This Years Josh McCown; Clausen, Palmer or Neither?.........

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by soulman, Jun 28, 2014.

  1. soulman

    soulman Hall of Famer
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    Can Jordan Palmer or Jimmy Clausen be this year's Josh McCown?

    June 28, 2014, 5:15 pm


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    We sat here a year ago with concern about Josh McCown not being the experienced equal of Jason Campbell, as the first names that start with "J" to backup Jay goes back a little farther. 61 pass attempts in six game appearances the previous five seasons, including a stretch of nearly two entire seasons when he wasn't even in the NFL.

    That was McCown heading into last season. And then Josh shocked-and-awed us when he trotted onto the field in week 7 in Washington as Jay Cutler was being gingerly helped off of it. Jordan Palmer got a call a day later, but wasn't needed as McCown worked his magic and Cutler eventually returned.

    Just as Campbell found a home and an opportunity in Cleveland, McCown did the same with Tampa Bay, and we're left to wonder if Matt Cavanaugh and Marc Trestman can duplicate that trick with either Palmer or Jimmy Clausen. Neither has thrown a pass in an NFL game since 2010. That's a year after Cutler last played an entire season.

    "Off the top of my head, I don’t know how many teams around the league have quality veteran depth at the backup position," said Cavanaugh. "So I don’t think we’re behind the eight-ball there. I just know we have some young guys we think have a lot of talent, and they’re all competing to try and be that guy that, if something happens to Jay, he can come in and we don’t miss a beat. I don’t know that everybody was convincved Josh McCown was that guy last year until it happened. I don’t have any doubt that whoever it is is gonna be ready to play if they have to play."

    Back in 1984 through 1986, Cavanaugh was backing up a guy named Joe Montana in San Francisco before the future Hall of Famer really started getting dinged-up, pre-Steve Young. The Bears quarterbacks coach started four games over those three years, winning three. He had a pretty good group around him, too.

    Palmer was limited during the recent OTA's with soreness in the pectoral muscle and shoulder in his throwing arm before taking his share of snaps in minicamp. Clausen was completing a two-week crash course with the playbook, and was impressive enough to be kept over journeyman Jerrod Johnson (wow! TWO "J's"!), who'd been with the club since late last season, and was more well-versed in the offense. But Clausen has 10 NFL starts to none for Palmer, 299 pass attempts in the league to 15 for Palmer.

    "Its always tough when you get in a new system late and you try to learn the verbage. Because he’s got some years in the league I don’t think there’s any schemes were running that he's not familiar with, but it's able to communicate it. Hear it, call it quickly, get in the huddle and say it. He’s a smart guy and he’s caught up real fast."

    Depending on the numbers games and injuries at other positions heading into the regular season, it's conceivable the Bears could keep both to back up Cutler, unless rookie David Fales shows so much that he doesn't start on the practice squad.

    Other NFC backup quarterbacks, heading into training camp next month:
    ARIZONA:
    Drew Stanton (to Carson Palmer)
    ATLANTA: T.J. Yates (Matt Ryan)
    CAROLINA: Derek Anderson (Cam Newton)
    DALLAS: Brandon Weeden (Tony Romo)
    DETROIT: Dan Orlovsky (Matthew Stafford)
    GREEN BAY: Matt Flynn (Aaron Rodgers)
    MINNESOTA: Teddy Bridgewater (Matt Cassel)
    NEW ORLEANS: Luke McCown (Drew Brees)
    N.Y. GIANTS: Ryan Nassib (Eli Manning)
    PHILADELPHIA: Mark Sanchez (Nick Foles)
    SAN FRANCISCO: Blaine Gabbert (Colin Kaepernick)
    SEATTLE: Terrelle Pryor (Russell Wilson)
    ST. LOUIS: Garrett Gilbert/Austin Davis (Sam Bradford)
    TAMPA BAY: Mike Glennon (Josh McCown)
    WASHINGTON: Kirk Cousins (Robert Griffin III)
     
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  2. soulman

    soulman Hall of Famer
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    I don't think any of us believe right now that we could be so lucky two years running but you have you admit the question I worth posing. After all we do have the QB Whisperer and his trust sidekick Matt "The Hat" Cavanaugh coaching our guys and they've both seen there share of success in the NFL.

