Chicago Bears: Nate Enderle
"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  and Nate Enderle  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.
"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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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.
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 ESPNChicago.com 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 ESPNChicago.com 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."
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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