Marc Trestman made the right choice on Tuesday. When meeting with the media and discussing the Chicago Bears upcoming game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Trestman announced that Jimmy Clausen would “relieve Jay [Cutler]. He’ll have a shot whenever Jay comes out of the game.” This should be music to the ears of Bears fans.
Clausen clearly outperformed Jordan Palmer during the preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles. Palmer, once considered a considerable favorite to win the roster spot, has seen that lead vanish in just one game. The competition is now wide open, and after the Eagles game, Clausen appeared to take control of the competition for the second string position at quarterback.
Trestman’s announcement confirms just that. Clausen is in the lead to win the position battle, and he will get a chance to shine with more first string and second string players, rather than the third and fourth string he played with (and against) during the third quarter last week.
Trestman needs to take it a step further. He should start Clausen and give Cutler the week off. Cutler doesn’t need many preseason reps, and he will get plenty in the third preseason game next week against the Seattle Seahawks. To me, it’s far more important to the team to see how Clausen looks against a first string defense, albeit the Jaguars, and how he interacts with the first string offense. Trestman’s announcement shows that clearly that won’t happen, but moving Clausen up in the quarterback rotation is a step in the right direction.
Trestman didn’t make the right choice for Thursday night’s game; he made the only choice.