The Chicago Bears surprised some people last season when they chose Josh McCown as Jay Cutler’s back-up after the preseason concluded, but the gamble paid off as Marc Trestman worked his magic with the veteran after Cutler went down with an injury.
This season, the Bears are looking to roll the dice again, with Jordan Palmer taking the first crack at winning the back-up job that was vacated when McCown signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the offseason. The team also brought in Jimmy Clausen, who had his 2013 season cut short when he was injured during the preseason with the Carolina Panthers.
Despite not having a job guaranteed with the team, Clausen is working hard on the practice fields every day as training camp wears on, and his comfort level is only increasing with each session.
“Every single day I’m getting more and more comfortable,” he said. “Each day is a progression to try to get better. The more reps you can get on the practice field and the more reps you can get in real game situations, that’s only going to help the process along.”
Clausen clearly relished getting back on the field for the preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles, throwing for 150 yards and two touchdowns in the Bears’ 34-28 victory.
“It was good to get back out there,” he said. “The last time I was out on the field I got injured, so it was good to get hit a few times and to make some plays. Just to be coached up by Coach Trestman and (Bears Quarterback Coach Matt) Cavanaugh has been great.”
That performance had a lot of media members saying that Clausen had moved ahead in his competition with Palmer for the back-up job, but despite the fact that they’re potentially battling for a roster spot, Clausen is taking a steel-sharpens-steel approach to the competition.
“Competition is great. It brings the most out of everybody,” he said. “It’s not just the quarterback position (either). Every position is a competition on this team, and it helps us all to work harder and to get better.”
As for whether or not Clausen will get reps with the second team during Thursday's game against the Jaguars, Trestman once again emphasized that the competition is still ongoing.
"We haven't had any movement there," he said when addressing the team's depth chart. "That doesn't mean we won't switch it up this week and give Jimmy an opportunity to go first after Jay. We'll move people around and see hhow they fit in different environments and make a decision when we have to."