On its surface, the Jimmy Clausen-Jordan Palmer battle isn’t the kind of thing to make headlines.
But considering starter Jay Cutler hasn’t finished a season in four years, the Bears know better than anyone that a backup quarterback can determine their playoff future.
According to John Mullin of CSNChicago.com, Palmer and Clausen have alternated with the twos throughout the preseason, so it’s Palmer’s turn tonight against Seattle.
“I’ve been running this system for the past few weeks and OTA’s so I’m feeling very comfortable,” Palmer said. “It’s all about going through your progressions, getting the ball out of your hands because there’s so many guys who can make plays in this offense.”
If Palmer has an edge it’s familiarity and recent reps, as Clausen was signed late in OTAs and hasn’t thrown a pass in a regular season game since 2010.
“It’s definitely difficult,” Clausen said. “You don’t get a lot of reps with some of the guys. Practice time is limited and we’re not in training camp, but you’ve just got to adjust to that. You’ve just got to see when they’re getting out of their breaks, anticipate it and put the ball there for them.”
“All the guys are different. You’ve just got to keep taking the mental reps, watching what this guy does, that guy does.”
And while it doesn’t seem like the kind of thing you’d want to place your bets on, the collapse of 2011 should be enough to make Bears fans realize tonight’s worth paying attention to.