Jobs can’t usually be won or lost in offseason practices, but one quarterback kept himself decidedly in competition for a job in the three-day minicamp that concluded Thursday.
Former Notre Dame star Jimmy Clausen, who last played in 2010, underwent shoulder surgery last year and did not sign with the Bears until June 5, earned his way to Bourbonnais and training camp with his play in a very tight competition for spots behind Jay Cutler.
“I think Jimmy has competed and done a good job for the time that he’s been here,” coach Marc Trestman said on Thursday. “I would expect that he’ll be with us.”
Fit with Cutler and the staff was a critical first step and was part of the reason Josh McCown was the ideal No. 2 behind Cutler, that and being able to post a 100-plus passer rating, of course. The evaluation of Clausen started before he ever stepped on the field inside the Bears’ Payton Center.
“No. 1 is how he handled the room,” Trestman said. “As I’ve said many times, that [quarterbacks meeting] room is hugely important, the chemistry, the karma, whatever you want to call it, the communication has got to be good. Jimmy has 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 grinding at it as well. He’s spent long hours here. He’s had help from the guys in the room to get him where he is today.
“So we’ll see. We’re going through the process of working with our roster. I think that 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.
It isn’t a “job” won yet — the No. 2 behind Jay Cutler will be between Clausen and likely Jordan Palmer — but it was an important hurdle cleared for Clausen.
“I’ve been through a few different offenses in college and Carolina,” said Clausen, the 2010 second-round pick of the Panthers. “This offense is great. I feel it fits me real well. I’ve got to keep studying and try to get up to speed as soon as possible.”