The Chicago Bears held their opening day of training camp press conferences on Wednesday. Bears’ general manager Phil Emery, head coach Marc Trestman, and quarterback Jay Cutler spoke about the backup-quarterback competition that will take place at camp.
Trestman indicated that veteran Jordan Palmer has the early advantage in the competition.
“Right now, Jordan Palmer has the first shot at being No. 2, [but] it’s a competition,” Bears head coach Marc Trestman said on Wednesday. “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. -Marc Trestman, ESPN Chicago
Palmer made a fan out of Trestman last summer while with the Bears. Palmer lost out in the backup quarterback competition with the Bears last summer to Josh McCown. Palmer was released at the end of the pre-season but Trestman was encouraged with what he saw out of veteran. Trestman’s comfort with Palmer is what led the Bears to not prioritizing the backup quarterback position this off-season.
That being said, the Bears did add Jimmy Clausen into the mix this Spring. The early returns on Clausen from the Bears have been impressive and Emery noted that Clausen’s rapport with Cutler may have a positive impact on the Notre Dame alum’s future with the Bears.
Cutler expressed confidence in both Clausen and Palmer on Wednesday.
They’re both very hungry, they’ve both worked extremely hard this offseason putting in the time mentally, which is probably more important for them right now, just trying to figure out the playbook so they can go to the line of scrimmage and be fluent in what they want to do. We’ll see how it goes.”-Jay Cutler, ESPN Chicago
Cutler’s relationship with McCown last season may have been the storyline of the season. Despite the fact that McCown’s production led to questions over Cutler being the Bears’ starting quarterback, the two quarterbacks were the biggest fans of each other. Cutler always respected McCown while McCown always respected the fact that Cutler was the Bears’ starting quarterback.
Cutler will look to build that same relationship with either Palmer or Clausen this season.