The Chicago Bears will report to Bourbonnais next week, and as part of our coverage of the team, Grizzly Detail will be diving into the team’s roster ahead of training camp.
To get things started, we’re taking a look at the team’s quarterback situation.
Without question, the Bears’ starter will be Jay Cutler, and he’s coming off a season where he further cemented why the team needs him in that role. Under the guidance of offensive coordinator Adam Gase, Cutler overcame injuries to his receiving corps to throw for 3659 yards and 21 touchdowns while throwing 11 interceptions, his lowest total since the 2011 season when he missed six games for the Bears.
Cutler also put up his best quarterback rating of his career, racking up a 92.3, and he also led the Bears to four fourth quarter comebacks, his best total since 2010.
The Bears’ back-up situation will come down to whether they want an established veteran in the role, as they signed Brian Hoyer to a one-year deal, or David Fales, whom the Bears chose over Jimmy Clausen in the closing weeks of the 2015 campaign.
Hoyer, who spent the 2015 season with the Texans after two years in Cleveland, threw 19 touchdowns and racked up 2606 passing yards in 11 games for Houston last season. He ended up on the outs after the season when the team signed Brock Osweiller to play quarterback, and the Bears swooped in to bring him into the fold.
Fales has yet to appear in a game for the Bears after being drafted in the 2014 draft out of San Jose State University.
Connor Shaw, a South Carolina product that was waived by the Browns, was also claimed by the Bears during the offseason, but it feels unlikely that he would be a serious contender for the back-up job.
What to Watch For:
The back-up reps will be interesting for the Bears, and one would expect that Hoyer and Fales will each get a shot with the second team offense during the preseason. Hoyer likely has the edge because of his veteran presence, but if Fales impresses during camp, the Bears could let Hoyer go pursue a job with another team.
Bigger picture, the key for the Bears, as always, will be whether Cutler can stay on the field. He has not played all 16 games in a season since the 2009 season (although the only reason he missed a game in 2014 was because Marc Trestman benched him late in the season), and that’s likely why the Bears brought Hoyer in.