It wouldn’t rank with the sting of seeing Jim McMahon, Steve McMichael and other former Bears donning Green Bay Packer green and gold. But another player with Bears ties is impressing a Packers staff and could come back to haunt the Bears sometime down the line.
Quarterback Matt Blanchard, an undrafted free agent out of Lake Zurich and Wisconsin-Whitewater and who stuck with the Bears’ practice squad in 2012 before spending parts of 2013 and 2014 with the Carolina Panthers practice squad, moved Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy to issue more than just platitudes as the Packers and Blanchard went through their final minicamp of the offseason.
"I'll just tell you what I told him when I met him in April," McCarthy said via Tyler Dunne’s blog up at the Journal-Sentinel.
"I said, 'Why the hell don't you have a job?' Just after watching his workout and watching film of his time at Carolina. I just think there's a lot there to work with, as far as his physical talent. The young man's a winner, and he's in a good place. He's getting better. He's getting better each and every week."
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As Dunne reports, Blanchard has a steep climb to reach even the extended Green Bay roster, which already includes Aaron Rodgers, Scott Tolzien and fifth-round draft pick Brett Hundley from UCLA. Tolzien, re-signed this offseason, is the incumbent No. 2.
Blanchard was with the Bears into the 2013 preseason when he suffered a fractured left knuckle against San Diego and was released with an injury settlement. The Panthers picked him up but Blanchard suffered a concussion last summer and was slow to come back.
“At the end of the training camp, we've just got to make sure that the reps were equal so you can have a good, fair evaluation from there," said Packers quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt per Dunne’s report. "But this team's not picked yet. There's no real depth chart yet. So we'll let that play out."