Andy Dalton knows Bears fans are disappointed, but hopes to win them over

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Alex Shapiro
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Dalton knows Bears fans are upset, but hopes to win them over originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Andy Dalton gets it. You don’t want him to be the Bears’ starting quarterback this season. He doesn’t live under a rock, so he’s aware of the negative outpouring from fans after news broke that Ryan Pace had signed him to a one-year deal. But none of that bothers him. Instead he’s hoping to win fans over.

“Obviously I know there's been a lot of talk, but I'm coming in from the outside,” Dalton said in his introductory press conference on Thursday. “A lot of people don't know a ton about me and are gonna get to learn a lot about me while I'm here. That's all I'm worried about and so, I'm here now. Hopefully everybody gets a chance to see who I am as a player, as a person, see what we're gonna be able to do with this organization. I'm excited about the opportunity. Obviously there's been a lot of talk, but I'm not worried about any of that.”

And yes, he’s aware that Pace and the Bears were pushing hard for a Russell Wilson trade too.

“I was in constant contact with everybody throughout this whole process,” Dalton said. “I knew what was going into it. I think that was really it. And when it wasn't happening and this worked out for both of us to come together and for me to be a part of this team, I was ecstatic because I was hoping that was gonna be the case. I knew everything that was going on."

Now that Dalton is here however, he hopes fans learn that he’s an experienced quarterback who’s played in a lot of games. He’s been on both great teams, and not so great teams. He started for nine years, then came off the bench last year in Dallas. Basically, Dalton knows his way around the league.

The Bears have never had a quarterback throw for over 4,000 yards, or 30 touchdowns in a season. Dalton’s hit that first mark twice, and the second mark once, so it’s not unreasonable to think he could put together the best season for a Bears quarterback in Bears history. He’s made three Pro Bowls, and led the Bengals to four-straight playoff appearances to start his career— although it’s worth noting Cincinnati went 0-4 in the playoffs during that stretch.

But Dalton also wants fans to know what he brings to Chicago extends beyond Soldier Field.

“It’s not just about the game of football. It’s bigger than that. The impact we can make with this platform we have, getting involved in the community and all the different areas of it. And for me being a great teammate, doing everything I can to help this team, this city and bring a lot of excitement. I think that’s one thing that I’m sure people have seen me from afar and don’t know a ton, but hopefully people will get to know me as time goes on.”

Finally, Dalton wants fans to know he’d like to call Chicago home. Sure, he’s only signed on a one-year “prove it” deal, with the opportunity to start. But Dalton wants to take that opportunity and run with it.

"I'd love for this to be the last place that I play. I'd love to finish my career here and get established. For me, this is the second half of my career. 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. I think that's just kind of where I'm at and what I'm looking forward to."

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