Wednesday, March 31, 2010
More depth behind Cutler?
By Kevin Seifert
Chicago coach Lovie Smith made news last week discussing the configuration of both lines as well as the future contribution of receiver Devin Hester. But while speaking to reporters at the NFC owners meeting, Smith also made a personnel revelation that is likely connected to his new offensive coordinator: The Bears have discussed adding a veteran backup quarterback after using untested Caleb Hanie in that role last season.
New coordinator Mike Martz runs a complicated offensive system that can take a while to learn. For that reason, Martz has occasionally in his career shown a preference for players he's previously coached. (See J.T. O'Sullivan).
So while no deal appears imminent, Smith sounded more than open to the possibility last week.
"It's something we discussed," Smith said. "Last year was the first year we went with two quarterbacks. It wouldn't be a bad thing if we end up with a veteran this year. That has nothing to do with Caleb Hanie. We think he is a heck of a quarterback. But when you go with two quarterbacks, it is a little scary each week.
"Whenever you can add another veteran to the group, especially a veteran quarterback because they are kind of like a second coach knowing the offense, that can be a good thing. Just having another voice to mentor all the situations is a good thing."
If you follow the trail of former Martz quarterbacks, you realize that Ryan Fitzpatrick could shake loose from Buffalo. Another intriguing possibility: St. Louis quarterback Marc Bulger, whose career with the Rams could end if they draft Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford No. 1 overall next month.
I'm not sure how serious a possibility this is, and nothing that happens will change the fact that Jay Cutler is the starter. But it's worth keeping an eye on.