Starting now, and throughout Training Camp, I will be projecting the Bears’ 53-man roster position-by-position. In the series, I will go through each player at their respective positions and project where they will be at the end of the 2012 preseason. Today, we’ll look at the quarterback position.
Active QBs on the roster:
- Matt Blanchard – Rookie
- Jason Campbell – 8-year veteran
- Jay Cutler – 7-year veteran
- Josh McCown – 10-year veteran
Projected starter: Jay Cutler
If Jay Cutler is not starting week-1 against the Colts, it would be the result of something catastrophic leading up to the regular season opener. Otherwise, Cutler will enter the year in position to contend for the league’s MVP award when you factor in his progression as a passer and the weapons around him.
Projected backup: Jason Campbell
Like Cutler, unless something unforeseeable happens to Campbell leading up to the opener, he will open the season as the backup. And he may be the best in the league.
Campbell should be able to provide reliable relief should Cutler miss a few games. The concern I have with Campbell is the huge drop off in arm strength between he and Jay. This offense is going to put an emphasis in pushing the ball down the field off play-action, and it is concerning that Campbell lacks high-level arm strength. Otherwise, Campbell is an accurate possession passer who can keep the team afloat.
Projected 3rd-string: Matt Blanchard
Usually, teams use their 3rd-string spot to develop a young QB, so I don’t expect them to keep McCown at the preseason’s end. It’s very possible that they’re keeping McCown for insurance—in case something was to happen to either Cutler or Campbell during camp.
The little I have seen from Blanchard from highlight tapes and camp vids, he looks the part as far as skill-set. He’s an accurate, strong arm QB, who has the athleticism to move outside the pocket and throw on the run. The Bears could have a diamond in the rough in Blanchard.
Overall analysis on QB position
The Bears’ QB position overall is a vast improvement compared to last season—at least on paper. Campbell replaces Caleb Hanie as the back-up, who was 0-3 as a starter last season, while Blanchard impressed the coaches so much that they decided to waived last year’s 5th-round draft pick Nathan Enderle.
Current Standing: Great