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Bears QB coach: ‘We’ll all know when it’s Justin’s time’

It will be apparent when it’s time to start quarterback Justin Fields — whenever that may be — Bears quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo said.

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields throws at his pro day in March.
Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields throws at his pro day in March.
Paul Vernon, AP Photos

It will be apparent when it’s time to start quarterback Justin Fields — whenever that may be — Bears quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo said.

“Like [head coach Matt Nagy] said, I think we’ll all know when it’s Justin’s time to go win a football game,” he said Wednesday morning. “I’m a big believer in that as well.”

The Bears have declared Andy Dalton the starter and said that, in a perfect world, Fields can spend the 2021 season as an understudy — the way the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes did under Nagy in 2017.

DeFilippo has been meeting with Fields on Zoom, and will get to work with him on the field Friday for the first time. Fields thus far has been “very coachable,” DeFilippo said.

“Obviously we’ll know a lot more about Justin after this weekend in terms of where he’s at mentally and the way he processes and thinks and those things,” he said. “It’s hard to tell over Zoom until you really get your hands on a player. I think we’ll know a lot more after this weekend in terms of where he’s at from a mentally processing standpoint.”

The Bears named Dalton the starter after the draft. DeFilippo said Nick Foles, another Bears backup, was one of the first people to reach out to Fields when the Bears traded up to draft him late last month. Foles and Dalton have been part of veteran quarterbacks meetings during the NFL’s offseason program.