An injury opened the door for Jimmy Clausen’s return to the NFL, and it appears the former Panthers punching bag/punch line has impressed coaches in Chicago.
Clausen will go to training camp, at least, after the team cut Jerrod Johnson yesterday. But after being slowed by a pectoral injury, it now appears Jordan Palmer is going to have to fend Clausen off for the No. 2 job behind Jay Cutler.
Clausen signed just over a week before the team’s minicamp, but has made a quick impression.
“No. 1 is how he handled the room. That room is hugely important; the chemistry, the karma, whatever you want to call it,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said, via Michael Wright of ESPN.com. “In that room, the communication’s got to be good. Jimmy’s done a very good job, very maturely fit in and taken the place of trying to learn and work to learn the offense. He’s grinded at it. He spent long hours here. He’s had help from the guys in the room to get him to the place he is today. So we’ll see. We’re going through the process of working with our roster. I think he’ll be one of the guys that we do bring back, and we’ll take it one day at a time when we get to training camp.”
After being thrown to the wolves as a rookie in Carolina in 2010 (a situation which was neither his fault nor helped by his presence), Clausen hasn’t thrown a pass the last three season.
If Trestman can make Clausen a serviceable backup, he’s more Anne Sullivan than quarterback whisperer, but he’s done it with Carolina castoffs before. It’s at least worth rolling the dice on a kid once considered talented, to see what happens.