Heading into the first weekend of the NFL season, Bears QB1 Andy Dalton has first-round pick Justin Fields and the city of Chicago breathing down his neck.
With the vast majority of the Bears’ fanbase ready to turn the reigns over to Fields, every little mistake by the veteran quarterback will be met with heavy scrutiny.
Despite this immense pressure, Dalton is “tuning out” the noise as his team prepares for a Week 1 matchup with the Los Angeles Rams.
“That’s the worst thing you can do, is look over your shoulder,” Dalton said, per Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times. “So understanding that is key. . . . We’re talking about tuning out the stuff you don’t need to focus on and knowing where you need to put your time and effort and all that kind of stuff. I think that’s just where I’m at. You don’t worry about all the other stuff.”
The Bears made waves around the NFL when they signed Dalton on a one-year deal back in March. Then they made even bigger waves when they followed that move up with the No. 11 selection of Fields in the 2021 draft.
Despite an impressive preseason from the former Ohio State standout, Bears head coach Matt Nagy named Dalton, who’s coming off a disappointing season with the Dallas Cowboys, as the team’s Week 1 starter.
Unless Dalton can quickly return to his former Pro-Bowl form, it seems as though Fields is right on his heels.