Chicago Bears: Predicting how soon we should expect to see Justin Fields
Will Andy Dalton be a true mentor to Chicago Bears draft pick Justin Fields?
The next quarterback situation we can look at is what took place in Kansas City while Matt Nagy was the offensive coordinator. Ironically, in the same draft (2017) as the Mitch Trubisky pick, the Chiefs traded up for Patrick Mahomes. Although Nagy did not have the authority to bench Mahomes, he did see how Andy Reid handled a somewhat similar situation and we all know how much Nagy looks up to his former head coach and mentor.
Patrick Mahomes only played in one game in 2017 — the final regular-season game. Instead, he sat for nearly an entire season behind veteran quarterback Alex Smith. Now, in this scenario, Smith is not remotely close to Mike Glennon or Andy Dalton. For one, Smith was playing relatively well and therefore was nothing like Glennon. Second, Smith was already locked in as the Chiefs starting quarterback. Whereas, Glennon and Dalton were coming into a new team and situation.
The Chiefs made the playoffs with Alex Smith under center three years in a row (2015, 2016 and 2017). Alex Smith even made the Pro Bowl in three of his five seasons with the Chiefs, including 2016 and 2017. Then why would Andy Reid and the Chiefs draft Patrick Mahomes by giving up draft capital to trade up in the first round? Clearly, they saw something in Mahomes that set him apart while also realizing that Smith did not have enough of what it takes.
In the two seasons leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft, Smith combined for 6,988 yards, 35 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Smith also rushed for 632 yards and another seven scores. During that time, Smith helped the Chiefs to a 22-9 record while averaging a 93.3 quarterback rating. In 2017, the Chiefs went 9-6, still making the playoffs, and Alex Smith threw for over 4,000 yards for the first time in his career. Smith also scored 27 touchdowns and only had seven turnovers.
Alex Smith kept Patrick Mahomes at by for essentially the entire 2017 season. The only reason Mahomes started in week 16 is that the game was meaningless. The Chiefs had already locked themselves into the No. 4 seed and therefore Alex Smith and other starters rested. Could we see something similar in Chicago this season with Andy Dalton and Justin Fields? Again, different players and different, yet somewhat similar situations, but what will the outcome look like?