    The first think I'd would say is that Josh McCown is a unique individual and in a unique situation last year. He'd been around the team for a couple of years and although it was his first year with Trestman and Cavanaugh too he had an in with Cutler and I believe that gave him the edge as far as making the roster over Palmer last year. They were pretty even up in preseason.

    So Josh got to be Jay's best buddy and big toe and did an admirable job of keeping his seat warm for five games. Good enough to have Bears fans wanting him back over Cutler and even better for Josh, good enough to land him a $10 mil deal to start for TB. Nice work Josh! You earned every penny of it and it could have gone to a nicer guy. I wish you luck in all but the Bears games when I hope you throw 5 picks and fumble twice.

    Unfortunately thanks to Uncle Phil not paying him $1 more last year we lost a better shot at keeping him but that's ancient history too. Now all we have to do is replace him and we have two guys who on paper don't look a whole lot better than McCown did last year at this same time as Boden points out. So can out QB honchos pull off another minor miracle again even while seriously hoping that we can get through one year where we don't need one?

    You know the real guru and patron saint of backup QBs here may actually be Cavanaugh. He spent his entire career as one, and a good one, so he should be considered an expert on it by now. So I'm gonna give Matt "The Hat" and vote of confidence and say yes, I do think he can build us another top notch #2 out of one of those two. Maybe not quite McCown good but serviceably good enough to win a game or two and that's all you can ask.

    Besides, when you look at that list above Cavanaugh is right. There aren't many team nay better off than we are right now. There are a lot of question marks on that list. Hey, at least we didn't bring back Sexy Rexy for another go round. That's a plus.
     
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  3. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    I see several names on that list that are more proven. Not saying Clausen or Palmer will not be equivelent but starting out names like

    K. Cousins, Mike Glennon, Terrell Pryor, Mark Sanchez, Matt Flynn, and Derek Anderson all have recent starting experience. Clausen is somewhat similar to Derek Anderson in the sense they have both been removed from action a couple of years. Cousins, Sanchez, and Glennon I would have to put in a higher expectations column, Flynn would be there too except he has had a couple shots and everytime outside of GB he has failed. In Seattle he lost out to then rookie Russel Wilson, and last year in Oakland he lost out to Terrell Pryor before being traded. Sanchez had some success with the Jets early in his career.

    I do like Clausens upside though and very hopeful something good will come from him. Hard to say I would not like Cousins or Glennon over Clausen but with respect to upside Clausen could be right with them. Clausen just needs to succeed with some talent around him and he should play as well as some of the other players I mentioned that had some starting experience to build on. Clausen atleast has some game experiencwith the Panthers a few yrs back and hopefully can adjust to the game speed quickly. I really expect Clausen to beat out Palmer, guess time will tell.
     
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  4. soulman

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    Glad caught the Flynn thing too huh?. System productive only guy? Whatta ya' think?

    Yeah there are a couple of young guys still in their climb playing second banana including Glennon, Bridgewater, and Nassib and a guy like Yates who once succeeded a little then failed. Clausen might fit into that category but with more of the talent of those first three.

    What I see in Clausen is a guy being given a chance in a system that may be a far better fit for him and he's coming in without all the pressure he had on him in Carolina. If there's some magic to be had somewhere it would more likely come from him than Palmer. Palmer apparently understands the game very well but can he execute well enough to win?

    Both in the short term and the long run signing Clausen was a good move. He's still young enough to be looked at as a guy you can develop and his current skills are far above the level of a guy like Fales or any UDFA we may have brought in. Now the question is does he jibe with the system and the coaching he'll get like McCown and Cutler have done?

    Last year at this time we had no idea what we had in McCown either so I don't see us as being any worse off now than we were then. It only seems that way because of what McCown as able to do. Expecting as much isn't out of the question with the offensive talent any #2 will have but I think we're all hoping we don't need to find out.
     
