The time for talk is over.
The Bears reported back to Halas Hall today, which means that football is almost back for another season!
Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy had their first in person media conference in a while, and touched on subjects such as camp battles and competitions; the Miller trade; Robert Quinn’s fitness; and the possibility of Kindle Vildor starting at corner. The main topic of conversation however, was of course all about rookie QB Justin Fields.
Camp battles will heat up now and we will begin to see the roster take shape over the next few weeks, but as expected all eyes will be on Justin Fields.
The general vibe that I got from what both Pace and Nagy said was that Justin Fields has got the talent, the mindset and the potential to be great. The only thing holding him back right now is being comfortable in the huddle, calling plays, and creating a strong bond between himself and Nagy. Nagy spoke about semantics and about determining how Fields would like the play calls to come in.
What I found interesting was what Matt Nagy said regarding plans for pre-season games. In previous years – to his detriment – Nagy had insisted on a more scaled back conservative approach to pre-season games. Players such as Mitch Trubisky, who badly needed real game reps, did not get many and it showed when it came time to play real games. It’s almost like he knows what he has now and he wants to develop it.
“My mindset has shifted to aggressiveness with preseason” – Matt Nagy
Nagy wants to get Fields as many reps as he can. He wants to be able to see what Fields can do and he wants to build that QB/playcaller relationship. He was asked why Fields was listed as the number 2 QB and not number 3. His response was that it would mean more reps and opportunities for Fields.
“I like the excitement, it’s good for all of us. It’s on us to handle this the right way and I think we will” – Ryan Pace
Ryan Pace was asked about Fields and if his and Nagy’s contracts would be linked to any decision made about when Fields will play. He said that it is always only whatever was best for the organisation. Pace knows what is best for the organisation, and I don’t think it’s sticking with Dalton for the season.
My interpretation of all of this is that Nagy and Pace are shielding Justin Fields right now and tempering the excitement until they have built an effective relationship and they have seen him get real game reps. The remarks about Andy Dalton’s leadership, command of the huddle and having the confidence to make decisions at the line of scrimmage seem to be how they distinguished him from Fields. I think that once they are confident that Fields is exhibiting these same traits and skills then a shift to looking at him as QB1 seems likely. Fields obvious superior talent level cannot be disputed.
There is a really positive feeling coming from this organisation right now and I think we all know why. I think it is only a matter of time before we see Justin Fields run onto Soldier Field as the starting QB, and I think that could be sooner rather than later.
What do you think? Did today’s conference tell us anymore about the future of the Bears? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts!