Bears head coach Matt Nagy explains plan to utilize Justin Fields, Andy Dalton
With the Chicago Bears drafting Justin Fields in the first round of the NFL Draft, head coach Matt Nagy will have to perform a balancing act. Andy Dalton is still on the roster, and he’ll have to figure out a way to utilize both players next season.
Joining The Herd with Colin Cowherd this week, Nagy explained in detail how the organization can use both quarterbacks.
“What we want to do as coaches is develop this identity we want to create throughout the offseason and into the season is we have to work to Andy’s strengths and Justin’s strengths,” Nagy said, as transcribed by 247Sports. “There may be times that we see things that Justin does really well that Andy might not do as well and vice versa. We’d be crazy to not take what Justin did great for two years at Ohio State and concepts of plays he likes and help him get going when it is time and he is playing. The same goes for Andy coming in for the first time this year with different concepts than what he’s done in the last nine or 10 years of career. But they are different. That’s what makes it fun. We have to adapt to the strengths of each quarterback.”
Chicago traded up during the first round of the draft to get Fields at No. 11. The former Ohio State star was the fourth quarterback off the board, following Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson and Trey Lance.
Nagy explained how he told Dalton that the Bears would be taking Fields near the top of the draft.
“The day of the draft, earlier that day, Andy and I caught up to discuss a lot of things,” Nagy said. “I told him, because we didn’t know, that there were a lot of things that could happen. (I said to him): ‘one thing I will tell you is that every position is open, including quarterback. So I can’t predict when that may happen but if it does, i just want you to know how much respect we have for you and where you stand with us and this team moving forward.’ That’s real. I feel that’s very important to have with your players, that honesty, trust and openness. We’re all grown men here…and when we did trade up and draft Justin and got him, I called (Dalton) that night and explained to him.
“Every human being is naturally going to be, I don’t know what the word is, discouraged or frustrated slightly because he’s a competitor. But he’s a true pro and he’s going to help the Bears out and help Justin out. Ultimately the biggest thing in all of this, we as coaches, do what’s best for the Bears organization and what’s best for Andy and Justin. We’ll put a great plan together and believe in it. I was fortunate to live it in 2017. Was it the same? Yes. Was it slightly different? Yes and we know that and we’ll see where it takes us.”
This might be one of the more interesting quarterback situations in the NFL in 2021.