Chicago Bears Training Camp Primer: Quarterback
The quarterback is the most important position on any NFL team, but for the Chicago Bears it is more than just important. It’s critical to their success in the second year of a new offensive system.
The Bears new look offense set a few records last season and finished as the second-highest scoring team points per game wise in the NFL. One thing that we likely won’t have to hear about is the quarterback controversy between Cutler and backup Josh McCown who is now in Tampa Bay. McCown filled in well for Cutler last season and many fans thought he deserved to be the starter.
That’s over and done with and it’s a new year in Chicago. Now the offense is in its second year together and it’s time to take it to the next step.
That all starts with quarterback Jay Cutler.
Jay Cutler’s health is by far the biggest importance for the Bears this season and that includes training camp. The Bears can not afford an injury to Cutler during the preseason nor the regular season. Cutler hasn’t had a full season under his belt since his first season in Chicago and missed four and half games last season.
The Bears are ready to see what Cutler can do with a revamped offense and healthy season. It’s time to prove your worth, Jay.
Cutler is familiar with his offensive weapons but getting more reps in with Marquess Wilson will be one thing to look for in camp. Can Cutler establish some connection with Wilson during camp? The Bears sure hope so.
With the Bears receiving core being big and physical, there’s no reason for Cutler to struggle this season. Brandon Marshall is already one of the best receivers in the game and Alshon Jeffery is close to being a star. Add in tight end Martellus Bennett, running back Matt Forte and the Bears have the recipe for success.
Cutler is the starter but can’t force the ball when he doesn’t need to. That’s been the knack on Jay during his time in Chicago, it’s time to change that.
The Bears signed the former Notre Dame quarterback in the off-season hoping a change of scenery will benefit him. Clausen was a disaster in his time with the Panthers but is looking to compete for the backup job in Chicago.
Early word from mini-camp was how impressive Clausen looked. If that’s the case and Cutler goes down, Clausen will need to step in and manage the game for the Bears.
Palmer came into the off-season as the favorite to backup Cutler, but a shoulder injury on his throwing side hurt those chances. That’s why the Bears brought in Clausen.
The one thing Palmer has going for him is being familiar with the Bears offense. He was on the team during last seasons preseason and was brought back when Cutler went down with an injury against Washington.
It won’t be easy but Palmer is looking to earn his spot on the roster with some tough competition.
The Bears took David Fales with the 183rd overall pick in the 6th round of this past NFL Draft, hoping coach Trestman can work some magic with Fales. He had an impressive senior season throwing for 4,189 yards with 33 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
The hope is for Fales to develop and learn Trestman’s system, so he can stick around for the future. It’s not much of a gamble with a sixth round pick.
Fales will compete for the second-string job behind Jay Cutler and will likely make the team out of camp. He’s one player I’ll have my eyes on throughout camp.
Who makes the team?
It’s obvious Cutler makes the team for the Bears, but who else will they keep? The battle between Clausen, Fales and Palmer will be very fun to watch. Our guess is that Fales and Clausen make the team. Fales will be on it unless he’s just terrible in camp and I don’t really see that happening.
While Palmer knows the system, his injury has set him back and could cost him a spot on the team.