Palmer has edge on No. 2 spot ahead of Fales, Johnson

Chicago Bears quarterback David Fales (12) throws during a rookie football mini-camp in Lake Forest, Ill., on Friday, May 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

LAKE FOREST — Few Bears excelled more than backup QB Josh McCown in 2013. He parlayed his success into a starting opportunity in Tampa, leaving the Bears with a void behind Jay Cutler.

“There are two spots for three guys,” Trestman said. "We’ll see where it goes but Jordan should have the first opportunity to be that guy, and with his experience, I expect that he will. But we haven’t made that decision and won’t until we have to.”

Since McCown’s release, Trestman has expressed great confidence in Palmer’s ability to be a dependable No. 2 option, and he clearly has an edge on the competition. But Fales and Johnson are doing everything they can to force their way into the conversation.

Fales looked more comfortable in his second minicamp practice, earning on-field praise from Trestman for throwing “nice, quiet balls” and showing good anticipation by throwing his receivers open. He said the similarities between Trestman’s offense and the one he ran in college have eased his transition.

“It’s a lot of the exact same stuff I did at San Jose both years,” Fales said. “It’s a mix and some of the terminology is even the same, too, so it’s an easier transition…"

Johnson, who completed a pretty deep ball down the left sideline late in Saturday’s practice, has also made significant strides from last season, when he was on the practice squad.

“He’s throwing the ball quite differently than he did and much better than he did when I saw him the first time,” Trestman said about Johnson. “And the first time, I see him differently in terms of his love of the game. When you’re with him, you know he loves football, he’s into it, he’s very articulate in talking about the game and so he’s in a completely different place."

Ultimately, the Bears would love nothing more than their No. 2 QB never seeing the field in 2014. But given McCown's success, Cutler's injury history and the lack of experience behind Cutler, the backup QB competition will certainly be worth monitoring throughout the offseason.

- Arthur Arkush

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