Chicago Bears fans have not hidden their desire to see first-round rookie Justin Fields start under center. However, with coach Matt Nagy sticking to his preseason plans of rolling into the 2021 season with Andy Dalton as the starting quarterback, those desires are on hold.
For Dalton, he can’t worry about fans or media clamoring to see Fields.
“That’s the worst thing you can do is look over your shoulder,” Dalton said, per the Associated Press.
The 33-year-old veteran is only worried about what he can control.
“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,” Dalton said. “I think that’s just where I’m at. You don’t worry about all the other stuff.”
With Aaron Donald set to scream toward his face Sunday night in the season opener in Los Angeles, Dalton can only focus on what’s in front of him.
“I mean, he’s the type of player you have to know where he’s at at all times,” Dalton said of Donald. “And I think for him, arguably the best defensive player in the league and I mean he can change a game and we understand that.
“So we’ve got to give him his respect because he’s a great player.”
Behind a questionable offensive line, Dalton and the Bears’ offense could be in a for a long Sunday night.
Nagy has consistently said how Dalton performs will dictate how soon Fields might see action. The veteran signal-caller wants to prove he’s more than just a stand-in for the rookie.
“There’s a lot that’s gone on since March, but all that’s led to this point right here,” Dalton said. “Regardless of everything that’s gone on, we’re here at Week 1, and this is exactly what I wanted. I wanted this opportunity.
“And now we’re looking forward to making the most of it.”
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