Matt Nagy Removes Asterisk from Justin Fields

Bears coach says rookie is the backup quarterback ahead of Nick Foles regardless of the situation
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Bears coach Matt Nagy had already cemented Andy Dalton into the starting position for the opener.

It doesn't mean Justin Fields can't start, and Nagy verified this at Wednesday's minicamp practice by removing all asterisks from the rookie. No matter what happens, Fields is the backup.

Think of it like the Miss American pageant. If Dalton, for any reason, cannot fulfill his duties as starting Bears quarterback, then it's Fields and not third-stringer Nick Foles who would do them.

"I would say this, when you are the No. 2 quarterback and in that situation that you are presenting to me, then yes, he would be the guy," Nagy said when presented with the hypothetical situation of a Dalton injury before the opener. 

So, if Dalton was cemented in as starter Tuesday, then it was Fields being cemented into No. 2 ahead of Foles on Wednesday. There had been some confusion over this because Fields' lack of experience could have been viewed as a reason to make Foles the backup for at least the first few games.

"But as far as the depth chart goes this is where we are at with Andy as the 1, with Justin as the 2 and Nick as the 3, but all three of those guys know that you need to produce, you need to play well, you need to compete, you need to be the best quarterback you can be," Nagy said. "And then it's going to be really pretty easy for us to see who that is and how that goes.

"There will be a process and a plan. We will stick to that. That plan is not going to change tomorrow. The plan is not going to change in training camp."

Nagy promised to give occasional updates with how the quarterbacks are doing, Fields in particular, and did provide a bit more glowing report on the 11th pick of the draft than the one given out Tuesday. In that one, Fields was having trouble doing the most basic thing—saying the play in the huddle for teammates the way coaches want it given.

"And Justin, so I thought today was a good day for him," Nagy said. "He threw the ball well. There were a couple of series there in a row in team (scrimmage) where he made some nice throws to the sidelines. He had one where he kind of kept a play extended, backpedaled and threw a nice ball to the left to Thomas Ives. 

"Today was a good day and we want to keep stacking those good days up both mentally, physically." 

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