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  5. BSBEARS

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    I actually felt ok with McCown last year because he had filled in for Cutler the previous year and did pretty well. I realized he had little experience but did like what he did with the Bears the game or two he had to play when Cutler was out. I think Palmer has a strong grasp on the offense and will be serviceable as long as he does not get excited come game time. In pre-season last year he looked good enough in his 1 game try out, to the point I was surprised we cut him. In hindsight, the confidence we now have in Trestman, Kromer, and Cavanaugh, we maybe should have been more comfortable with McC as the back-up than many were. Not only did they have confidence but made him the only other QB on the roster after cuts, as last year we only had 2 QB's on roster before Jay went down. Sure enough they brought Palmer back as soon as the injury to Cutler occurred.

    Looking ahead, I do not believe they have that same confidence in Palmer. They have already stated the plan is to have 3 QB's on the roster. Is that a signal they are not as comfortable as last year with the back up, maybe. It is also possible most teams keep 3 on the roster and with Cutler's recent history they expect him to miss a game or two and will need the 3rd QB to fill the back up role for a short period of time. Last yr they gambled Palmer would remain on the street when they cut him and it worked out.

    Clausen has a stronger arm than Palmer and more game experience, while Palmer has a stronger understanding of the Offense. Clausen coming out of ND should be able to close this gap quickly. I did not go to ND but competed in sports with them and know their athletes at ND are required to actually attend and pass there courses, unlike many other schools who have tutors and other things going on, thats another story. Anyway Clausen is smart comming from ND and I expect him to have a firm grasp on the offense before TC ends. His arm strength and quick release in Trestmans WCO should give him an advantage over Palmer. In the end recognizing the defensive coverage and making the correct read will probably determine who the #2 QB is for the Bears this year. Palmer is a student of the game and I suspect will be good at identifying the coverage and knowing what to do, as long as game speed does not get him. Clausen started a year for the Panthers prior to Cam Newton and has game time experience. I expect his game experience coaching to slide him past Palmer along with his arm strength and quick release. If it does not happen then the staff has a lot of faith in Palmer and we may be closer to having a QB like McC than we realize
     
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  6. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Assistant Head Coach
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    I'm thinking the key here is Trestman. If (whomever we end up with at #2 QB) proves to be as solid as McCown, then the Bears have a priceless valuable asset in Trestman that goes beyond what any team could hope for in a head coach. Being a solid head coach in itself is obviously key. But to also be able to spin up solid QB's as backups to our #1 - well that would be a massive asset to have on the Bears. Think about it. If Clausen (or whomever is at #2) proves to be like McCown, then he too will probably be snatched up by a team willing to offer more money than the Bears want to spend on a backup QB.

    But that isn't a major problem if Trestman can just spin up another solid backup QB.

    I really don't care who Trestman anoints as our new backup QB. I am mostly watching to see if lightening can strike twice here, and we truly DO have that QB guru. Holy cow that would be fantastic!
     
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  7. soulman

    soulman Hall of Famer
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    I'm not certain is was as much a lack of confidence in Palmer as it was the combination of his strained pec, Emery's (and probably Trestman's) desire to have vet competition for the #2 slot, and Clausen's immediate availability and acceptance of the Bears terms for giving him a second shot at having an NFL career. Trestman has previous experience with him and they surely knew Clausen was out there and they finally got the right set of conditions to fall into place to make it work out.

    To me it's just one more example of the constant undercurrent of searching for roster upgrades that goes on at Halas Hall these days. The surface seems still because that's the way Trestman likes to keep it so Emery and his staff are simply stirring the waters just below the surface looking for guys they can add who may improve the roster. They're a very active bunch compared to what we saw during the Lovie/JA era and to me that's a good thing.

    I have a hunch the way this is working, or at least supposed to work, is that Palmer is as much an Asst. QB coach as he is a backup QB candidate just like McCown was. Similar traits are involved. McCown was actually coaching HS football whereas Palmer has been involved with helping pro prospects prepare for the draft. IMHO Palmer is a very valuable guy to have around because if he can't win the #2 spot over Clausen at the very least he's there to fill that role as a knowledgeable and experienced head in the meeting room and of a sideline advisor on game days.

    According to both Cutler and Trestman, Josh McCown's contributions to the Bears offense went far beyond just what he did on the field. He helped Jay Cutler mature into a better QB and a better leader both on and off the field through the examples he set. Palmer can do much the same but this year he may actually be doing it more for Clausen because I do believe that Cutler finally "gets it". All of it. Cavanaugh's most recent comments about him indicate the same. He's finally 100% ready to take over his team and lead.

