Insider Reveals New Info About Changing Role of QB Justin Fields

Justin Fields Bears

Getty Will Justin Fields start Week 1 for the Chicago Bears?

Justin Fields may be starting Week 1 after all. According to NFL insider Jeremy Fowler, the Chicago Bears may have changed their minds about which signal-caller will be the guy this upcoming season.

“Andy is the starter. Andy is going to get the 1 reps. What we’re telling Justin and Nick (Foles) to do is make sure that they’re doing everything they can to try to be that guy, and that’s that competition part,” Bears head coach Matt Nagy said on May 16.

“I know that’s for everybody the biggest question is, ‘When is that going to happen?’ When you move up to draft a quarterback like Justin, everyone’s very excited and they want to know when, when, when, and trust me, we all understand that. But we need to make sure that whatever that plan is that we put together, that it’s the best thing for the Chicago Bears.”

Now, after Fowler’s report, it appears Fields could also be the starter — if he’s ready to go, that is.

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Fowler: If Fields is ‘Undeniable,’ He’ll Start

In an appearance on ESPN’s Get Up May 31, Fowler had this to say about Chicago’s current situation at quarterback, via Tyler Conway of Bleacher Report:

This offseason the Bears assessed their situation and said, ‘Look, we’ve been an 8-8 team, we just need an upgrade at quarterback that can get us closer to 10 wins.’ They felt Andy Dalton did that. They said, ‘Hey, we can win 10 games with this guy, he’s a slight upgrade at the position.’ But then they had the chance at Justin Fields, crazy athlete, great ability. They said, ‘OK, this is the long-term play.’ Now, if Fields is just undeniable over the next three to four months in training camp, they’re not going to just sit him just for fun or posterity just to play the veteran. So they’re going to give him the best chance, but they’re OK sitting Fields if Dalton has a good grasp on the job and they feel like they can win with him. So, they believe they’re going to be better regardless. It just depends on whether Fields is ready Week 1.

Fields impressed nearly everyone in attendance at Bears rookie minicamps, and the young quarterback has already expressed a strong desire to be the guy in Chicago.

“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 said mid-May during minicamp. “So of course I’m going to do everything I can to get that starting job. It’s not up to me. Coach Nagy has a set plan for my development, but I’m just going to work hard, keep my head down and keep grinding it out every day.”

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The Preseason May Actually Matter

With the preseason a full-go this year, how Fields performs in his opportunities in those games could likely determine whether he gets the nod Week 1 — which is a Sunday night prime time game against the Los Angeles Rams.

If the 22-year-old quarterback looks shaky or slightly unpolished during the preseason, expect Dalton to start. But if Fields looks like a force, or seems comfortable and at ease in Nagy’s offense, it’ll be pretty difficult to keep him on the bench.

Nagy has been criticized in the past — and rightly so — for being stubborn and too unwilling to abandon philosophies that have appeared useless on offense. But if Fields winds up starting and getting the nod early on, it might mean Nagy is learning how to incorporate change, which would be a very good thing for the Chicago Bears.

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