Aug 29, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jordan Palmer (2) calls a play against the Cleveland Browns during the first quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Palmer, Can He Back Up Cutler As Well As McCown Did?


At the start of this season, the Bears lost their backup quarterback, Josh McCown, to free agency. As the draft approaches, Jordan Palmer is the team’s backup.

McCown had a great season playing for the injured Jay Cutler. He completed 66.5% of his passes, threw 13 touchdowns and had only one interception. His quarterback rating of 109.0 was the third highest in the league.

With Palmer the Bears now have a quarterback who has thrown a total of 15 passes for his career. Seeing as how Cutler has not played 16 games in a season since 2009, does that number scare you?

Head coach Marc Trestman spoke about what he looks for in a backup quarterback. “The No. 1 job of the No. 2 quarterback is to be ready to play and to play well… The best term is he has to go in and play efficiently. He can’t turn the ball over. He’s got to live for the next play.”

While some may feel that there is trouble on the horizon with Palmer, look around the league and see what is available: Jimmy Clausen, Matt Flynn, Josh Freeman, Rex Grossman, Kevin Kolb, Colt McCoy, Brady Quinn, and Seneca Wallace.

Do those names above in a Bears uniform sound scarier than Palmer’s numbers?

Marc Trestman has the reputation of being a quarterback whisperer. He solidified that reputation last season when Cutler had his career-high in passer rating and the job he did with McCown. He feels confident that Palmer will do a good job, and he should get the benefit of the doubt.

People are high on McCown and fell in love with him for what he did last season,some going as far as saying that the Bears should have brought HIM back and let Cutler go. Of course, that was ridiculous, and some fans have selective memory.

Let’s remember how the Bears picked up McCown. In 2011, Cutler had surgery on his thumb and was out. Caleb Hanie came in and could do nothing. McCown was at home watching television and eating potato chips when he gets the call.

McCown did not do much while with the Bears until Trestman came in. In fact, he went the entire 2012 season WITHOUT PLAYING ONE GAME! Then, under the tutelage of Trestman, he does so well that some in Chicago thought he was the second coming.

McCown is not bringing Trestman with him to Tampa. We will see what he has now, and whether his success in Chicago was Trestman or him.

After what Trestman has done with McCown, shouldn’t we give Palmer a chance?

One note about Palmer: he is mentoring draft hopeful Blake Bortles. With that mentoring, Bortles has gone from an unknown quarterback at the University of Central Florida to possible #1 pick. Perhaps some of Trestman rubbing off on Palmer?

Even though the Bears feel good with Palmer as their #2, it would be prudent for them to look for another quarterback in this draft. Not as competition for Palmer, but maybe a project that can come in a few years down the line. There may be a few sleepers this year who might be underrated professionals. Players like A.J. McCarron, Zach Mettenberger, and Brett Smith are players that can be had in the middle to late rounds. 

Palmer will get his chance to show what he has learned under Trestman. Hopefully, however, we see some of that when he comes in during mop-up roles in Bears’ blowouts.

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