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Jason Campbell adjusts to a new role with Bears

Jason Campbell isn't used to this.

In 70 of 71 games over seven seasons as a pro, Campbell has been his team's starting quarterback. That changed when he signed a deal to be Jay Cutler's backup with the Chicago Bears.

There will be no quarterback competition this summer. No preseason hot streak that will give Lovie Smith pause. Cutler is The Man in Chicago, and Campbell's job is simply to be ready.

"I've been through learning new offenses a couple times, so that part I've already adapted to," Campbell told the official team site at Bears OTAs. "I'm just trying to learn this new role, understanding that a lot of what you do is going to come from the classroom and mental reps more than physically getting reps."

As we wrote about earlier, the Bears scored big in landing Campbell, a highly capable QB who could start for several teams. The absence of a capable backup QB buried the Bears last season after Cutler went down with a broken thumb. The signing of Campbell is the team's way of saying, "Yep, we messed that up. We'll be prepared next time."

It's Campbell's job to adjust to a new way of thinking. He's not going to get nearly as many practice reps as he's had in the past. More than ever, his job is about preparation.

"Last year there were nine starting quarterbacks that got hurt in the league, including myself," he said, displaying himself as a businessman who clearly did his research. "So it's just as important as any other position on the field, and I have to approach it that way each and every week. I can't just get relaxed because you've always got to stay ready."

Campbell is making elite money for a backup QB, playing in Chicago on a one-year, $3.5 million deal. Though he's clearly open to a new experience this season, we'd be surprised if Chicago is a long-term home.

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