The Cleveland Browns, Minnesota Vikings, and Jacksonville Jaguars enter training camp with high-profile quarterback competitions, but the Chicago Bears also have an interesting quarterback battle brewing at their backup spot. It’s an important role, because Jay Cutler is known to go down with tough injuries, and Marc Trestman worked wonders with veteran Josh McCown last season. McCown played incredibly efficient football with uber-talented skill position players around him, and it isn’t inconceivable for the next Bears backup to have that kind of an out-of-nowhere breakout season if presented the opportunity by a Cutler injury.
According to Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago, Trestman stated that Jordan Palmer will enter camp as the No. 2 QB, but he’ll have to hold off free-agent signing Jimmy Clausen and San Jose State rookie David Fales for the gig. The second-year head coach said, “Right now, Jordan Palmer has the first shot at being No. 2, [but] it’s a competition. There are three guys who are up for the No. 2, but it’s going to start with Jordan. We feel very good about Jimmy and we felt very good about David’s performances as well. So we’re going to work it like that. We’re going to give Jordan the first shot. He’s been here the longest. Jimmy Clausen has the most experience so we’re going to work him in there, and we’re going to provide David with opportunities throughout camp to play and perform not just in practice, but in games.”
So yeah, Palmer’s status as the current No. 2 QB entering camp has nothing to do with his skill-set, because he’s a front-runner by experience only. The loser between Palmer and Clausen will receive their walking papers, since the Bears aren’t going to cut Fales or head into the 2014 season with four quarterbacks on their roster. Fales showed plenty of poise, accuracy, and good decision-making skills in his college career, but he lacks physical tools. I think he’s the most talented quarterback of the three, but I wouldn’t bet against Trestman putting Clausen’s career back on track. That’s one of the most underrated storylines heading into training camp, and I wonder if Clausen can win the No. 2 job and finally get something out of his once-promising career.