Bears' Andy Dalton: Looking over shoulder at Justin Fields worst thing to do

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Andy Dalton not looking over shoulder at Justin Fields originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Chicago Bears will play the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday Night Football to start the season, and Andy Dalton is still the starting quarterback.

Cries for rookie Justin Fields to play started after the draft and only grew louder over the course of training camp and preseason games.

And while head coach Matt Nagy has remained committed to Dalton being the starter and not rushing Fields, fans aren't buying it.

In 2020, they witnessed Nagy pull Mitch Trubisky for Nick Foles at the first sign of trouble in Week 3, after Trubisky won the first two games of the season. In 2017, they watched John Fox bench Mike Glennon in favor of Mitch Trubisky after a 1-3 start.

And while fans might be looking past Dalton, he is only focused on the Rams.

"That's the worst thing you could do, is look over your shoulder," Dalton told media on Wednesday. "I think understanding that is is key.

"Tuning out the stuff that you don't need to focus on and knowing where you need to put your time and effort and all that kind of stuff, I think that's just where I'm at. And you don't worry about all the all the other stuff."

Dalton has been a very gracious mentor to Fields, taking him under his wing and trying to teach as much as he can. And Fields has spoken highly of Dalton, even publicly supporting Dalton as fans chanted his name while Andy was on the field.

When Dalton was a rookie, he also learned from a veteran in Bruce Gradkowski and said it was nice to have a "veteran guy in the room" while learning the system. He's clearly paying it forward with Fields.

“Do I want (the fans) behind Justin? Absolutely, I do. But that’s not my focus," Dalton said earlier in camp. "I can’t focus on all that right now.

"Like I’ve said before, Justin is going to have his time and Justin is going to have a great career but right now it’s my time and so my focus is on being the best player I can be for this team and do everything I can to help this team win.”

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