Justin Fields has been making a great first impression at rookie minicamp. He still has some work to do to earn first-team repetitions.
Bears coach Matt Nagy reiterated Sunday that Andy Dalton will be the team's No. 1 quarterback when organized team activities commence next week.
"Andy is the starter," Nagy told reporters. "Andy's going to get the one reps."
The plan beyond that is still being ironed out. Nagy said Dalton "is essentially like a rookie as well" after having been acquired just two months ago. The 11th-year veteran operated in markedly different offenses during his time with the Bengals and Cowboys. Therefore, he needs a healthy amount of snaps.
Of course, the learning curve is understandably greater for Fields. And so is the anticipation. The Bears traded up nine spots to grab the Ohio State product at No. 11 overall, instantly igniting a fanbase that wasn't expecting to land the dual-threat QB whom many evaluators rated No. 2 at his position.
Nagy acknowledged that he too has to curb his enthusiasm for Fields.
"I know that time is the biggest question right now for Justin and I completely understand that, because there is an excitement, there is that want for all of us to see what Justin can do," Nagy said. "We'd be lying to you if we didn't say that or believe that. But we got to make sure as we go through this thing that we also do what's best for the Bears and for Justin."
While Nagy and offensive coordinator Bill Lazor have yet to determine how they'll dole out the QB reps moving forward, a process that also includes Nick Foles, Nagy did specify two areas in which Fields must improve when he takes on his teammates on the other side of the ball this summer: speeding up his first-wide and post-snap vision. The former refers to breaking the huddle, ensuring skill players are lined up properly, locating the middle linebacker and getting the play off in time. The latter entails reading the defense and identifying disguises once the play begins.
How the first-rounder progresses on these fronts might ultimately determine when he plays.
"He's going to get a great opportunity to do that against our defense," Nagy said. "I think that's where we're going to have to see, are there a lot of mistakes being made? Or are there a lot of good plays that are being made? And is it natural and is it easy for him? That's what what we'll evaluate. You'll know when you watch it, you'll see it and we'll all feel it as coaches."
Sunday was Nagy's first opportunity to share a field with Fields. The fourth-year coach was forced to observe the first two workouts of rookie camp virtually after being a high-risk close contact of a family member who tested positive for COVID-19. He said Fields did a good job throughout the weekend of not being rushed as he executed his assignments.
"When we were in our team periods, the speed on tape didn't look too fast," Nagy said. "That's a win."
It figures to be the first of many for Fields in Chicago.