The opening practice of Chicago Bears training camp didn’t entirely go to plan for rookie quarterback Justin Fields on Wednesday. According to multiple reports, the Ohio State product had a not-so-great start to camp.
.@DickersonESPN says Andy Dalton hit a few bombs and had very good throws. Fields looked "off" but stressed things were being done very different today with scripted drills for the defense. Says Dalton has a chance to play very well this year.
Just one practice though…
— Brendan Sugrue (@BrendanSugrue) July 28, 2021
While it is good to note that things were scripted with the defense knowing what was coming at them, it did appear to be a tale of two different quarterbacks, with Andy Dalton showing off his arm with a lot more accuracy than his rookie counterpart. No matter if it’s Dalton or Fields who emerges from the preseason with the starting job, the former Bengals QB knows the importance of helping introduce Fields to the NFL.
Chicago Bears QB Andy Dalton said on NFL Network that his focus is to win as many games as he can for the Bears but also "to help Justin Fields out as much as I can."
— Daniel Greenberg (@ChiSportUpdates) July 29, 2021
Many Bears fans may be quick to look at Dalton as the mentor and not the starter for the team in 2020. That being said, there were plenty of eye opening plays including this gem to Darnell Mooney that has caught the attention of fans, showcasing Dalton’s accuracy and arm strength.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) July 29, 2021
They don’t call him the Red Rifle for nothing, right? Dalton is coming off a season that saw him post his best completion percentage as a pro, spending one year with the Dallas Cowboys in 2020. Appearing in 11 games, Dalton passed for 2,170 yards with 14 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. While the numbers don’t pop off the page, he has consistently shown he can lead winning teams.
With the first day of training camp behind us, is there really any reason to be concerned over Justin Fields’ early struggles despite the praise that head coach Matt Nagy heaped on the rookie during Tuesday’s press conference? We’ll see if Fields can bounce back once the team gets to more unscripted practices and eventually, preseason games with the Bears first exhibition happening against the Miami Dolphins on August 14.
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