Andy Dalton is set to take the first offensive snaps of the season for the Bears, but few people are looking at them as the start of a long run at quarterback in Chicago.
For most, the question is how many snaps will Dalton take before he hands the starting job over to first-round pick Justin Fields. That will lead to high levels of scrutiny of every incompletion, turnover or drive that ends without points early in the season.
Some of that scrutiny will play out in the stands or in the media as people clamor for Fields, but Dalton said Wednesday that he’s going to do his best to avoid any thoughts about the player behind him on the depth chart.
“That’s the worst thing you can do, is look over your shoulder,” Dalton said, via Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times. “So understanding that is key. . . . We’re talking about tuning out the stuff you don’t need to focus on and knowing where you need to put your time and effort and all that kind of stuff. I think that’s just where I’m at. You don’t worry about all the other stuff.”
A fast start would be the best way to keep others from looking over Dalton’s shoulder, but the offense will get a tough first opponent in the Rams on Sunday night.