Tagged in: bears

Andy Dalton says Chicago Bears told him starting quarterback job is his

The Chicago Bears apparently won’t have a quarterback competition. That job goes to Andy Dalton.

The former Cincinnati and Dallas QB stated he has been assured the top spot is his and he won’t be competing with veteran Nick Foles.

“They told me I was the starter,” Dalton said Thursday. “That was one of the reasons why I wanted to come here. So every conversation I’ve had has been that, so that’s the assurance that I’ve gotten.”

A three-time Pro Bowler, Dalton agreed Tuesday to a one-year, $10 million deal. He can earn an additional $3 million in bonuses.

Dalton’s arrival is a big letdown for fans hoping the Bears would swing a blockbuster trade with Seattle for Russell Wilson. He is aware the reception he is getting is about as warm as a Chicago winter.

“Obviously I know there’s been a lot of talk, but I’m coming in from the outside,” Dalton said. “A lot of people don’t know a ton about me and are gonna get to learn a lot about me while I’m here. That’s all I’m worried about and so, I’m here now.

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“Hopefully everybody gets a chance to see who I am as a player, as a person, see what we’re gonna be able to do with this organization. I’m excited about the opportunity. Obviously there’s been a lot of talk, but I’m not worried about any of that.”

Dalton said he was in “constant contact with everybody” as the Bears tried to obtain Wilson from the Seahawks.

He was thrilled when it became clear there would be no trade, because he wanted to come to Chicago.

“When it wasn’t happening and this worked out for both of us to come together and for me to be a part of this team, I was ecstatic because I was hoping that was gonna be the case,” he said. “I knew everything that was going on.”

Dalton has thrown for 33,764 yards, 218 touchdowns and 126 interceptions over nine seasons with Cincinnati and one with Dallas. He led the Bengals to the playoffs his first five seasons after they drafted him out of TCU in the second round in 2011, but never won a postseason game.

He made the Pro Bowl as a rookie and in 2014 and 2016. He set several Bengals passing records, but in more recent years, the offensive line deteriorated. So did the cast around him. His results suffered, too, and the Bengals released him in late April after drafting Joe Burrow with the No. 1 overall pick.

Dalton then signed with Dallas as a backup in early May. He wound up playing in 11 games and made nine starts with Dak Prescott suffering a season-ending ankle injury in Week 5.

The Cowboys concluded 6-10 and missed the playoffs for the second year in a row.

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Chuck Pagano to retire, while Chicago Bears likely to retain Matt Nagy, Ryan Pace

Chicago Bears defensive coordinator and former Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano has decided to retire, league sources told ESPN, confirming multiple reports.

The Bears are likely to keep head coach Matt Nagy and general manger Ryan Pace, sources said.

Pagano, 60, spent just two seasons in Chicago after a six-year run as head coach of the Colts. He was hired by the Bears on Jan. 11, 2019, to replace decorated defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who left to become head coach of the Denver Broncos.

In Pagano’s first season, the Bears’ defense lead the NFC in points permitted per game (18.6) and ranked second in the conference in net yards per game (324.1).

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Chicago’s defense again appeared to be the club’s strength in the early parts of the 2020 season, but the group’s performance leveled off as the year wore on. Chicago ended the regular season 15th in run defense and 11th versus the pass as the Bears (8-9) backed into the playoffs in Week 17.

Chicago was eliminated from the postseason by the New Orleans Saints in a 21-9 loss Sunday in the Superdome.

In six seasons as head coach of the Colts, Pagano went 53-43 in the regular season and 3-3 in the playoffs.

The fates of Nagy and Pace had been unclear after the Bears lost eight of 11 to end the year and concluded 1-7 versus playoff teams in 2020.

Nagy — named NFL Coach of the Year in 2018 — has guided the Bears to two postseason berths in the past three years. Pace just completed his sixth year as Chicago’s general manager.

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Bears RB David Montgomery leaves practice with groin injury

Bears running back David Montgomery exited Wednesday’s practice after sustaining a groin injury when he slipped while taking a handoff.

“We don’t know the severity,” coach Matt Nagy told reporters during a video call. “He ended up doing it in an individual drill. It just slipped out from him on that. So that’s where he’s at. We don’t know anything else from that.”

Selected by the Bears in the third round of last year’s draft out of Iowa State, Montgomery rushed for 889 yards and six touchdowns on 242 carries and caught 25 passes for 185 yards and one TD as a rookie in 2019.

Nagy is optimistic that Montgomery’s injury isn’t serious, but the coach will have to wait until the second-year pro is further evaluated. “As far as where he’s at, I always want to try to stay optimistic,” Nagy said. “[But] I cannot tell you one way or the other. I have no idea until we see where he’s at. We’re just not there yet.

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“I’m hoping that he’s OK. He’s a big part of this offense. He’s worked really hard, and from last year to this year, rookie year to now, he’s been doing everything the right way. He’s such a good kid; you just want the best for him.”

Other running backs on the Bears roster contain Tarik Cohen, Ryan Nall and undrafted rookie Artavis Pierce.

In addition, receiver/All-Pro return specialist Cordarrelle Patterson has been practicing with the running backs since the beginning of training camp.

Montgomery has looked sleeker and quicker on the practice field the last two weeks after reducing his weight by five or six pounds to 218 pounds.

He altered his diet during the offseason, eliminating red meat, fats like doughnuts and foods that cause inflammation and replacing them with lean sources of protein such as fish, chicken and quinoa. Nagy was thrilled when the Bears drafted Montgomery in the third round last year and remains a huge fan of the young running back.

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