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#pounditWednesday, January 19, 2022

Bears coach Matt Nagy puts pressure on Week 1 starter Andy Dalton

Matt Nagy

Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy once again reiterated on Tuesday that Andy Dalton will be the team’s starting quarterback in Week 1. What he did not do, however, was shoot down any talk of Justin Fields taking Dalton’s job early in the season.

Nagy told reporters that Dalton will not play in the final preseason game, as he has been named the starter for Week 1 against the Los Angeles Rams. The coach was candid when asked what will determine whether Dalton keeps his job.

Nagy could have easily deflected the question. There are countless ways to answer that, but he obviously is not concerned about heaping added pressure onto Dalton.

Most Bears fans want Fields to start. They feel that they know what Dalton is at this point in the 33-year-old’s career. Dalton is far more experienced and has won games in the NFL, but Fields’ ceiling is much higher.

While starting as a rookie is never easy in the NFL, it’s fair to wonder if the Bears are simply saving face by giving Dalton the Week 1 job. They were quick to name Dalton QB1 after they signed him, but that was before they knew they would be in a position to draft Fields. Nagy then stuck to his guns after the team was ruthlessly trolled on social media.

Judging Dalton based on “performance and wins” is pretty subjective. Will he be pulled after one bad game? Does he need to keep the Bears above .500? These are questions that will be answered in time, but it doesn’t feel like his grasp on the starting job is ever going to be firm.

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