The Bears are Right to Start Andy Dalton

Nick Fontana, Staff Writer

When it comes to the Chicago Bears, it seems as though they have never struck gold at the quarterback position. From the Jim McMahon era of the ’80s to the terrible 2010’s of Mitch Trubisky, the Bears just haven’t seemed to figure it out.

Yet again this offseason, the Bears were on the hunt for another QB, after letting their 2017 2nd overall draft pick Mitchell Trubisky go. Despite trade rumors for Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson, Chicago ended up signing free agent Andy Dalton to a 1 year, $10 million deal.

As a Bears fan, I have personally never seen so much outrage at a team. #TheBears and #FireRyanPace were trending high on Twitter for the entire day. Former Bears players and many Bears analysts were just overall confused. This anger raged on for another month until April 29, when the Bears traded up from the 20th pick to the 11th pick to draft Justin Fields out of Ohio State.

The entire mood of the organization flipped from complete doubt to a new sense of optimism for the upcoming future

The entire mood of the organization flipped from complete doubt to a new sense of optimism for the upcoming future. This instantly sparked debate on what the 2021 season will hold for the Chicago Bears and who will be under the helm at Soldier Field.

Many Bears fans are going to disagree, but Andy Dalton has to start for the Chicago Bears this season. Highlighted in the Bears’ early schedule are the Rams and Browns, who have two of the top defensive linemen in the NFL in Aaron Donald and Myles Garrett. Starting Fields against one of the best defensive players of all time with a very shaky offensive line is a disaster waiting to happen.

When it comes to Fields, there is no doubt that the kid can play. Many Bears fans are confident that Fields could get the job done if he were to be thrown in in Week 1, and I agree. But he has his whole career ahead of him.

As for Dalton, people are forgetting who he was in the past. He wasn’t the best QB in the league, but he most definitely tops any quarterback that we have had in the past five years. Now that he is paired back with his old QB coach and offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, he may become that 4,000-yard passer that he was once before.

If Dalton does play to that level again, it would be nice for Fields to watch for a good chunk of the season. Besides, the Bears aren’t Super Bowl-ready this year. However, if Andy Dalton does play poorly, a situation like Watson’s first game would not be a bad thing for the Bears either.

Pro Bowl quarterback Watson’s first NFL playing time came in the second half of the Texans’ first game of the 2017-2018 season. If Dalton isn’t playing well and is hurting the team, I won’t be mad at  Fields getting the nod in the second half, especially if the decision comes from Coach Matt Nagy who is an expertise in the realm of quarterbacks.

One thing that Bears fans forget is that coach Matt Nagy helped in developing superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

‘‘Nagy was amazing with me and my transition into the NFL,” Mahomes said, via the Chicago Sun-Times. “Being able to relate to me, being able to go out there and let me play fast and be who I am.”

Mahomes and Fields have similar playing styles, both able to extend plays outside of the pocket. Because of this, I trust whatever Coach Nagy’s assessment of Fields is.

Even though Fields has the talent to be one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, it just isn’t right to start him right away when there is a good veteran in the Bears locker room. We need to put more trust in Nagy and his judgment on the young star.