LAKE FOREST, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — After trading up in this year’s draft from the 20th pick to grab quarterback Justin Fields out of Ohio State at number 11, Head Coach Matt Nagy keeps talking about this evaluation process. But that’s not just for Fields, it also applies to quarterback Andy Dalton. That’s why Nagy’s giving both of them equal reps in practice, so that when the time comes to pick one, he’s confident in his decision.
“That’s a part of the evaluation process that y’all hear me keep talking about is, we’ll know, and we’ll see it,” Nagy said.
This year’s camp is very different from any others during his tenure in Chicago. This time around he’s got two brand new quarterbacks. One up-and-comer, and the other, a bridge to the future.
“When you get specifically into the quarterback, into Justin, we’re excited to see what he can do in real situations and he’s going to get a healthy amount of reps, and we’re going to be able to see what he can do,” said Nagy. “At the same point in time, Andy needs that too. We’ve got to be delicate with the balance of how we do it, but there’s going to be plenty of reps to go around for those guys.”
After a nine year run with the Bengals, Andy Dalton spent last season with the Dallas Cowboys. So, getting adjusted to a new team and system is not something new.
“All those experiences that I’ve had in Cincinnati and then experiencing a new team in Dallas, it just kind of gives you a better perspective of what you’re about to walk in to,” Dalton said.
And walking into camp, Dalton is the team’s starter. Regardless of whomever is waiting in the wings, his job is to compete.
“I knew I signed a one-year deal. And so that’s my focus,” said Dalton.” I’m not worried about all the stuff that’s going to be going on with Justin because that doesn’t effect me. At the end of the day it’s what I’m going to be doing and Justin and I have a really good relationship and I’m trying to help him out as much as I can.”