Bears Looking to Reduce Backup QBs From 4 to 3 in Mini-Camp...

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by soulman, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Messages:
    4,946
    Likes Received:
    1,504
    Ratings:
    +1,912 / 7 / -3
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,760ß
    Bears looking to narrow field at minicamp with 4 backup QBs
    9

    BY PATRICK FINLEY AND ADAM L. JAHNS Staff Reporters June 16, 2014 8:36PM

    [​IMG]
    Chicago Bears quarterback Jordan Palmer looks to a pass during an NFL football practice in Lake Forest, Ill., Tuesday, May 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) ORG XMIT: OTKNH143

    Updated: June 17, 2014 1:16PM


    The old saying is that teams with two starting quarterbacks really have none.
    But what happens when a team has four backups?

    The Bears have their starter locked in and locked up — Jay Cutler signed a seven-year extension in January — but are looking to replace Josh McCown as Cutler’s understudy. They likely will spend three days of mandatory minicamp, starting Tuesday, trying to whittle the number to three before
    going to Bourbonnais next month.

    Here’s a look at the four candidates:

    Jordan Palmer

    Short story: Palmer is a six-year veteran but has only 15 regular-season passes on his resume. Still, he has the most experience in the Bears’ system behind Cutler.

    Why he’ll make it: He’ll make it because his throwing arm is healthy, because he’s smart and effective in the Bears’ offense and because Cutler trusts his input.

    Why he won’t: Palmer is the clear favorite, but his strained chest muscle and shoulder might derail his chances.

    Quotable: ‘‘To be able to spend the time I did in the offseason — January, February, March — preparing for what was going to happen this year, watching every single snap that Josh [McCown] and Jay took last offseason, it’s put me in a great spot to come in here.’’


    Jimmy Clausen

    Short story: The Notre Dame alum started 10 games as a rookie for the Carolina Panthers in 2010 but never threw another regular-season pass after the team drafted Cam Newton. The Bears signed him this month after he recovered from surgery on his right shoulder.

    Why he’ll make it: He feels as healthy as he has since his last season of college, and the Bears value his arm strength, mental makeup and starting experience.

    Why he won’t: Clausen got off to a late start — he was signed only after Palmer’s injury — and has had to learn the playbook during his audition.

    Quotable: ‘‘If you’re a free agent, you’re going to be thrown into a situation where you have to learn faster to get up to speed. That’s a big challenge for me.’’


    David Fales

    Short story: The Bears’ sixth-round selection (183rd pick) was a prolific passer at San Jose State, throwing for 8,382 yards and 66 touchdowns (with 22 interceptions) in two seasons.

    Why he’ll make it: Simply put, the Bears drafted him. If Fales was worth the investment in the draft, he will continue to be worth the investment leading into the season. He might not have a big arm, but the Bears value his intelligence and accuracy.

    Why he won’t: Injuries — to himself or others — might be the only thing to keep him off the 53-man roster. The Bears prefer to keep three quarterbacks, but injuries at other positions might make it unrealistic.

    Quotable: ‘‘You have to prepare like you’re the starting quarterback, whether you’re fourth string, third string or second string.’’


    Jerrod Johnson

    Short story: The former Texas A&M star — who never has thrown a regular-season pass — spent about three weeks on the Bears’ practice squad last season before being re-signed in December.

    Why he’ll make it: Johnson has shown versatility by helping out with special-teams drills, but he needs to show consistency to beat out experienced counterparts.

    Why he won’t: The Bears have another project in Fales. Having drafted Fales, they might be predisposed to keep Fales over Johnson.

    Quotable: ‘‘I’m familiar with my surroundings. That’s huge. For a quarterback, the biggest thing is being comfortable. . . . I definitely feel I was comfortable knowing what I was getting myself into.’’
  2. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    Messages:
    9,165
    Likes Received:
    2,133
    Ratings:
    +2,445 / 3 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    886ß
    After this mini-camp it would be crazy to keep 5 QB's any longer. I agree with bringing them in to try and pick the best 3 QB's for 2014......but now is the time to pare it down by at least 1 guy. Find the guys you're taking to war this season and focus everything on them and not squandering time on 5 QB's.
  3. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Messages:
    4,946
    Likes Received:
    1,504
    Ratings:
    +1,912 / 7 / -3
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,760ß
    Yep, not enough snaps to go around in camp and preseason with 5 unless they just tell Cutler to sit it out and you know that won't happen. This is gonna be the issue that should get the most attention in mini-camp. One of these guys will have to go and I thought Adam Jahns did a nice analysis of all four and that's about how I see them ranked at the moment.

