Ditka has doubts Hanie can play in NFL

December, 5, 2011
12/05/11
10:27
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[+] EnlargeCaleb Hanie
Rob Grabowski/US PresswireCaleb Hanie had his second straight three-interception game on Sunday.
As bad as things went for the Chicago Bears in a 10-3 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, Mike Ditka said the biggest disappointment was quarterback Caleb Hanie.

Starting his second game in place of the injured Jay Cutler, Hanie completed 11 of 24 passes for 133 yards and threw three interceptions for the second straight week in an ugly 10-3 loss to the Chiefs.

"You hate to say ... this is chin strap time. You buckle it up and you go," the former Bears coach and current ESPN analyst said Monday on "Mike & Mike" on ESPN Radio. "I don't know how. You find a way. I think the biggest disappointment is Hanie. I think his choices, his decisions and even on a couple of occasions [Sunday] when he made the right decision he made the wrong throw. He made a poor throw, he had guys open. I think that's a disappointment."

The Bears lost running back Matt Forte with an MCL sprain, and he could be out two to six weeks. Their second straight loss also dropped them to 7-5, but the Bears caught a break when the Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons lost, keeping Chicago as the fifth seed in the NFC playoff race.

With four games left for Hanie to prove he can play in the NFL, Ditka has his doubts.

"I think when he's your backup and you've watched him for a period of two years now and he's the best you're going to get as a backup you've got to look at your evaluation. Are you evaluating this kid honestly or do we want him to succeed because we like him? There's a big difference there. Sometimes that happens. 'Well, he's a great kid and we want him to succeed because we like him. Chances are he won't play because Cutler won't get hurt.' Well, he's been exposed now. Can he play or can't he play? I don't know. After what I watched in two weeks I have my doubts."


ESPN NFL analyst Mike Ditka says Cowboys coach Jason Garrett iced his own kicker and collapsed under the pressure of the job. Plus, Ditka doubts Bears quarterback Caleb Hanie can play in the NFL.

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