “The one thing that you learn when you get with Justin is that you realize that he does everything really well in a group setting. He listens. He observes Andy, Nick, coach Flip, Bill Lazor, myself when we are in there, but also too, when you are able to have one-on-one individual conversations with him, sometimes those settings are easier and you can be a little more specific with him, you really see him open up.
“It will be cool to see him once he really starts understanding what we do here in this offense to see him continue to grow and open up and ask good questions which he has done. Everything that we thought he was going to be when he got here with learning and being obsessed with everything that we teach him and then being able to be himself out on the field, he’s really doing things in a really good way.”
According to Nagy, Foles has embraced his mentorship role with the team. Dalton also said he’s enjoyed taking Fields under his wing to help him develop into a NFL QB.
“It’s really neat to see the way that they treat him and the way that they help him and vice versa,” Nagy said. “I wish you could all be in there to see it.”