    Palmer didn't seem to have any concerns about that muscle strain and their decision to just rest him was probably a good one. I think that unless Clausen turns into a world beater as far as picking up and operating the offense Palmer is their guy. Even if they're even Palmer will get the nod because of his relationship with Cutler just like McCown did last year when he and Palmer were fairly even throughout the preseason.

    I think bringing in Clausen was a good move and I expect him to end up as the #3 guy to start the season. He has NFL talent so his focus really needs to be on learning the offense fast and even more importantly developing a rapport with Cutler. In this case brown nosing the boss will pay some dividends and Clausen needs to realize that if he and Cutler don't get along he's gonna be out of a job very quickly. In Clausen case that could be a bigger challenge than the skills part.

    Between Fales and Johnson my guess is that it will probably be Fales with Johnson being asked to stand by. I'm sure they want to take a longer look at Fales because they did invest a draft pick in him but he's nowhere near a lock to make the team and there's always the risk that if they cut him he may be picked up on waivers before they can get him onto the PS. If they really thought Johnson was such a great developmental prospect they probably wouldn't have drafted Fales.
  4. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    21,775
    Likes Received:
    2,595
    Ratings:
    +3,083 / 9 / -8
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,152ß
    one of the "vets" will be gone and so will Johnson. If I had my guess it's going to be Clausen that's gone, but if Palmer's inj hampers him at all that door will swing wide open.
  5. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Messages:
    4,237
    Likes Received:
    1,027
    Ratings:
    +1,252 / 2 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    298ß
    That's exactly how I see it going unless there's a major game-changer such as a big injury. Johnson is a goner. They're not going to keep him over their own draft pick. The only real mystery here is whether they keep Fales as a #3 or attempt to move him to the PS in which case Clausen probably sticks.
  6. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    21,775
    Likes Received:
    2,595
    Ratings:
    +3,083 / 9 / -8
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,152ß
    I think that will depend on just how bad Fales looks in pre season...if he looks COMPLETELY incompetent then he can probably make it to the PS, but IF he looks even okay then they'll have to keep him on the 53.
  7. Jimmors

    Jimmors The Rhymenoceros Staff Member SuperFan

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2005
    Messages:
    29,898
    Likes Received:
    4,171
    Ratings:
    +4,499 / 8 / -6
    ßearz ßuckz:
    809ß
    Seeing as how Cutler is batting 0.200 in terms of starting a full season since he's been here (the only time he has started all 16 games was in 2009, his first year), and with the success of McCown, i think the backup QB position is crucial to this team. I trust Emery's decision in who will remain on the team as far as QBs go
  8. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Messages:
    4,946
    Likes Received:
    1,504
    Ratings:
    +1,912 / 7 / -3
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,760ß
    It's not a good sign when they're asking you to join the STeams while the other guys throw is it? Kinda like being the last kid picked in a sandlot BB game and then being sent to play right field.
    :rofl2:
  9. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Messages:
    4,946
    Likes Received:
    1,504
    Ratings:
    +1,912 / 7 / -3
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,760ß

    It's probably gonna be more up to Trestman and Kromer and Emery shouldn't care as long as they get the best man for the job. None of them is getting paid anymore than the minimum salary based on experience so we're not overpaying. In fact even if we keep Palmer and Clausen (wonder if he's related to the pickle people) we'll still pay less for both than most #2 QBs make.

    But I'm with you. I trust their judgment and in Cutler's as well. I'm thinking he'll have a vote in this too.
  10. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    Messages:
    9,165
    Likes Received:
    2,133
    Ratings:
    +2,445 / 3 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    886ß
    I'm really curious about how this all plays out. Most NFL teams now carry only 2 quarterbacks on their rosters (I was reading about this tonight). With Cutler's injury history I could see us carrying 3. But if you carry too many in the pre-season I figure that just limits the reps that each QB gets and that can't be good.

    I had one really crazy thought. If we kept Lynch as a backup RB, he could also be a guy who could help out if we lost multiple QB's in a single year. He could be that #3 guy in an emergency. We're probably screwed if we ever get down to our third sting QB anyway. Lynch, being an RB in a Trestman offense will have to know a lot of the offense anyway due to our RB's being multi-faceted in a WCO. Just a crazy thought.
  11. Jimmors

    Jimmors The Rhymenoceros Staff Member SuperFan

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2005
    Messages:
    29,898
    Likes Received:
    4,171
    Ratings:
    +4,499 / 8 / -6
    ßearz ßuckz:
    809ß
    Well im sure Trest and Kromer will have tons of input, but i was thinking more along the lines of roster management, there are only so many spots and ultimately it is up to Emery to decide who stays and goes
  12. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Messages:
    4,946
    Likes Received:
    1,504
    Ratings:
    +1,912 / 7 / -3
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,760ß

    Do you really think so. I'm not sure that it's written into his contract like it is with Lovie's at TB but I was always thinking Emery would defer to Trestman as far as who he keeps and who plays when and where. Maybe this is a question for the "Mailbag". LOL
  13. Grizzblue

    Grizzblue Pro-Bowler

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,896
    Likes Received:
    402
    Ratings:
    +455 / 2 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    65ß
    This. We aren't going to essentially throw away a 6th round pick so Johnson is as good as gone unless he really preforms amazing in this camp, and then outdoes himself again in TC. The real question is between Clausen and Palmer and that is anyone's guess. A tie is going to go to Palmer IMO due to his year in this system.

