Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune answers yet another of your questions:
“When will Bears give backup quarterback Matt Blanchard a shot?”
“– Steve, Park Ridge”
“The Bears signed Blanchard to a reserve/future contract in January so he will be on the team’s 90-man roster when the offseason program kicks off in April. He performed pretty well in training camp and preseason for the Packers last summer but didn’t make the cut as they kept draft pick Brett Hundley from UCLA as their No. 3. This is Blanchard’s second go-round with the Bears and his first with the current leadership in place. We’ll see what kind of opportunity he gets. Things could change if the Bears elect to use one of their higher draft picks on a quarterback.”
I could definitely see the Bears giving Blanchard a chance at being their quarterback of the future. When Biggs says that Blanchard played “pretty well” with the Packers he understating it a bit. Packer head coach Mike McCarthy raved about him (via Tyler Dunne at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
“I’ll just tell you what I told him when I met him in April. I said, ‘Why the hell don’t you have a job?’ Just after watching his workout and watching film of his time at Carolina. I just think there’s a lot there to work with, as far as his physical talent. The young man’s a winner, and he’s in a good place.”
The Bears actually have two young back ups with some potential on the roster. The other is 6’1″ 219 pound David Fales. But at 6’3″, 225 lb, Blanchard has ideal size. He also has all of the best characteristics that Fales demonstrates in terms of smart play with better arm strength and athleticism.
As Biggs points out, if the Bears draft a quarterback high in the first three or four rounds of the 2016 NFL draft, the odds that either Blanchard or False ever get a shot at starting drop dramatically. But every indication is that the Bears believe in Jay Cutler. He will be only 33 years old when the 2016 season starts and I have grave doubts that the current administration is going to spend a high draft pick on the future at the position this year. If that’s the case, in my judgment Blanchard has a better chance of becoming a starting NFL quarterback than Fales does and, assuming that the current coaching staff evaluates him with an open mind, it’s entirely possible that he’ll get a shot.