The Chicago Bears are the one NFL franchise that’s been searching for a true franchise quarterback for nearly a century. The Bears are notorious for taking multiple swings at the most important position in sports but continuously missing, leading to a hard reset all over again. The Bears’ latest attempt? Former Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, the 11th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Chicago also signed veteran Andy Dalton this offseason, assuring Dalton that he’d be the week one starter for the Bears opening contest against the Los Angeles Rams. As soon as the Bears drafted Fields, questions began to circulate, especially regarding Dalton’s job security.
“I’ve had a lot of different conversations with everyone here,” Dalton said via the Bears official Youtube page. “I knew there was a possibility of it. And so when it happened, it is what it is. Justin’s a great guy, getting to know him the last couple weeks, getting to be around him, he’s going to make the quarterback room better.”
Chicago may have drafted Fields but Dalton made it clear in his second official appearance talking to Bears reporters on Wednesday from Halas Hall: 2021 is Dalton’s year to lose and the 33 year old quarterback will do whatever it takes to hold off Fields but also mentor the young quarterback.
“I’m trying to give him any advice I can on certain things, how I would view certain plays, what I do with my eyes on certain things, so just different things that come with experience,” Dalton said. “Going into year 11, I’ve had a lot of ball. So for me, I’m just trying to help him as much as I can.”
There is a misconception regarding Dalton’s career in the NFL. Many assume that he’s just an average starting quarterback who spent nine seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, losing four playoffs game. Dalton has yet to win a game in the postseason but he does have 74 career wins and has tossed 218 touchdowns to just 126 interceptions.
Listening to Dalton speak on Wednesday afternoon, it was clear that the 11-year veteran isn’t here to lose his starting job. He’s here to help build a winning program, possibly even lead the Bears back to the playoffs and win his first career playoff game in the process. However, for now, Dalton doesn’t care that the Bears drafted Fields, he’s here to win as much as he can.