Bears say Jimmy Clausen where they want him

SHARE Bears say Jimmy Clausen where they want him
SHARE Bears say Jimmy Clausen where they want him

BOURBONNAIS — Just because the Bears have been watching Peyton Manning film doesn’t mean they’ll adopt his “Omaha!” call at the line of scrimmage.

Could the code word be something more Chicago-ey?

“You guys are going to have to wait and see,” Jimmy Clausen joked.

No one is expecting the Bears’ backup quarterback to be the next Manning.

But his struggles in the first few days of camp were disconcerting nonetheless, even as he was showered with reassuring words from those around the Bears’ offense.

“He’s right there along with me, in the process of learning things,” Jay Cutler said. “I think once we get a few games under our belts and a better feel for how this’ll go on gameday, he’ll be more and more comfortable.”

Offensive coordinator Adam Gase, who ran Manning’s offense the past three reasons, said Clausen is “right where we want him — mentally, for sure.”

That’s good news for the Notre Dame alum, who characterized training camp as more a mental exercise than a physical one.

“Everybody in the world can throw a ball probably harder than me or farther than me or do this, do that, run faster than me, jump higher than me,” Clausen said. “But it’s all the mental stuff that is what we have to really zone in on right now and keep getting better at every single day.”

Clausen said he feels “really comfortable” with the new offense and with his receivers, many of whom he teamed with last season. His shoulder, surgically repaired almost two years ago, feels as good as it ever has.

His practices have gotten better in recent days.

“I think Jimmy’s done a great job,” Cutler said. “He doesn’t get the same reps that I do through the spring and into training camp so he has to do more on the mental side —which is good for him, because he’s a smart guy, picks up the system, asks good questions in meetings.”

Ugly practice plays aren’t necessarily his fault, Gase said.

“You know, sometimes what you see out at practice when a protection breaks down, somebody has a bust and he’s kind of on the bad end of the stick there,” Gase said.

“He is playing with the second group, so a lot of times it’s unfair to say, ‘What’s he doing there?’ —when all of a sudden you’ve got a free runner in your face.

“But where he’s at right now, we’ve had some really good days and some days I’m sure he’d like to take back.

“But I think, as of right now, he’s done a good job.”

Follow me on Twitter @patrickfinley

Email: pfinley@suntimes.com

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