We should all be pacing our living rooms, ordering our game-watch merch for the season, diagraming fool-proof end arounds in the condensation of our shower walls. This should be one of the more anticipatory three-week periods in the history of the Chicago Bears organization.
But it’s not that.
We should be talking to our friends, tanked in the tavern, caffeinated in the coffee shop, toweled in the Turkish bath, about how much fun it’s going to be to watch Aaron Donald try to track down Justin Fields in the backfield, only to see Fields run from the pressure and complete a ball twenty-five yards down the field.
But we won’t be doing any of that.
Instead, the fan energy and enthusiasm generated by Fields this summer – seeing a quarterback do things we have never seen one do in a Bears uniform – has been thoroughly extinguished in the short-term by his head coach mangling the position all summer long. Instead, on September 12th, we’ll be forced to sit through an entire slate of Sunday football action only to see Andy Dalton take the starter’s reins on Sunday night.
Trevor Lawrence is starting. Zach Wilson is starting. Kyle Shanahan has given Trey Lance starting reps since the first day of camp and has already made it clear Lance will be part of the game plan from day one. Hell, even Mac Jones looks like he has a chance to start, after being given competitive reps with Cam Newton all summer long.
But not Fields.
Of course not Fields.
Why? Because Matt Nagy says so, that’s why.
So it’ll be three weeks of wondering how badly Dalton has to play for the coach to make the change. It’ll be three weeks of wondering how many losses Nagy will require to put the future on the field. What if Dalton is what Dalton’s always been? What if he’s serviceable? What if the team lingers around .500 for 2-3 months? Does that mean Fields stays on the bench until December? Everyone seems convinced Fields will play quickly but what on earth has Nagy done this summer to suggest that possibility?
Fields will play eventually. We think. Meanwhile, training camp is over.
The season is 18 days away.
And I feel nothing.