The Chicago Bears may have drafted their future franchise quarterback by trading up to select Justin Fields at No. 11 overall, but the ball will remain Andy Dalton's for now, according to head coach Matt Nagy.
Nagy shared his reasoning in an appearance on The Herd with Colin Cowherd (7:45 mark):
"The worst thing we can do is put him in when he's not ready and ruin him, which ruins the Bears," he said. "So we want to make sure that we do this so that he has a very successful entry into this league. He plays with confidence. He's a winner, which he's always been. And then, ultimately, in the end, he's the best thing for the Chicago Bears, plain and simple."
Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Nagy said he wants to implement the same plan that he did as the offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2017, when Alex Smith had a career year while future star Patrick Mahomes sat on the bench.
The Bears have the potential to allow Fields to blossom under the tutelage of Dalton, who will play his 11th season in the league on a one-year, $10 million deal he signed as a free agent, as well as Nick Foles, who once guided the Philadelphia Eagles to the Super Bowl.
“How great is that for a young rookie to come on in and learn from a guy like [Dalton] and Nick Foles, and see there’s things that he can take from them and really put into his toolbox and use to make him be the greatest quarterback he can possibly be," Nagy said of Fields.
General manager Ryan Pace shared a similar sentiment after the team drafted Fields:
"What I love about our environment is the veteran quarterbacks that we have in that room—like, I don't know if you look around the league, how many teams have that kind of experience in the room," he said. "And then the coaches that we have surrounding that position. I can't say that enough. We've got a good plan in place to surround him with the right resources, to develop him the right way."
Fresh off of a 5,701-yard, 67-touchdown career at Ohio State, Fields has the skills to slot in immediately should the Bears need help under center.