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Bears QBs Dalton, Fields, Foles share thoughts

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All three Bears quarterbacks spoke to the media Monday at Halas Hall. Here's the latest news on the trio, including quotes from those interviews:

Coach Matt Nagy feels that the Bears' new starting quarterback has gained such a firm grasp of the playbook that he's already game ready. "One hundred percent," Nagy said. "He's got full control of this offense, without a doubt. We could play a game tomorrow and be just fine."

Dalton signed with the Bears in March after spending his first 10 NFL seasons with the Bengals (2011-19) and Cowboys (2020). The 6-2, 220-pounder has appeared in 144 games, passing for 33,764 yards with 218 touchdowns, 126 interceptions and an 87.5 passer rating.

After joining the Bears, Dalton immersed himself in the playbook and worked out with several teammates on football fields in the area before the start of the team's offseason program kicked off in April. The 33-year-old continued to digest the system during OTA and minicamp practices.

"I'm very comfortable with what we're doing," Dalton said. "I think that's just kind of being in the system and just studying the book and making sure that everybody is on the same page. For me, I've been a part of so many different systems that there's not very many plays that are new to me. I'm very confident with what we have [and] what we've got going. It's just building that chemistry as we get through camp and [being] ready to go for Week 1."

On the eve of training camp, Nagy said that what impressed him most about Dalton's performance in offseason practices was his anticipatory throws, saying: "Those wideouts know that ball is coming regardless of the coverage. He knows where to go, and you better get your head around."

"I feel really good where we're at right now," Dalton said Monday. "Just reading body language on certain routes, [when] you're talking about anticipation throws, when you see certain moves, you know you can let the ball go and they're going to be in this spot."

With the Bears set to begin practicing in pads Tuesday, Nagy wants Dalton to continue to work on his timing with receivers. "It's one thing in OTAs to get your timing on air," Nagy said. "It's another when you've got people around your feet and you've got to move and do different things."

Also new to the Bears, the rookie first-round draft pick from Ohio State is pleased with the strides he's making while quarterbacking the No. 2 offense.

"I'm very happy with my progress," Fields said. "Me and coach Nagy talked about it, and it's just literally getting better every day. As long as I feel like I'm doing that, then I'm happy with my progress. I'm just going to keep working and just keep trying to do that.

"I've just gotten more comfortable with the plays and with the offense. Instead of trying to remember the play call in the huddle, I actually picture it in my head so I actually can see the play call when I'm saying it to the other guys."

Fields revealed that the most difficult aspect of transitioning to the NFL has been calling the play in the huddle. "In college, we got the play from the sidelines, so we would get signals," he said. "Some of our play calls are longer than others. So that's why the night before practice, we get our scripts and I'll just go through the call sheet and just try to say it to myself. That way when I actually do get in the huddle at practice, I'm able to spit it out quick."

As training camp continues and the preseason looms, Nagy wants Fields to work on going through his progressions after the ball is snapped.

"Things change, right?" Nagy said. "Disguised coverages. [Defenses] hide their blitzes. Knowing where your protection calls are, being on the same page with the center. When things get real and you start putting the pads on and the tempo picks up and you're playing, now we want to be able to see him execute plays and play fast. That's probably the biggest thing."

Fields loves seeing fans wear his jersey at practice and knows that many of them want him anointed as the Bears' starting quarterback immediately. But he also understands why the team plans to groom him as Dalton's backup.

"I'm constantly growing every day," Fields said. "Of course, there's a lot of people that are anxious to see me play. But I think I said it in my last interview: greatness doesn't happen overnight. It's a process. I'm just trying to take it day-by-day and literally focusing on getting better and improving every day."

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A year after competing for the Bears' starting quarterback position, Foles is third on the depth chart in training camp this summer. The MVP of Super Bowl LII with the Eagles, he's been lauded for how he's dealt with the scenario. On Monday, he explained why he's continued to act like a true professional.

"Is aspiring to be a 'three' what I want? No, it's not," Foles said. "[But] that doesn't mean I get complacent; it means I keep working. I do what I would do as if I were the one … I come in here every single day to work and help my teammates be better."

With Colts quarterback Carson Wentz expected to miss 5-12 weeks following foot surgery, Foles acknowledged he's aware of rumors that Indianapolis could try to trade for him. Colts coach Frank Reich served as Foles' offensive coordinator in Philadelphia.

"I know there's a lot of talks out there," Foles said. "Trust me, I hear it, I see it. But at the end of the day, that creates clutter in my mind because I still have to go out here and I have to practice. I go out there with the three group, and I always tell those guys, I talked to them today: 'I don't care what the frickin' coverage is or if you think you're dead on a route, I'm feeling it right now so be ready. I can fit it in anything, and I showed that.'

"That's the beauty sometimes of being a three, is you can sort of do your own thing cause they're focused on the other guys, which is cool, so I get to be me, which is fun. I'm having fun and I'm out there with those guys. I think y'all have watched; we've been dicing it up a little bit, we've been taking shots and I'm trying to help those guys be better. They know that they're playing with a good quarterback and I'm going to help those guys get better so they have an opportunity to make the team here or somewhere else."

With Bears linebacker Robert Quinn's sister, Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, winning an Olympic gold medal in the women's 100-meter hurdles Sunday night, take a look at other current and former members of the organization who have ties to or competed in the Olympic Games.

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