Lovie Smith mum on Bears' QB plans

Updated: December 18, 2011, 10:58 PM ET
By Michael C. Wright | ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- Chicago Bears quarterbacks Caleb Hanie and Josh McCown combined to throw four interceptions -- two returned for touchdowns -- Sunday in a 38-14 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, but coach Lovie Smith wasn't prepared to disclose plans to make a change.

[+] EnlargeCaleb Hanie
Mike DiNovo/US PresswireBears quarterback Caleb Hanie has thrown nine interceptions in four games in place of Jay Cutler.

"Open?" Smith asked about the quarterback position. "I mean, it's right after the game and we're disappointed in our performance today in the quarterback position. But I can't tell you any more than that."

In four starts, Hanie has thrown more interceptions (9) than touchdown passes (3) while completing 50 percent of his passes or worse in three of those outings. Hanie generated a passer rating of 33.3 against the Seahawks.

It's unclear what the team's plans are for Sunday's game at Green Bay. The team could opt to start McCown, rookie Nathan Enderle, or give Hanie his fifth consecutive start.

"I have no idea," McCown said when asked if the staff indicated he'd start against the Packers. "I'm just gonna get myself ready like I've done every week, and then we'll see what happens."

Hanie has now led the Bears on 55 offensive possessions, netting four touchdowns, four field goals and 29 punts to go with 11 total turnovers. In those drives, the Bears produced just 40 points over 16 quarters.

"You're always thinking about your future," Hanie said. "I came out today and felt really confident; three losses, and still felt confident. You just have to critique yourself on not [whether] you [won or lost], but what you're doing on every single play. When I feel like I'm getting better, I feel confident."

Apparently the Chicago coaching staff felt like pulling the plug in the fourth quarter, after Brandon Browner returned Seattle's second Hanie interception for a touchdown with 5:11 left to play.

"The first one was just a bootleg and two guys came off the edge," Hanie said of his interceptions. "I just tried to get rid of it. The guy got a little more of me than I anticipated, and I forced a throw right to the defensive tackle. Some unfortunate luck there.

"Then the other one, I was just trying to make something happen there at the end. Felt like the game was a little out of hand. I don't know how much time was left, five minutes, four minutes. They brought pressure, we adjusted to it. I missed the throw a little high."

After Hanie's third interception, Chicago immediately inserted McCown, and two plays into his first drive as a Bear, the veteran threw an interception to Richard Sherman.

Smith said the Bears initially resisted pulling Hanie because the team felt "he was our best option at the time."

"First off, we're disappointed in our team and how we played the last four weeks," Smith said. "Of course, Caleb is a large part of that, just the quarterback position in itself. It's hard when you don't get more production from the quarterback position. And Caleb's been our guy, great opportunity, but we haven't played as well as we need to though."

Michael C. Wright covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000. ESPNChicago.com's Jeff Dickerson contributed to this report.

Michael C. Wright

ESPN Chicago Bears reporter

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