Fowler: Bears believe Dalton can win 10 games this year originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Bears drafted Justin Fields and it is very exciting. It's safe to say that everyone in Chicago wants to see the rookie phenom on the field, including Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy. But while fans for the most part want to see Fields start as soon as possible, the team is not going to let the excitement impact his development, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. Furthermore, Fowler says the Bears still believe Andy Dalton provides enough of an upgrade at the quarterback position that they won't need to rush Fields into the starting lineup.
“They want to take this slowly,” Fowler said on SportsCenter. “I was told that they think they can win 10 games with Andy Dalton. They've been stuck in that 8-8 rut and feel like just stable veteran quarterback play can get them over the hump, and back into the playoffs.
“Fields, the ceiling they know is massive. But they also drafted him knowing maybe he'll need a little bit of time.”
That being said, Fowler also reported that the Bears are keeping an open mind this offseason. He wouldn't rule out a possibility that Fields could start sooner than anticipated.
“They’ll see how he works in minicamp, how he looks in training camp,” Fowler said. “They won't rush it. If he earns the job and is completely ready to go, they'll put him in there.
“They're willing to go either way, they're going to stay flexible.”
The Bears relayed that same sentiment when addressing the media following the conclusion of the draft.
“We just got to decide when we get to that point how is he developing and how is everybody doing and really keeping it as honest as possible with all of (the quarterbacks),” Nagy said. “Then when the time is right, I promise you every single person will know, including Justin, when it’s the right time, and that’s naturally how it happens.”