Chicago Bears: Nate Enderle

Palmer early favorite at No. 2 QB

May, 1, 2014
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Quarterback Jordan Palmer's actual NFL regular-season game experience is limited to four appearances and 15 pass attempts over parts of six years, but Bears general manager Phil Emery thinks Palmer is capable of being the team's primary backup to incumbent starter Jay Cutler in 2014.

Josh McCown's exit to Tampa Bay leaves Palmer and former practice squad member Jerrod Johnson as the only two reserve quarterbacks on the current roster with the NFL draft one week away.

"Absolutely [Palmer can be the No.2]," Emery said Thursday. "And I told him that the other day -- the same thing I told Josh: 'Glad you're here, looking forward to your contributions and we're counting on you.' And Jordan, since the time that he came last year has been nothing but a positive. He performed well in a preseason game and I understand that's the fourth preseason game, normally that's the second and thirds and the back end of the roster, but you still want people to show that they have upside and perform well. There are people that make squads in that game, so that game is important. And he did well.

"He has been a backup in the league, obviously in Cincinnati, so he knows what the weight of that position is and how to carry himself and how to contribute positively to the team in that role. And to get himself ready to go every week in case there was an injury. So yes, comfortable with him and excited to see Jerrod on the field for longer than a week or two. You know, we brought him in to take a look at him, but we had to release him because we had other needs on our practice squad at the time depending on what had happened with our 53-man roster. So I told him when we released him that we would like to bring him back and we did."

Eventually, the Bears will need to find a replacement for Cutler, whose new contract essentially locks him in for the next three seasons. But Emery was quick to caution against the idea of the Bears drafting a developmental quarterback in the mid-to-late rounds. The Bears used sixth and fifth round picks on quarterbacks Dan LeFevour [2010] and Nate Enderle [2011] and neither player panned out.

"I just did a little study. It's very interesting," Emery said. "That developmental theory doesn't hold a whole lot of water. There's entire classes of quarterbacks, since '06, I went back and looked at from Jay's on -- when people say developmental quarterbacks, OK, so who has gotten developed? There isn't a single quarterback after the third round since 2006 that has been a long-term starter. So you're either developing thirds, and most of them have been wiped out of the league. So to get a quality quarterback, you've got to draft them high. That 2012 class is a blip on the radar that's unusual, highly unusual.

"Most of the starters in this league come from the first and second round. So that's where you need to take a quarterback. So when you talk about quarterback every year, they have to be somebody that you truly believe will beat out the second and third quarterback that you perceive on your roster. And if not, history shows that you shouldn't make that pick."

If the Bears bypass a quarterback in the draft, Emery is likely to continue to explore the free-agent market. The Bears worked out several quarterbacks, including former Bucs first round selection Josh Freeman, but failed to offer any of them contracts.

Three Chicago Bears QBs active Sunday

December, 18, 2011
CHICAGO -- In addition to the absences of starting quarterback Jay Cutler and running back Matt Forte, the Bears face the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday without the services of two more starters in safety Major Wright and defensive tackle Henry Melton.

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Caleb Hanie back with second team

August, 16, 2011
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Caleb Hanie returned to his customary role of running the second team Tuesday night, one day after the Chicago Bears coaching staff allowed rookie fifth-round pick Nate Enderle to handle all the reps with the No. 2 offense.

"They just wanted to get Nate some reps and let me sit back and see some things from behind," Hanie said. It's just part of the deal."

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QB Enderle signs with Bears

July, 27, 2011
CHICAGO -- Chicago Bears rookie quarterback Nate Enderle signed a four-year contract with the club on Wednesday.

Enderle passed for 8,181 yards and 62 touchdowns as a four-year starter for the University of Idaho. The quarterback led the 2009 Idaho squad to a victory over Bowling Green in the Humanitarian Bowl -- the Vandals' first postseason appearance in 11 years.

The Bears were determined to draft a developmental quarterback in 2011 after a 2010 training camp injury to Caleb Hanie ultimately forced the team to cut former sixth-round choice Dan LeFevour prior to the start of the last season.

