Skip to main content
Publish date:

Another Day, Another QB

Disruption of QB switch not as severe for Bears after doing it so often but it is a factor.

The Bears avoided making an official announcement Monday about Andy Dalton starting but NFL Network reported Justin Fields won't play because of his rib injury.

As a result, the Bears face Detroit with Dalton starting at quarterback and it's certainly nothing new for them in a season when disruption has been common.

"For me, it's kind of been something I've been used to now for the past year and a half," tight end Cole Kmet said. "I've had a lot of rotation at quarterback, so it's just something that you've gotta be able to adapt to and take care of. You've gotta just know when Andy's in, how he's throwing the ball is different than how Justin's throwing it.

"There's just things you've gotta keep in mind in those situations and how they get rid of the ball, what they're looking at and all those types of things. You've just gotta be aware of that and be able to adapt quickly."

The timing of plays will be different but the Bears receivers have dealt with this since early in the regular season when they were seeing Fields enter games for a few plays to get his feet wet at times, before Dalton suffered a hyperextended knee. Even after Fields became the starter, Dalton came into a game against the Raiders for three plays when Fields had to go to the sideline after a hard hit, before returning. 

Dalton has been on the field for 119 plays, including three touchdown passes. Fields has taken 500 snaps and thrown four TD passes.

"With Andy, I really haven’t worked with him since Week 1 and back into camp," Kmet said. "We'll definitely try to get some timing stuff in these next couple days, as much as you can. Obviously you gotta balance out the timing stuff and reps with getting your body right for Thursday morning."

Dalton was taking first-team snaps in preseason and training camp. 

"So you just gotta know, like I go back to how I was with Andy in camp, and think about that stuff, and then just remember how he releases the ball," Kmet said. "Different arm slots, different sizes, just things like that so you just gotta be ready for that and be ready to adapt."

Read More

Dalton's impact was sudden in Sunday's game when they went 83 yards on two pass plays for a 7-6 lead.

"He was great, just the leader that he is and he stepped up for us and he just brings a good poise in the huddle and kind of brought everybody together and became collected," Kmet said. "He just brought a good presence in the huddle."

To some, he also brought different plays to the field. There has been a season-long contention that the Bears won't run certain plays for Fields that they run for Dalton and vice versa. This is true to an extent because Dalton isn't running with the ball the way Fields will, but coach Matt Nagy maintains they both get to run most of the same basic plays.

The two-play drive was an example of what Nagy said were plays the Bears run plenty of times with both Fields and Dalton. The first play was a short pass to the left side at the numbers to tight end Jimmy Graham out of three-tight end or 13-personnel.

"Justin's hit a bunch of play actions out of rhino personnel," Nagy said. "He's done a lot (of) 13 personnel."

The second play was a touchdown of 60 yards that Darnell Mooney broke by cutting between two tacklers. It looked like a screen to the wide receivers and offensive coordinator Bill Lazor hasn't called a lot of those plays with Fields lately.

"That second play was an RPO, it wasn't a screen," Nagy said. "So we have RPOs with Justin, too. So all that stuff that we do is stuff that both those guys do and some conceptually (Fields) might like more or less but you know both of those guys have done a good job of really being able to continue to grow with that.

"Here's the beauty of that play of the long touchdown to Mooney was the blocking by the tight ends. That was clinic blocking and the thousands of times that we've run that play in this offense in the last 10 years, that's one of the best ones we've had because of the blocking. So that's the execution was all the players."

Twitter: BearDigest@onFanNation