ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) –Andy Dalton has his work cut-out trying to win over Bears fans who had their hearts set on Russell Wilson or DeShaun Watson. That’s only part of the challenge he’ll face now, and he’s ready to take it all on.
Dalton told reporters Thursday that he was aware of the Bears’ interest in Russell Wilson and aware that he wasn’t exactly their first choice at quarterback, and Dalton says he’s aware that the fans are dissappointed and might channel their frustration in his direction.
“I obviously know there’s been a lot of talk, but I’m coming in from the outside. A lot of people don’t know a ton about me. They’re going to get to learn a lot about me while I’m here, so that’s all I’m worried about.”
Dalton says he has been assured by the Bears that he is their starting quarterback which would mean no competition for him with Nick Foles, at least not intially.
“They told me I was the starter. That was one of the reasons why I wanted to come here, so every conversation I’ve had has been that so that’s the assurance that I’ve got.”
The opportunity to start was one component that made Chicago attractive to the Bears. There’s also the ten million dollars the Bears offered him, and there’s the chance to work again with offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. They were together in Cincinnati.
“Bill and I had a great relationship…so I think that’s going to make this whole transition here a lot easier.”
The Bears have been offensively challenged the last few years. Other than Allen Robinson it’s not a roster loaded with playmakers, but Dalton says he liked the way the Bears’ offense made strides down the stretch last season.
“The last part of the season they really got things rolling with the run game, and I think the, they got the line settled and figured out.”
As for Robinson…
“Allen’s a great player,” said Dalton. “He can do so much. He’s so good when the ball’s in the air.”
Bears’ fans might not be expecting the Dalton signing to work out…at least not the way they’d like it to, but Dalton is hopeful this arrangement works out.
“I’d love to finish my career here and get established….I want to play really good football. I want to help this team win a lot of games. I want to bring some excitement to this city.”