After the injury to Hanie, the Bears acquired veteran quarterback Todd Collins and waived LeFevour with the intent of bringing him back on the practice squad. But the Cincinnati Bengals swooped in and signed LeFevour to their 53-man roster, leaving the Bears without a young quarterback for Martz to develop in his system.

Enderle is expected to open training camp as the Bears' No. 3 quarterback behind incumbent starter Jay Cutler and Hanie.

Cutler helping Enderle learn Bears' system

June, 30, 2011

CHICAGO -- Life is difficult for every quarterback attempting to learn the Mike Martz offense.

Now imagine being a rookie fifth-round draft choice out of the University of Idaho without the luxury of voluntary offseason workouts, OTAs or minicamps.

Welcome to Nate Enderle's world.

As previously reported, the Bears rookie quarterback began participating in the team's unofficial offensive workouts this week, the first step towards trying to pick up some of the offense before the Bears officially begin training camp once the NFL lockout ends.

"I knew it was really important for me to start throwing the routes they were going to have me throw, and start to get the basics of the offensive down ... the terminology, the formations and motions, things like that," Enderle told Thursday evening. "That way I can come into camp with a moderate amount of knowledge about what we run."

For most rookies, getting to know the veterans is just as important as getting to know the system. Enderle describes his initial meetings with Bears starting quarterback Jay Cutler as extremely positive. Cutler, according to Enderle, has gone out of his way to try and ease the rookie's transition to the NFL.

"[Jay Cutler] was one of the first guys who texted me and told me that they were throwing," Enderle said. "He was very helpful. He said I could stay with him if I didn't have a place to stay. Everything he's done has been very helpful to me.

"They've all been really helpful. You never know what to expect when you join a new team, but the guys are great and helping me as much as they can. They try to teach me things in the short time we have. I felt good [throwing]. It's the same routes the team had me throwing on Pro Day and at the NFL Combine, so I was a little more adjusted to the types of throws they are going to ask me to make."

Perhaps Enderle's only regret is that he wasn't able to join the workouts sooner -- Cutler and fellow quarterback Caleb Hanie began throwing to the skill position players in May. A minor mix-up caused the quarterback to arrive on the scene in late June, but he did keep busy on the University of Idaho campus in the months following the draft.

"I got a heads up they were [holding workouts] but I didn't know it was a continual thing," Enderle explained. "I thought they were doing it one week, and that week I couldn't get down there. So I never attempted again, but once I found out they were still doing it, I got my ticket and got here as soon as I could.

"[Before that] I'd head into the Idaho weight room and work out then find somebody there to throw with. We had a few other guys on the team that were trying to play professional football, so whenever they were in town, I'd round them up and throw with them. Basically, I tried to do what I had done the few couple weeks of summer while I was playing for Idaho because I never went home in the summer, I'd just stay up there and do my own thing for a few weeks before conditioning started."

Whether or not Enderle's participation in the workouts causes him to perform better in training camp is unknown. After all, the Bears are conducting these sessions without defenders being present. But it can't hurt, that's for sure, especially since the entire 2011 NFL draft class is operating at a disadvantage because of the lockout.

"Whatever help I can get I'm going to take it," Enderle said. "If there is a chance it's going to make me more successful, I'm going to try that. It's a tough step to take the NFL, and you need to be prepared, because I have less preparation time. Everybody else has more experience than I have, they had rookie camps, OTAs, all that stuff to get the offense installed in your head. I just have training camp. But that's just one thing everybody that got drafted this year is going to have to work through."

Source: Enderle begins players workouts

June, 29, 2011
CHICAGO -- Another new face showed up at the Chicago Bears' unofficial offseason workouts.

After conducting all of his post-draft training in Idaho, Bears rookie quarterback and fifth-round draft pick Nate Enderle arrived in Chicago on Sunday, and has begun throwing to his new teammates, according to an NFL source.

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