Bears head coach Marc Trestman named Jordan Palmer the #2 QB heading into training camp which starts on Friday in Bourbonnais. It’s not a huge surprise as Palmer was the #2 QB heading into OTAs and mini-camp, but he missed a significant amount of off-season work due to a pectoral injury and it was rumored that recent addition Jimmy Clausen had gained ground on Palmer with a strong showing over the last month.
Palmer has the most experience with the Bears as he was in camp last year and then brought back in week 7 as the #3 QB, but he has minimal NFL experience with only 15 passes thrown in actual NFL games over his 6 year NFL career. Jimmy Clausen doesn’t have a ton of experience either, but he did start 10 games as a rookie in 2010 which is 10 more starts then Palmer or Fales has.
Here is what Trestman had to say about the decision:
“We feel very good about Jimmy, feel very good about David’s performance as well. So we’re just going to work it in like that. We’re going to give Jordan the first shot. He’s been here the longest.”
Not exactly a ringing endorsement. In my opinion Clausen has the most upside. Clausen struggled in his rookie debut back in 2010, but was playing behind a porous offensive line and surrounded by few quality weapons. He hasn’t played since, but some of that is due to injury and some to the fact that the Panthers drafted Cam Newton 1st overall before his second season. Here is what Bears GM Phil Emery had to say about Clausen:
“I really like how he came in here. He’s got a little chip on his shoulder right now… He wants to re-prove himself or prove himself and he’s very focused. He came in here and got Jay on the phone right away … and they spent the whole weekend together learning the playbook so that Jimmy had the best opportunity to stick with the team post the vet minicamp.”
“That determination, the literal picture is he squared his jaw and got to work. And that is what I like about him. He’s got a certain mental toughness and intelligence and he showed his accuracy and he showed his release quickness.”¹
Trestman also mentioned rookie David Fales being in the mix for the position. He is a long-shot as a 6th round pick, but if the two more experienced options struggle and Fales has a big preseason than you never know. I don’t think the Bears would have used a draft pick on Fales in an absolutely loaded draft if they didn’t think he had a shot to contribute.
This battle is far from over. If all three QBs stay healthy, I think it will come down to who runs the offense best during the preseason, but at least for now Jordan Palmer has the lead. I covered the backup QB battle in-depth earlier this month, if you want my prediction on who I think is going to win the job.
Who do you think should be the #2 QB? Let me know in the comments below.
¹ Both quotes from Chicago Tribune, Dan Wiederer