LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears' decision to cut quarterback Jordan Palmer and keep Jimmy Clausen as the backup surprised no one after Clausen displayed a better arm and more mobility throughout the preseason.

"I think the upside for Jimmy, his age, his experience, and he came highly recommended from some people I trust in Carolina," Bears head coach Marc Trestman said about his decision. "His ability to handle the adversity that 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."

Clausen went 1-9 as a starter in Carolina when forced into action as a rookie, and had a 58.4 quarterback rating. He didn't play after that as the Panthers drafted Cam Newton.

"These quarterbacks, everyone's on an individual journey on his own," Trestman said. "There's no two that are alike. Jimmy started out a rough go. He was put into a starting position. He was knocked all over the place, took a lot of hits, continued to stand tall and try to help his football team win. That's only gonna help him. Then he was out for a while, had an injury that he had to work out and get through and overcome.

"He's gone back to work. He's worked very hard to get in this place. Then he came in here and really worked hard to learn this offense; spent a lot of time. He's extremely detailed, extremely. I think that really helped him get up to speed quickly to be a part of this competition with Jordan."

Clausen said there is validity to the thought he learned a lot in Carolina by watching after he struggled as a rookie.

"It helped me," he said. "One of the big things is just sitting and looking back, on the sidelines the past few years at Carolina. Sitting and learning really did help. I didn't have that in college, I didn't have that in high school. Just to sit back and take a step back and look at everything and help the game slow down a little bit for me I just learned how to play in the NFL."

Clausen credited starting quarterback Jay Cutler with helping him adapt quickly to new surroundings.

"He's helped me tremendously," Clausen said. "When I first got here he was in here helping me in the morning. He came to pick me up. We started getting to work. Just to see him doing that for a guy they just brought in is something special. I really appreciate it."

Clausen is hardly counting his paychecks. He realizes there will be other veterans available after final cuts.

"You've got to keep going out each and every day," he said. "The free agency and waiver wire and trades and this and that, there's so much going on in the league, you've just got to keep going out and competing each and every day."

Trestman announced rookie David Fales will start the preseason finale at quarterback. It is possible Clausen might play, but not Cutler.

Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker believes the defense can be more effective preventing mobile quarterbacks from getting on the edge to throw. He said it's not just the result of a lack of speed on the part of the Bears but rather just making better decisions.

"It's attention to detail," he said. "A lot of times pocket contain is a decision you have to make on the move in the game.

"You obviously have to know where the quarterback is and if I'm going to take an inside move or not. Those are decisions we have to make, learn from those and move on."

The Bears can't complain in the first few weeks about not being ready for mobile passers now. They will face mobile QBs the first five weeks of the regular season.

"It's been great to get that type of exposure in the preseason," Tucker said. "Our preseason opponents have been outstanding. The different type of offenses we've seen, the different types of schemes, run-game-wise and pass game, and mobile quarterbacks. We're going to see several mobile quarterbacks early in the season."

There were few surprises among the first cuts. One might have been the release of defensive tackle Nate Collins, who returned after an ACL tear last year. With rookies Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton needing playing time, the decision was made that the team needs to be younger in the middle. Safety Adrian Wilson was cut after Chris Conte had a strong first outing, although he did suffer a concussion.

Also, linebacker Jordan Senn had been signed to help improve coverage teams but was dispatched.

Notes: Defensive end Jared Allen returned to practice Monday after a shoulder bruise kept him out of Friday's game. . . . Offensive tackle Jordan Mills practiced Monday after missing most of preseason with a foot injury. A decision will be made later in the week on whether to play him against Cleveland.