Matt Nagy: Everyone will know when the time is right for Justin Fields to start

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After trading next year’s first-round pick to the Giants as part of a move up the draft board to take quarterback Justin Fields on Thursday night, Bears General Manager Ryan Pace said that the team still views Andy Dalton as their starting quarterback.

It’s not the first time head coach Matt Nagy has been in a situation like this. He was on Kansas City’s staff in 2017 when they drafted Patrick Mahomes with Alex Smith on hand, which he said gives him “some type of blueprint to at least work off” as they bring Fields along.

Nagy called Fields fortunate to have Dalton and Nick Foles in the quarterback room and said that it won’t happen “overnight” for the rookie, but that no one will miss the signs when Fields is ready to take over the job.

“There’s some observations from all of us as coaches every single day, and just like we would tell any quarterback, when you come in here, you do everything you can to be the best quarterback that you could be,” Nagy said, via “Whether it’s in the meeting room or whether it’s in practice, and everything else will take care of itself. All of those guys are going to do it. And then we just got to decide then when we get to that point, how is he developing and how is everybody doing, and really keeping it as honest as possible with all of those guys. Then when the time is right, I promise you every single person will know including Justin when it’s the right time, and that’s naturally how it happens.”

Mahomes sat for an entire season as the Chiefs went 10-6 and took over once Smith (and Nagy) moved on in 2018. It remains to be seen if the Bears will be able to be as patient with Fields.

48 responses to “Matt Nagy: Everyone will know when the time is right for Justin Fields to start

  1. It’ll be right around the point where the offense isn’t working and he needs to blame the someone for a gimmick-ridden, badly thought out and I’ll balanced offense.

  2. Nothing against Fields or Foles but I hope they give Dalton a fair opportunity. Dalton has been dealt lousy cards his whole career. I’m not saying he’s franchise QB but I hope he does well. Hopefully the offensive line can give him some time and he plays decently.

  3. I like Fields but tOsu has never sent a star QB to the NFL and the Bears have never had a star QB in their 100 year history. So what are the chances this all works out?

  4. As long as Lazor contiunues to call the plays? Dalton/Foles will do well and Fields can hold a clipboard in the same way Mahomes did. But unfortunately, Nagy’s ego and desparation will take over…

  5. Fields isn’t ready to start in the national football league, while Foles is no longer a NFL caliber quarterback. With that being said Andy Dalton on his third team in three years ? Ah That first round pick is going to be top 3.

  6. Yeah except no way this Bears team is going 10-6 with Dalton. Or even 10-7.

  7. This song “the say that never comes” by Metallica comes to mind. Irregardless,they will try to force a square peg into a round hole and throw Fields out there anyways with predictably poor results.

  8. Nagy is going to ruin this kid. Just as he did with Trubisky, Nagy’s ego regarding his “amazing high powered offensive play designing and play calling” will have him not scheming to Field’s strenghths…it will be the same gimmick garbage we have witnessed in Chicago since he took over.
    Matt “Nah-Jee”…

  9. Hand-off to your 180 lb back for a dive up the middle? Follow that up with some inexplicable motion with an obvious wide receiver screen for a 3 yd loss?

    I think Field’s has your horizontal offense figured out already.

  10. Not sold on Fields but he has a chance. Nagy on the other hand will make sure he fails. I said it before. They made this move just to buy another couple .500 seasons. Sorry fans.

  11. Da Bears are always decisive and correct when it comes to QBs.

  12. I think fields is gonna play from the jump and i think he is gonna play really well. Fields is just as ready to play as anyone else is in this draft. They have weapons and decent offensive line. He might have to make some plays with his legs early till he fully gets the playbook down, but by mid season i think he will be ok. The packers are gonna trade Rodgera, the lions are, wel, the lions, and cousins is gonna do his 8-8 thing. This division for the taking. The bears have the defense and now they have a dynamic qb to help the offense.

    They didnt ruin trubisky, he just sucked and was way over drafted. If he was the 4th round pick he should have been no one would be saying he was “ruined.” The bears get the blame for drafting him, but not foe the fact the dude cant play football.

  13. At this point in Dalton’s career he’s better than 13 starters in the league (Bears Foles, Jaguars, Jets, 49ers, Eagles, Broncos, Panthers, Bengals, Patriots, Ravens, Saints, Giants, and TWFC). And he’s most likely better than the Texans molestor and backup, and the gimpy Cowboy and backup. So really almost half the league. Dalton was a victim of OL issues and oft injured AJ Green (injured most of 2018, didn’t even play 2019), Tyler Eifert (who only twice in his career started more than 4 games in a season) and other Bengal receivers. Dalton is number one, Foles number 2 and Fields inactive (he’s just not that good). Dalton can weather the storm. Too bad they didn’t guve Trubisky another year. He was playing well when the sniping wasn’t there.

  14. Mahomes sat for an entire season as the Chiefs went 10-6 and took over once Smith (and Nagy) moved on in 2018. It remains to be seen if the Bears will be able to be as patient with Fields.
    Let’s not underscore just how well Smith played that year though. They went 10-6 and he threw probably the best deep ball of his career that season so held off the unknown of Mahomes. Dalton didnt play well last yr for the cowboys so he will have to play a lot better than that(especially since Nagy has had a quick hook on qbs) this season to hold off an unknown in Fields.

