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Thursday's NFL: Matt Nagy expects decision soon on Bears' starting QB

Associated Press

Lake Forest, Ill. — Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy and his assistant coaches will put on a few pots of coffee and work into the night behind closed doors.

The Bears are finally on the verge of a quarterback decision between Nick Foles and Mitchell Trubisky. They will be watching loads of training camp film, with a decision coming possibly Sunday or even sooner on who starts the season opener against the Detroit Lions.

Chicago Bears quarterbacks Nick Foles (9) and Mitchell Trubisky (10) participate in a drill during NFL football training camp at Halas Hall on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, in Lake Forest, Ill.

“I would say this: It is not easy,” Nagy said. “It’s not clear cut.”

If the idea was to produce a lopsided winner, the Bears have come up short.

“We feel really good about both of them,” Nagy said. “Being brutally honest as I could be, it’s difficult.”

The Bears have a light practice on Sunday before a day off on Monday. It’s possible Nagy will decide to reveal the starter rather than wait until late in the week as a sort of gamesmanship to throw off the Lions.

“There is one part of it where you could say, ‘Well there is gamesmanship and it hurts Detroit to not know who it is.’ But there is another side to it where you just say, ’You know what? It’s hurting yourself if you do that and you need to be able to make a decision to help both of these quarterbacks, and not to mention help our staff as well,’ “ Nagy said. “So we are taking all of that into consideration.

“We want to do it the right way. It’s out of respect to focus in more on our team than our opponent.”

Not having preseason games was a blow to how Nagy and staff wanted to make assessments. So when coaches make the decision, they’ll be looking at several clear-cut areas. Past performances count somewhat, but what coaches saw in camp means more.

“You always start with decision making and accuracy,” Nagy said. “In our opinion, too, there is situational football involved. Those are probably the top three that we look at, and then how did they perform in training camp, how did they handle certain situations, and both of them we thought did well.”

Foles was Super Bowl 52’s MVP for Philadelphia as a backup quarterback, and his career has been spent coming off the bench on a moment’s notice. Yet he found this competition difficult due to the lack of offseason work resulting from COVID-19, and getting very little time in the offense.

New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton walks to the field for an NFL football training camp practice, Friday, Aug. 21, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass.

Newton will start

Cam Newton is officially the new starting quarterback of the New England Patriots.

The move was expected after the 2015 league MVP outperformed second-year Jarrett Stidham and veteran Brian Hoyer during training camp. Newton, who signed with the Patriots in July after being released by Carolina, succeeds Tom Brady following his departure to Tampa Bay in free agency.

Newton was also announced as one of eight team captains, along with special teamer Matt Slater, center David Andrews, running back James White, linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley, defensive lineman Lawrence Guy, safety Devin McCourty and cornerback Jason McCourty.

“I will not and do not take this opportunity for granted!’ Newton wrote in a post on Instagram along with the captains’ announcement. ”I’m so grateful for this organization, my teammates and this city. Thank You! No need to look back now.”

The Patriots open the season Sept. 13 at home against Miami.

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) runs against safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (27) during NFL football training camp in Frisco, Texas, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020.

Cowboys cut Clinton-Dix

The Dallas Cowboys released safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix on Thursday, cutting ties before the first game with the free agent they hoped could help fill the void of several losses in the secondary.

Clinton-Dix didn’t make it to the regular season despite being reunited with first-year coach Mike McCarthy. He played for McCarthy for four-plus seasons in Green Bay.

The 27-year-old former Alabama star, seen as a potential starter alongside Xavier Woods when he agreed to a deal in March, was demoted during training camp. Darian Thompson took over his first-team reps. Thompson started four games for the Cowboys last season.

Clinton-Dix was the most experienced safety on the roster, but executive vice president of personnel Stephen Jones said the Cowboys could add another one before the opener Sept. 13 at the Los Angeles Rams.