Blanchard impresses at rookie minicamp

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Matt Blanchard should serve as motivation for all 33 players attending the Chicago Bears three-day rookie minicamp on a tryout basis.

The 6-foot-3 quarterback out of Wisconsin-Whitewater found himself in the exact same position last spring when he arrived at Halas Hall as an undrafted and unsigned rookie. But Blanchard's play over the course of those three days earned him a contract and a spot on the Bears' training camp roster.

After spending a chunk of last season on the club's practice squad, the Bears signed Blanchard to a reserve/futures contract on Jan. 7. As it stands, Blanchard is No. 3 on the Bears' quarterback depth chart behind Jay Cutler and Josh McCown and is expected to battle for spot on the team's 53-man roster this summer.

Because Blanchard has yet to officially accrue a year of NFL service, he is eligible to again participate in the rookie minicamp.

Past rookie minicamps have been plagued by subpar play from the quarterback position, which tends to drag the entire exercise to a grinding halt. But for the second consecutive year, Blanchard's strong arm and accuracy kept the drills moving. The other quarterback in attendance is Saint Xavier's Jimmy Coy, whom the Bears brought in for a tryout.

"I like Matt," Bears coach Marc Trestman said. "I think he's got a good base. He throws the ball well and he's very, very smart. He obviously has the aptitude to play the game and he's very good with our system. That's come to him very easily. He throws the ball very well.

"He's in shorts like everybody else is and he doesn't seem out of place to any of us and that's why he's with us."