As the Chicago Bears begin their minicamp today, they will begin the process of determining who will be their second-string QB. Veteran Jordan Palmer is the leading candidate for the job, though the team added former Carolina Panthers backup Jimmy Clausen earlier this month in an effort to bring in some competition.
While every team hopes that they will not have to rely on their backup QB to win games for them, the Bears have had to do just that over the past few seasons. Starting QB Jay Cutler has had a checkered past when it comes to injuries, and while he has never been knocked out for a whole season, he has not played all 16 games in a season since 2009. It is this lack of durability that has forced the Bears to ensure that they have a quality No. 2 behind Cutler.
Head coach Marc Trestman has insisted that the job is Palmer’s to lose, though bringing in Clausen has definitely called that into question. The Bears also have rookie David Fales and practice squad mainstay Jerrod Johnson on the roster heading into minicamp, though neither are expected to contribute much this season.
Clausen was signed at the end of the Bears’ OTAs, which means he got a small dose of the offense, and if he has been doing his homework should have a greater command of the system when minicamp begins today. This will be key for Clausen as Palmer is currently sidelined with a strained pectoral muscle on his throwing side. With Palmer out, Clausen will receive plenty of reps and has a great chance to show the team that he can be a quality backup behind Cutler.
The Bears signed Clausen after he had a stellar workout for the team, and it is my belief that they are lacking confidence in Palmer to get the job done. After all he hasn’t played in an NFL game since 2010, and while Clausen has been stuck behind Cam Newton for the past few seasons, his skill set is much better than Palmer’s. If Clausen comes out with a great showing this week, the Bears will be hard pressed to not give him a stronger look heading into training camp in late July.
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