The Chicago Bears have a loaded quarterback roster.
There is the apparent starter, Andy Dalton who as recently as last week, Coach Nagy has insisted will be the starter.
Following rookie minicamp, Nagy said:
“Andy is the starter. Andy’s going to get the one reps.”
Backing Dalton up in no designated order at this point are Nick Foles and rookie Justin Fields.
Dalton and Foles are the veterans of the group at 33 and 32 years of age, respectively.
However, the biggest upside for the Bears is the 22-year-old Ohio State star, Fields.
Coaches like what they've seen from Justin Fields:
• "really good mechanics"
• "all about business"
• "super calm"
• draws formations on flashcards
• coaches receivers on routes
• good understanding of pass coverages
That's my franchise QB. pic.twitter.com/Vo6t9GjDMR
— Flo Ottis (@flo_ottis) May 15, 2021
Assuming Fields makes his NFL debut during the 2021 season (most likely), when will he make his first Bears start?
The answer is Week 4, and here’s why.
The Giants with the 8th easiest schedule in 2021 is awesome…
— TheBlueZone (@TheBlueZonee) May 17, 2021
The Bears open the season on the road against the retooled Matthew Stafford-led Los Angeles Rams.
Barring an injury, Dalton will start this game.
Nagy will be conservative early and give Dalton and potentially Foles a chance to get the team off to a positive start.
Week 2 is a home against Dalton’s former team, the Cincinnati Bengals.
Dalton will definitely start that game.
Week 3 is on the road against the rising Cleveland Browns; Dalton will start again.
Here’s where things could get interesting.
If the Bears come out of these three games winless, there is a good chance Fields is the starter Week 4 (October 3) at home against the Detroit Lions.
It seems unlikely that Nagy would wait and start him Week 5 at Las Vegas.
Week 4 would be a good time to start him in front of the friendly home field fans and allow him to gain confidence before Week 5.
Nagy Is On Borrowed Time
GM Ryan Pace and Coach Matt Nagy have to turn this team around in 2021, or both could be out of jobs in January.
The mismanaged quarterback situation of the offseason when they attempted to get Russell Wilson and ended up with Dalton is only partially rectified by drafting Fields.
Fields needs to play for all of that drama to be ancient history.
However, Nagy is not going to set Fields up for failure and put him out there before Week 4.
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) May 2, 2021
Fields needs time to mature, learn from Dalton/Foles, and come out in a situation where there is less pressure on him, and that is against Detroit where the pressure is going to be sitting on Jared Goff‘s shoulders.
Nagy cannot wait much longer than Week 4 because he needs Fields to be established and confident to lead the team through a really tough four game stretch of the Bears schedule beginning in mid-October and spanning through early November.
Those games are home against Green Bay, away at Tampa Bay, home against San Francisco, and away at Pittsburgh.
Though Nagy is viewed as an esteemed offensive mind, he has not shown he can develop a young quarterback.
He inherited Mitchell Trubisky who had a great 2018 season for Nagy, but things fell apart after that.
For the sake of Bears fans and Fields, let’s hope that Nagy does his part to coach Fields to live up to his full NFL potential.