The Bears haven’t entered a season with three quarterbacks on the 53-man since 2010 when coordinator Mike Martz insisted on a veteran backup (Todd Collins) as insurance other than Caleb Hanie behind Jay Cutler. Going with three this year is a move for considerably more positive reasons.
Jimmy Clausen is still with a career arrow pointing up, and David Fales performed well enough in limited preseason playing time to require a roster spot rather than risk losing him to a team in search of a rookie with upside.
Whether either develops under the tutelage of Marc Trestman, Aaron Kromer and Matt Cavanaugh will play out in time. But the coaches and GM Phil Emery have set up something roughly similar to what worked so well in Green Bay with Mike Holmgren and Mike McCarthy.
The Packers were set with Brett Favre and occasionally backed him up with a Jim McMahon, Steve Bono or Rick Mirer. But rather than roll in a succession of veterans behind him, the organization rolled with the likes of Mark Brunell, Matt Hasselbeck, Aaron Brooks, Ty Detmer, even Aaron Rodgers. For what it’s worth, Detmer was a ninth-rounder; Hasselbeck was a sixth-round pick, like Fales; Brunell was a fifth; Brooks was a fourth.
Favre’s durability kept them on the sidelines, but all of them became starters, if not in Green Bay.