Jimmy Clausen to follow Cutler against Jaguars
BOURBONNAIS -- Backup quarterback Jimmy Clausen will get to play with and against more starters this week than he did last week in the preseason opener, when he had a passer rating of 134.6.
Clausen will follow starter Jay Cutler in the rotation Thursday night against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Soldier Field (7 p.m., ABC, ESPN), with Jordan Palmer in the three hole, a flip-flop of last week's order among the backups.
Bears coach Marc Trestman said the battle for the No. 2 job is still undecided.
"You see it every day out here," Trestman said after the final training camp practice at Olivet Nazarene University. "They're both making plays. They're competing. I've talked to both of them (and said) that nothing's set in stone from last week. We grade them every day. We're watching all the tape. We're making the corrections with each of them. It's still a competition, and they know it. We're repping them that way."
On the run:
Bears offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer is looking for improvement in the run game after the preseason opener, in which the Bears managed 92 yards on 32 attempts for a 2.9-yard average.
"It was slow to start," Kromer said of a ground game that accumulated just 16 yards on 12 first-half rushes. "We have to do a better job of blocking and understanding the angles we're trying to run. I believe we'll get that done as time goes. The running game always takes a little bit longer to get jelled, unless someone really makes a mistake on defense in these preseason games and then you break a big one."
The Bears longest run against the Eagles was quarterback Jimmy Clausen's 16-yard scamper. Among the running backs, Jordan Lynch's 12-yard pickup was the only run longer than 8 yards.
Still getting better:
Quarterback Jay Cutler says he continues to see improvement and maturation in wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, who enjoyed a breakout sophomore season last year with 89 catches for 1,421 yards.
"He's just more confident," Cutler said. "He knows what he can do on the field and he's a hard worker. It's just in him. So we don't have to worry about that. It's just keeping him healthy now and trying to keep him engaged in the offense."
It usually doesn't make sense to have defensive end Jared Allen drop into coverage, considering he's got a current streak of seven straight double-digit sacks seasons. But on rare occasions it's necessary, and the 6-foot-6, 270-pounder is fine with it.
"I've got 5 interceptions in my career." he said. "It's not that odd. I don't mind it. Obviously I like to go forward, but I know it's a necessary evil to attack offenses certain ways sometimes. It's fun for me to show my high school linebacker skills off."
Players who did not practice Tuesday included tight end Dante Rosario (calf), cornerbacks Isaiah Frey (hamstring) and Charles Tillman (coach's decision), offensive linemen Jordan Mills (foot), Brian de la Puente (knee) and Eben Britton (hamstring), wide receiver Chris Williams (hamstring) and defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff (coach's decision).