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Matt Nagy makes right call, still criticized

The public perception of how the Bears handled their quarterback situation did the franchise no favors.

Detroit Lions v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Earlier today Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy announced that Andy Dalton would be a full participant at practice... Before settling in and making the announcement that Bears’ fans have been dying to hear since Justin Fields was drafted way back in April.

Justin Fields will be the starting quarterback of the Chicago Bears moving forward.

“This isn’t something that just happened right away,” Nagy said of their decision to start Fields. “He’s grown to this point. He’s earned it. He’s worked hard. And now he has this opportunity.”

Based on his practice and play in games, Fields won the job, and the team will allow him to work through all the growing pains associated with playing QB as a rookie in the NFL.

“This is Justin’s time,” Nagy said.

This news has been met with an it’s about damn time directed at Nagy and the Bears, and some are still harping on Nagy’s public insistence that Andy Dalton was going to be his starter once Dalton recovered from his bruised knee.

I never bought that line from Nagy one bit, because once the Bears traded up for Fields, the sand in Dalton’s hourglass was slipping away. I knew it’d be just be a matter of time before Fields proved to the coaches and to his teammates that he was the best QB on the roster.

There are plenty that believe there really was a promise made to Dalton that Nagy felt obligated to honor, or that bought all of Nagy’s words about Dalton being his guy in the various press conferences these last few months, but his actions told a different story. While the team preached sitting him — the K.C./Mahomes plan — all offseason, come week one there was Justin Fields entering the game against the Los Angeles Rams.

Dalton’s injury helped push up the Fields’ timetable, but there was no way their rookie was going to remain the QB2 for the whole season.

So what do you guys think happened? Did Nagy change course out of desperation to save his job? Was Dalton’s time as the QB1 always a short-term thing? Did fans pressure the Bears’ hand? Did this decision come from Ryan Pace? Was the plan all along to play him when he showed he was ready? Or is there some other reason behind the move?

Check out this quick segment from Wednesday’s NFL University on the SB Nation NFL Podcast Channel featuring Kyle Posey, Stephen Serda, and Justis Mosqueda, where they let Nagy and the Bears have it for the perception of how they handled this situation.