As the Chicago Bears embark on their first Pre-Season game of the season on Friday against the Philadelphia Eagles at Soldier Field, that is when the backup quarterback competition between Jordan Palmer and Jimmy Clausen truly starts.
Sure, Clausen and Palmer have been competing in training camp but that pales in the comparison to playing in a NFL game.
Playing in a NFL game is something that Both Palmer and Clausen have little experience in. Clausen last played in a regular season game in 2010 during his rookie season with the Carolina Panthers. Palmer, on the other hand, only has 15 career pass attempts in his NFL career.
Despite the lack of experience of Palmer and Clausen, the Bears are confident that one of them will be the primary backup to quarterback Jay Cutler when the season begins, right?
Both Bears’ head coach Marc Trestman and general manager Phil Emery have indicated that the Bears’ backup quarterback may not be on their roster.
If the Bears were confident in Palmer being Cutler’s backup, then the team would not have signed Clausen in early June. If the Bears were confident in Clausen being the No. 2 quarterback, then Emery would not have left the door open that the team could look to reunite with former starting quarterback Kyle Orton this month.
“I have great respect for Kyle,” Emery told Jeff Dickerson on ESPN Radio. “When I was in Kansas City, we brought him in. That’s the famous claim the Bears figured they would get [in 2011]. We claimed him. He came in. He started against the Bears; got hurt first or second play. At the time in Kansas City, we won the game. The next week, he starts against Green Bay, an undefeated Green Bay team [which] had the longest winning streak in football at that point. [He] beat them; beat them in Kansas City. Great leadership skills, guys really like playing for him, big arm. So the skill set is there. But as far as where he’s going in his career… that we don’t know.” -Phil Emery, ESPN Chicago
Orton walked away from $3 million this season to be the backup quarterback to Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys. Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones believes that Orton walked away because the quarterback has a desire to retire, but, some have speculated that Orton walked away from the Cowboys because of Jones and the quarterback could return to the NFL if it was the right situation.
The Bears, having being the team that Orton started his career with, would presumably be the right situation for the veteran quarterback.
The Bears have yet to make any formal inquiries into acquiring Orton, and, that may not come until after the team evaluates Clausen and Palmer in Pre-Season games. Though if the team’s evaluations are similar to the ones they have during training camp, then Orton may want to stay close to his phone.