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Youth, experience, leadership gave Clausen edge

Strong recommendation from Carolina factored into Bears' decision to go with Jimmy Clausen as backup QB.
Jimmy Clausen's combination of youth and game experience added up in landing Bears backup job.

Jimmy Clausen's relative youth and game experience were among several factors that prompted coach Marc Trestman to choose him over Jordan Palmer as the Bears' backup quarterback.

Clausen, who turns 27 in September, has thrown 299 regular-season passes, all in his tumultuous rookie season of 2010 with the Panthers. Palmer, 30, has thrown only 15, none since 2010.

"And (Clausen) came highly recommended to me from some people that I trust in Carolina," Trestman said. "His ability to handle the adversity he had in his first year, his leadership qualities, he stood up tall through a lot of tough times in Carolina and gained the respect of his teammates and the team there with the way he handled himself in a very, very difficult year.

"So that, plus performance, plus experience, plus youth were a lot of the reasons."

Clausen said he appreciated the clarity Trestman's decision gives him in his role, but he's determined to continue working to master the Bears' terminology.

He'll do so without Palmer pushing and helping him.

"He not only competed hard, he really invested in our football team, emotionally invested," Trestman said of Palmer. "He coached. He shared. He coached other guys up, plus guys at his position. He's a tremendous young man, and we'll look forward to him landing on his feet somewhere."

Palmer reportedly will sign with the Bills.

Fales to start: The Bears plan to play rookie quarterback David Fales for the entire fourth exhibition game against the Browns on Thursday night in Cleveland.

It's an extended opportunity for the sixth-round draft pick to play his way onto the 53-man roster and avoid being waived and signed to the practice squad.

"I'm just trying to improve," Fales said. "I'm going to go through the reads and have fun competing, take care of the ball, (eliminate) turnovers and just have fun."

Fales has not played in the last two exhibitions. He completed 5 of 7 passes for 68 yards and an interception, good for a 62.5 passer rating, in the first game against the Eagles.

Health watch: Safety Chris Conte (concussion) did not practice Monday. He is day to day while he goes through the NFL's concussion protocol, Trestman said. ... Safety Ryan Mundy required 16 stitches in his forehead above his right eye during Friday's game because a part of his helmet cut him. He did not practice. ... Cornerbacks Kyle Fuller (right ankle) and Isaiah Frey (right hamstring) and offensive lineman Eben Britton (left hamstring) returned to practice. Receiver Chris Williams (right hamstring) practiced. Fullback Tony Fiammetta (hamstring) sat out.

Extra points: The Bears released veteran safety and special teamer Craig Steltz. The 2008 fourth-round pick played in 77 games but missed most of the preseason while recovering from offseason groin surgery. ... The NFL continues to strongly consider Chicago as a host city for the 2015 draft. League executives have visited the city numerous times to survey sites, most recently two weeks ago, a person with knowledge of the process said. No timetable has been set for the decision between Chicago and Los Angeles.

rcampbell@tribune.com

Twitter @Rich_Campbell

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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