  15. Still blows my mind ownership let them shop for groceries and use up resources in years beyond this one. As a lions fan though I recognize incompetence from afar after much observation of my own team.
    As for Nagy, can’t speak to when Fields will be ready since it’s NAGY is the one prepping him. Fields will be ready when he’s ready. But Nagy, he will be ready when the thermometer pops up cause he’s a Turkey and bears fans won’t be out of this downward haze until that guy isn’t at the helm. In my opinion

  16. Hopefully he starts after Pace/Nagy are gone and just maybe we’ll have grownup OC then.

  17. This fraud will follow a long line of Ohio State frauds who head into the NFL with the bloviation of the pundits only to prove that the school produces men who assault women but not pro caliber QB’s. Maybe the fraud from Washington, Haskins-Robbins, the multi-flavored turnover machine, will be the high point in Ohio State success? Judging by what I’ve seen of Fields’ play, he could be even worse than H-R. That is saying something!

  18. Fields will be a bust as well as Lawrence and Lance. Trask will turn out to be the best QB of the 2021 draft. He’s going into a really good situation in Tampa.

  19. How can a QB who runs a 4.4 40 protected by the best talent get sacked 56 times in college? He took sacks at twice the rate of the other first round QBs. His worst games (Northwestern, Indiana, Alabama) also came against teams than blitzed him. I think teams passed on Fields because of his pocket awareness and I’d be concerned, Chicago.

  20. Translation :

    I know Pace signed you to be the starter, but you have 1 game to prove yourself. The second the youngster looks better in practice you are done. Please mentor our young guy!!

  21. Fields wasn’t even a good college QB. What makes the Bears think he will be good in the NFL?

  22. Isnt Chicago the place where quarterbacks go to die. Now you traded a whole bunch of picks to get Mack – dont mind that but – what would those picks gotten you and what is the price tag doing to your cap. And you traded up to get Trubisky and you probably could have gotten him where you were. And then because you have a lousy offensive coaching staff and strategy – you dump him. And the talking heads on Sunday – particular Peter Schrager calls you a genius. A Chicago GM genius who have been dumping HOF guys for decades. The Bears still suck

  23. TO Dejadoh: Dalton was the 25th best QB in 2020 as ranked by QBR. Fitzpatrick was fifth.

  24. I would hope the players themselves make it obvious to the coach’s. The locker room is where I think he will win first. Once he learns the offense. It’s Go Time.

  25. Fields can make the throws. He has a great deep ball. The issue is what happens when no one is open, when a blitz is not picked up and when the pocket collapses. If he learns not to force a completion and can scramble out of trouble he will be electric.

  26. For Fields’ sake, hopefully Dalton is able to play decent this year. Best thing for the kid is to have a solid year under his belt to learn the ropes and acclimate to the speed and complexity of the pro game.

    Bears fans, I think you’ve got a special kid on your hands. Just gotta hope that Dalton can be a good player (and mentor) and that the Bears don’t screw the kid up as they’re wont to do with QB’s.

  27. These comparisons to Alex Smith in KC seem like a reach. Smith was their four years and took the Chiefs to the playoffs three of four years and they never had a losing season with him. I hope Dalton does well but he’s going to have a short leash

  28. To Wayleffield:

    Dalton was supposed to be a backup. His Quarterback Rating was better than Foles, Tagovailoa, Darnold, Mullens, Lock, Wentz, Hurts, Jones, Smith, and Haskins. Trubisky, Fitzpatrick, Bridgewater, Stafford, and Goff have all changed teams. Brees and Rivers retired. Gardner Minshew will likely be cast aside (though he wasn’t bad). Watson is in legal limbo and PR hell. I’ll still bet on Dalton.

  29. “I like Fields but tOsu has never sent a star QB to the NFL”

    How many great Texas Tech QBs have there been? How about Miami of Ohio? Clemson before Watson? Hell, how many great Michigan QBs have there been in the past 50 years, outside of Brady?

  30. Its funny reading how “chaotic” the situation is in Chicago, as though they haven’t made te playoffs 2 of the last 3 years. You think there aren’t a bunch of teams wishing they’d made it?

    Granted, last year was a joke, but it still counts.

    The Bears offense was handicapped by a garbage pick by Pace. He should have lost his job based on that. Trubisky was mediocre at best. Even 4 years into his career, he still locks on his primary guy, and can’t read his progressions. He’ll be no more than a game manager, and if he gets in the right system, with a stacked team, maybe he’s a late career Rich Gannon.

  31. I can’t picture this kid succeeding with this coaching staff. The fan in me wants to be excited, but the experience of being a Bears fan has taught me not to get my hopes up.

  32. dejadoh says:
    May 2, 2021 at 6:11 pm
    At this point in Dalton’s career he’s better than 13 starters in the league (Bears Foles, …
    Foles is a starting QB in the NFL? Seems he was beat out by the guy he was suppose to replace last season in Chicago. The season before he was beat out by Gardner Minshew. I’d hope Dalton would be better then a few back up QBs.

  33. As a Lions, Raiders, Patriots and couple other teams fan….I was very excited to watch the Bears, Pace and co. screw up and draft Trubisky. Now that it is clear that Trubisky, Nagy and Pace own my Lions for the past four years, I realize that it was mistake to make terrible predicts in that regard.

    Nagy and Fields are going to be a Championship combination and all my crying and whining can’t stop it!

  34. The narrative that it’s best for these college QBs to “wait out a season/ get a feel for the speed of the NFL” is outdated. At this point in the game, all of these high 1st round draft picks are ready day 1. Just look at the impact of rookies in the last 5-10 years. Top 3 pick.. you start him day one. We all know who Andy Dalton is. He has had well enough chances to show what he can do.

  35. Obviously this isn’t just about Fields. His success or failure depends on whether the Bears are patient in developing him (unlikely), whether they cater to his strengths (possible, but unlikely), and the rest of the team around him, including how the defense plays.

    QBs don’t “bust” on their own (except for the rarity like Jamarcus Russell), the teams help or hinder them.

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