    Should be interesting but I think its really two 1v1 battles with...

    Fales v Johnson (3)
    Palmer v Clausen (2)

    Johnson and Clausen will have to be clearcut better in order just to have a shot. If its remotely close then I would say Fales and Palmer will win, their competition will have to severely outperform them.
  14. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Messages:
    4,946
    Likes Received:
    1,504
    Ratings:
    +1,912 / 7 / -3
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,760ß
    That's more or less the way I see it to Grizz. Clausen was available and a smart insertion in between Palmer and Fales. I think the rookie camp and early OTAs showed that Fales had a lot to work on before the could depend on him to start and lead that offense. He really does need a year of seasoning on the PS absorbing the Bears offense and playing QB for the scout team.

    Signing Clausen for short money was a good move. Not only does it provide some NFL level competition for Palmer but it leaves us with two QBs who could possibly step in and start. Palmer has a leg up on Clausen now but by the start of the season it may be fairly close and there's a good chance both will make the 53 man roster.

    If we accept that Palmer is the leading #2 guy like Trestman says then Fales or Johnson would have to beat Clausen decidedly in order to win that 3rd roster spot and I don't see that happening. Clausen has a better arm and NFL starting experience on his side. I don't believe Fales or Johnson will be able to trump that now. The wild card in all of this is that Clausen had better have toned down his bad attitude because if he can't get along with Cutler he won't stay.
  15. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    21,775
    Likes Received:
    2,595
    Ratings:
    +3,083 / 9 / -8
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,152ß
    They've already put the kabosh on that thought though JABF, IF Lynch makes the team, and right now he's no higher then 4th on a 3 man RB roster, then it will be as a RB and ST'r, not as a qb; the Emery and Tresty have already said so much.
  16. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    Messages:
    9,165
    Likes Received:
    2,133
    Ratings:
    +2,445 / 3 / -0
    ßearz ßuckz:
    886ß
    I know that's what they said, and I'd expect that since he has a lot on his plate to learn a new position at RB (they don't want to overwhelm the guy).

    But I was thinking that they understand they do have a player now with QB skills here too. Not for a starter. Not for a #2 backup to Cutler either. But if there ever was a season where they had Cutler AND his backup go down to injury in the same season, they'd have another guy on the roster who could be pressed into service if need be. Sometimes player versatility helps a backup guy stick on a roster. Who knows, maybe this is just one more little thing that they might like about Lynch.


    Emery seems to value versatile players who can, in a pinch, play other positions. Lynch has this ability. We've seen the Bears do this in the past. In fact, we've done that with a running back in the past when Walter Payton played QB when injuries made it a crisis situation in the '80's.

    It's probably never going to happen, and they see Lynch as a strictly RB guy now. And granted, once you're down to a 3rd string QB you're pretty much screwed anyway. But it's just one thing I was thinking about. Lynch is showing he has more to offer than just rushing skills with his receiving skills sounding like they're impressive at this early stage anyway. The QB thing is just another small thing the Bears might like about him. Just one more player who could play another position if needed.
  17. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    21,775
    Likes Received:
    2,595
    Ratings:
    +3,083 / 9 / -8
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,152ß
    ya but I don't think he, and I don't think THEY think he has qb skills, even as a emergancy guy, to play in the NFL.
  18. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Messages:
    4,946
    Likes Received:
    1,504
    Ratings:
    +1,912 / 7 / -3
    ßearz ßuckz:
    1,760ß
    With game day roster now at 46 players as opposed to 45 the emergency QB rule is no longer in effect so they've in essence given teams one more active player on game day to cover that 3rd QB if they chose too.

    If Lynch makes the team I guess it's conceivable that they could dress only two QBs on game day leaving one inactive and use Lynch as the 3rd QB should both go down. The only problem is he'll have little or no work with the offense at QB so unless it happens very late in the game when we have a lead it's pretty likely we'll lose that game.

    Still, it's an option to consider although right now it doesn't seem like they'll have any time to teach him the offense when they have at least three other guy and Cutler who are gonna have to take snaps in camp and preseason. I'd just like to see Lynch make it based on being able to play well on STeams and eventually work his way up to getting some carries. Preseason will tell us a lot because he'll get carries then.

Share This Page