We’re going to be seeing a lot of Justin Fields this preseason. The Chicago Bears plan to give the rookie quarterback plenty of reps in the team’s three preseason games, according to NFL insider Albert Breer.
In his June 7 column for Sports Illustrated, Breer shared a few interesting tidbits about Chicago’s plans to bring its rookie quarterback along — and they will likely both delight and frustrate Bears fans.
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Breer: There is No QB Competition
I think, for the time being, the Bears’ quarterback situation is very status quo. And that’s not to say Justin Fields hasn’t come as advertised—he has. The staff there has seen strong command, confidence and the quiet leadership style he carried himself with at Ohio State. He’s also shown himself to be very self-aware and coachable—in the words of one staffer, ‘playing the rookie role very well.’ That sets Fields up nicely heading into the summer. But it hasn’t changed the course for the Bears. Andy Dalton has been good in the offseason program too, and the plan is to have Dalton take the first-team reps, and Fields work with the 2s in training camp. And until a rookie like Fields starts getting work with the 1s, the truth is that you don’t really have a quarterback competition.
Dalton has since had a few not-so-good days in OTAs, while Fields has continued to excel, so we’ll see how things continue to develop over the summer — and during the preseason, which, as it turns out, may play a huge factor in when we actually get see the 22-year-old quarterback.
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Bears Will Be Playing Fields ‘A Lot’ This Preseason
Breer, who frequently interviews Bears head coach Matt Nagy for his column, has a decent pulse on what Chicago is doing, and he revealed the team is going to rely heavily on preseason games to get a good assessment of Fields:
The Bears are going to get Fields a lot of work in preseason games, so he’ll have opportunity to show who he is as a player. And it’s obvious what the idea here is—for Dalton to play great, the Bears to contend, and Fields to keep stacking good days in the background. As we’ve reminded people here plenty, coach Matt Nagy was in Kansas City for Patrick Mahomes’s rookie year as the Chiefs OC, so he saw the benefit everyone got from doing it that way. But the key to that? The Bears will have to win, like the Chiefs did in 2017. Otherwise, it’ll be tough to keep Fields on the bench.
If Dalton struggles and Fields shines, it’s only going to get more difficult for Chicago to sit the rookie, however. While last year’s quarterback competition between Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles was intriguing, it pales in comparison to the “non-competition” that’s currently happening between Dalton and Fields. Stay tuned, Bears fans.