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Training Camp Diary: Benching Hope a Short-Sighted Decision

| August 18th, 2021


[Yesterday was a rather uneventful practice for the Chicago Bears, and most of the coming practices will be the same. As the season approaches, the team will show less and less “relevant material” to fans/media. These are secretive organizations and this, outside of the lead-up to the draft, is their most secretive period.]

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Here’s the difference in watching, covering, writing about the 2021 Chicago Bears as quarterbacked by Andy Dalton and Justin Fields.

If the Bears lose to the Rams on opening night, say 17-10, with Dalton at quarterback, the headline is simple:

Bears Lose Opener to Rams; Fields Decision Looms

If the Bears lose to the Rams on opening night, say 17-10, with Fields at quarterback, the headlines can be many:

Bears Lose Opener to Rams; Fields Shines Late

Bears Lose Opener to Rams; Fields Struggles

Bears Lose Opener to Rams; Fields…etc.

With Dalton, the Bears are the thing they are. With Fields, the Bears are the thing we hope for them to be. And that’s the difference. Fields’ play in 2021, snap-to-snap, drive-to-drive, quarter-to-quarter, will be but the overture to what we all hope will be a great American musical. We’ll see bits and pieces of what’s to come.

The Bears are not winning the Super Bowl in 2021. Andy Dalton isn’t winning the Super Bowl. A rookie quarterback isn’t winning the Super Bowl. History tells us that. And this ain’t the group that’s going to buck history.

The future is the focus.

The future is Fields.

That future is exciting.

But until he plays, that excitement remains on the bench.

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