    I think those are still traits that need to be built into Jimmy Clausen but now he's ready to listen and improve far more than he's ever been before and Palmer is that perfect bridge between the coach and player who can help make that happen because he's a little of both. It would surprise me no end to see Palmer duplicate what McCown did as far as this job being a springboard to a starting role elsewhere. Josh McCown was once a starting QB with a significant amount of game experience but Palmer never was and lack that same experience. This is pretty much the end of the line for him as a player. His best and highest achievement as a pro.

    But what Palmer can do and should do while he's here is to help Jimmy Clausen grow into a #2 role that may eventually get him a shot at being someone's starting QB again some day. Given Cutler's talent and the length of his deal that's not very likely to happen here but if Clausen shows some growth this summer and wins that #2 spot I'd suggest that we sign him for another two years and continue to let him develop as the Bears #2 guy. I think he could potentially become the best #2 guy in the NFL.

    In three years the guarantees in Cutler's deal run out and he can be traded or released without any significant cap hit. I don't expect that to happen. In fact just the opposite. I expect him to have played in a Super Bowl by then and to have won it. But in the event that doesn't happen and we elect to move on from him if Clausen has been backing him for three years and is still under contract we have a QB we may be able to move on with all prepared and ready to go. Isn't that pretty much what the Packers did with Favre and Rodgers?

    I don't know whether or not I'm onto something here or not. It's really just thinkin' out loud stuff but the evidence seems to be there that is could work out just that way only instead of Cutler going like Favre did my plan has Cutler staying and we can trade Clausen for some draft pick booty.
     
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  8. weneedmorelinemen

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    Derek Anderson has been the #2 QB in Carolina since 2011. He's the guy that beat out Clausen for that #2 spot. Clausen was competing against Newton for #1 in 2011, lost that after four weeks, then lost to Anderson and was the 3rd string for all of the 2011 and 2012 seasons. He would have been the #3 if he had not injured his shoulder in 2013. I'm not really looking at Clausen's past as a huge positive. The only experience he got that was worth anything was the prep for the ten games he started. That, and the 9 times he managed to fumble a ball in that time. Is this guy's hands the size of a postage stamp?

    Your Flynn history is a bit backwards as well. Seattle bought him for 9 million guaranteed because they were going to gamble in the 2012 draft. They were targeting two players, Tannehill and Russell Wilson but were not going to trade up. They gave Tannehill a first round grade, but because of Wilson's height he was rated a 3rd round pick. When he fell to Seattle, they took him, and Flynn's fate was sealed. By all accounts, he was running the offense well. He's just not the playmaker Wilson is.

    Seattle used him as insurance in case they did not get the guy they wanted, and traded him to the Gulag of the NFL the Raiders. The Raiders proceeded to try and copy what Seattle did, but instead did what the Raiders tend to do, which is screw everything up. I do not blame any player, including Pryor or Flynn, for not succeeding in the dysfunctional environment that Oakland is.

    Once Flynn got back to an environment that actually let him play that he was familiar with in Green Bay, he showed he's still a capable backup QB in this league. I used to make fun of the guy too, until I looked into the back story of his time in Seattle a little bit.

    Sanchez is just awful, and his problem is his lack of confidence. He had success early on due to the team carrying his dead weight ass.
     
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  9. soulman

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    Jimmy Clausen's sister..........Dooneese

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. soulman

    soulman Hall of Famer
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    Anderson and Flynn are two I feel are among the more dependable #2 QBs in the NFC although I believe Flynn is very dependent on the GB offense for his success. But it's entirely possible McCown was too. We're about to find out.

    I don't know of any reason why Clausen can't become a top backup but I can think of some why he may not and ball security is one of them. That won't cut it with Trestman at all. Cutler can get away with a few picks because of his arm and big play ability but the same probably can't be said for Clausen and fumbles are an unforgiveable event.

    I've always believed Flynn to be a better QB than he was ever able to show outside of GB. He made a lot of money taking the deal with Seattle but it damn near torpedoed his career after that. Going back to GB was his best shot although I believe Emery would have taken a chance too and I was hoping we might get that chance before he re-signed with GB.

    That was a good write up brother!
     
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