NFL | CHICAGO BEARS
Dalton insists it's his moment with Bears amid pressure from Justin Fields for QB1 position
Andy Dalton explained that while he hopes Justin Fields has a prolific professional career, he will be the one pulling Chicago's offensive reins this season.
The Chicago Bears used a significant portion of their draft capital to sign Justin Fields as the 11th overall pick in the 2021 draft. Fields is a hot prospect who looks to have a very bright future ahead of him. However, the Bears current senior quarterback, Andy Dalton, believes now is his time.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of the Bears second preseason game against the Buffalo Bills on Saturday, Dalton explained that while he hopes Fields has a prolific professional career, he will be the one pulling Chicago's offensive reins this season.
"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," said Dalton.
"Justin's gonna have his time and Justin's gonna have a great career, but right now it's my time and so right now my focus is on being the best player I can be for this team and do everything I can to help this team win," he added.
Since his arrival at Soldier Field in March of this year, Dalton has insisted that he joined the Bears because the franchise promised him that he would be the franchise’s starting quarterback.
Fields is hot on Dalton’s heels
But Dalton’s insistence aside, there is no doubt he could come under serious pressure for his starting place from Fields during the regular season.
In his NFL debut against the Miami Dolphins last weekend, in which he played around two quarters, Fields completed 14 of 20 passes for 142 yards and a 30-yard touchdown to Jesse James and rushed for 33 yards and a touchdown on five carries.
Despite these numbers, Bears coach Matt Nagy reiterated his position that Dalton is first-choice with Fields playing backup for Saturday’s game against the Bills.
"It is the case," said Nagy when explaining that Dalton will remain starter.
He added: "I think Andy had six plays. It's hard to say much good or bad about that with six plays. We're going to get him some more snaps this coming preseason game. And with Justin, I go back to what I said too, we want to be able to see live plays, live situations, he got that.
"The only thing he can do is to continue doing that and we have to make sure that plan allows us to evaluate how well he does knowing those circumstances. Ultimately, in the end, whatever is best for the Chicago Bears is in the end what we're going to do."