Bears QB Andy Dalton acknowledged that he’s still Chicago’s starter despite first-round QB Justin Fields having some pressure to start.
“It [the attention] comes with that position,” Dalton said, via Jeff Dickerson of ESPN. “He’s a first-round pick. I understand that. But I also understand that I’m the starter. I understand that, I knew I signed a one-year deal. I knew that I was going to come in and I was going to be the starter, regardless of the situation, coming in. That’s my focus.”
Dalton reiterated that he’s focusing on himself going into training camp.
“I’m not worried about all the stuff that’s going to be going on with Justin because that doesn’t affect me. At the end of the day, it’s what I’m going to be doing and everything. Justin and I have a really good relationship and I’m trying to help him out as much as I can.”
Bears GM Ryan Pace praised Dalton’s “anticipatory throws” and the veteran has shown clear leadership thus far.
“The number-one thing that I’ve seen from Andy thus far are the anticipatory throws,” Pace said. “So in the passing game, Andy has all the leadership stuff, the stuff you look for where you break a huddle. If it’s a little sloppy, it doesn’t go right, he gets it right back in says no, no, no, do it again, let’s go, you do this, you do that, let’s roll. He has that, that’s easy.”
Pace added that Dalton has shown clear confidence around the organization this offseason.
“You can feel his experience and you can feel his confidence. He’s really confident. We talk about that inner confidence — Andy has that. Matt referred to how he operates in the huddle, how he is around the building. He’s a confident guy because, I think, the experiences that he has, and I think our players feed off of that.”
- Bears HC Matt Nagy said he’s been “really impressed” with Fields so far: “I was really impressed with how Justin came back from OTA’s, getting in and out of the huddle, you can tell he did his homework.” (Around the NFL)
- Nagy noted DT Eddie Goldman “looked great” in Wednesday’s conditioning after opting out of last season. (Jeff Dickerson)
- The Athletic’s Chris Burke notes that Godwin Igwebuike has converted from safety to running back.
- Lions HC Dan Campbell said their players are over 80 percent vaccinated. (Justin Rogers)
- The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman notes the Packers’ first-team offensive line to open training camp includes LT Elgton Jenkins, LG Jon Runyan, C Josh Myers, RG Lucas Patrick and RT Billy Turner.
- As for the Packers re-signing Davante Adams, Gutekunst it is “really important” for them to get a deal done: “Davante is really important to us. It’s very important to us moving forward that he’s a part of our football team and finding a way to make that work.” (Jeff Darlington)
- However, Adams made it clear he won’t come cheap: “I’ve earned the right to be paid the highest in the league [at WR].” (Tom Silverstein)
- He added the return of Aaron Rodgers to Green Bay for the 2021 season doesn’t change the equation for him. (Tom Pelissero)
- As for Packers’ backup QB Jordan Love‘s performance this offseason, Gutekunst was pleased with the leadership he showed: “I thought he did a really good job of taking ownership of the offense, taking care of the fundamentals and becoming a better player.” (Ryan Wood)
- The Athletic’s Arif Hasan points out Vikings QB Jake Browning took most of the No. 2 quarterback reps during minicamp and seems to be entrenched as the backup over third-round QB Kellen Mond heading into training camp.
- Both Hasan and Chad Graff note the addition of veteran WR and punt returner Dede Westbrook could push guys like Chad Beebe, K.J. Osborn, Dan Chisena and Blake Proehl off the roster.
- Vikings G Dru Samia and OL Kyle Hinton are squarely on the bubble, per Hasan and Graff.
- Minnesota is much deeper along the defensive line than the past couple of years, and Hasan and Graff both have Jalyn Holmes, Hercules Mata’afa, Kenny Willekes and James Lynch as semi-notable cuts.
- The two note Minnesota showed a willingness to keep just three safeties last year, so they could elect to go with fourth-round S Camryn Bynum and cut Josh Metellus, Myles Dorn and others.
- Vikings WR Justin Jefferson said he was glad to see the team sign Westbrook: “We have a lot of talent. Dede (Westbrook) adds to it. … Dede is just an extra part of our system.” (Chris Tomasson)
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