Wednesday, August 17, 2011
As the Bears' backup QB turns: It's Hanie
By Kevin Seifert
Monday night, Chicago-area reporters observed Bears backup quarterback Caleb Hanie to be visibly upset after coaches had him watch the second-team offense while rookie Nathan Enderle took his snaps.
Tuesday evening, Hanie was back with the Bears' second team. Wednesday, offensive coordinator Mike Martz reiterated that Hanie is his No. 2 quarterback and will stay that way "unless his arm falls off or something," he told reporters.
Martz said he was simply giving Hanie "a day to just kind of [say], 'Whew'" after an uneven outing in Saturday's preseason opener against the Buffalo Bills.
"Most quarterbacks go through this," Martz said. "I've been through this a number of times. He didn't have a real good outing but he's fine. He'll recover. He'll do fine. The other part of that is Nate did a real good job in the game so we wanted to learn a little bit more about Nate."
Enderele will work one day a week with the second-team offense, Martz said, but otherwise "nothing has changed."
To be clear, I don't think Hanie's status is worth a summer-long crusade. I just think Martz's poor judgment last season in this area merits a closer eye in 2011. You want to say there is no way he would choose a rookie fifth-round draft pick over a veteran with experience in the system, but you also would have said the same thing about leaving Todd Collins in that spot last season.
In reality, the Bears' backup quarterback situation is the least of Martz's concerns. Much higher is the state of the offensive line, which gave up nine sacks Saturday night to the Bills. Martz said he attributed only three of those sacks to offensive line breakdowns, however, and added: "I would expect remarkable improvement over the next few weeks from that group."