Nagy shares his goals for Justin Fields before OTAs originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Justin Fields has one weekend of professional practices under his belt, and by all accounts it was a great success. But his work is far from done before the Bears even begin considering inserting him as the team’s starting quarterback. Matt Nagy reiterated on Sunday, Andy Dalton is still the starter at Halas Hall. He also laid out what he, and the rest of the Bears coaching staff, is looking for Fields to work on between the end of rookie minicamp and the first set of OTAs next week.
“The mental part of getting in and out of the huddle and having that,” Nagy said. “I know you guys heard Flip say the ‘first wide vision,’ so when the play is coming into the headset and then you call the play and you break the huddle, when you walk up to the line of scrimmage, when you’re in the quarterback position it can feel like you don’t see anything. You’re trying to think of what you saw on the installs and you’re trying to figure out what’s going on, but you really need to be looking to your first wide vision to the right to see if your Z receiver is off the ball and your Y receiver is on the ball. Is your X on the ball? Where’s your running back? Ok, where’s the Mike at? Now, Ok, I’ve got to call before the play clock runs out. And then post-snap there’s a disguise in the read with the progression of the defense, rotation. So, I want to see that speed up.
“I think he’s done a really good job so far in what the little bit that we’ve seen in this rookie minicamp of doing a good job of post-snap vision, which was a strength of his in college. So that’s just got to continue to speed up and you know he’s going to get a great opportunity to do that against our defense and I think that’s where we’re going to have to see, OK are there a lot of mistakes being made or are there a lot of plays being made and is it natural and is it easy for him. And that’s what we’ll evaluate and see. And again you’ll know when you watch it and we’ll all feel it as coaches.”
But things will be a little tougher for Fields moving forward. He’s going to have to do more with fewer reps next week, as Dalton will work with the first team when veterans begin reporting to OTAs.
“He’s essentially like a rookie as well,” Nagy said of Dalton. “He’s gonna get a good amount of reps on the front end, and with Justin and Nick, we’re gonna work through that whole process and discuss it with those guys and I think the way you all can look at this for us, moving forward here in the next several weeks, is there’s gonna be a lot of class on the grass and mental for these guys, so we’ll try to do some breaking the huddle and learning some different tempos that we have and the mechanics of that, without doing a whole lot physically, so that the next several weeks will be very mental and reps will be included there.”
That’s all well and good, but it also begs the question, how will focusing on Dalton affect Fields’ opportunity to win the starting job for himself?
“I know that’s for everybody, the biggest question is, ‘When is that going to happen?’ Nagy said. “When you (move) up to draft a quarterback like Justin, everyone’s very excited and they want to know when, when, when, and trust me, we all understand that, but we need to make sure that whatever that plan is that we put together, that it’s the best thing for the Chicago Bears.
“There is an excitement and there is that want for all of us to be able to see what Justin can do. We’d be lying to you if we didn’t say that, or believe that, but we’ve got to make sure as we go through this thing that we also do what’s best for the Bears and for Justin. You know? And so that’s where I think as time goes by, and how things go, we’ll know and we’ll all see it and feel it and I think it will be very natural how this process goes.
“I think the easiest way for us to simply think about this is it’ll all happen for those quarterbacks. They’ll all play however they’re supposed to play. We’re all going to see whatever we’re supposed to see and then it’s our job as evaluators of who they are and what their strengths and weaknesses are to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to make the Bears the best team possible. That’s it.”
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