Time for the Bears' Annual Caleb Hanie Demotion

Someone please steal Jerry Angelo and Mike Martz’s cell phones and make sure that Todd Collins’ phone number has been deleted from them.  After Saturday’s 10-3 win over the Bills, the Bears lined up for what seemed like a routine Monday-after practice.  Then Mike Martz called rookie quarterback Nathan Enderle’s name to take snaps with the second team.  Don’t look now, but it’s time for the annual Caleb Hanie demotion and we’re not even into the regular season yet.

Here’s head coach Lovie Smith (because Martz isn’t available to the media until Wednesday) on the changes to the quarterback rotation :

“After you play a game, your reps change a little bit based on what you’ve done,” Smith said. “We got Nathan Enderle a couple more reps today with the 2s. He did some good things in the game. He hadn’t really gotten a lot of reps in practice.”

During the last preseason, Hanie injured his shoulder in the first preseason game, necessitating the Bears to fulfill Mike Martz’s wish for a veteran backup.  What they got instead was Todd Collins, the most pathetic excuse for a quarterback since Jonathan Quinn, ,and that’s saying something here in Chicago.

Back in April, the Bears drafted Nathan Enderle and shortly after, Mike Martz said the Bears didn’t draft him to be the #3 quarterback.  It didn’t take him long to start pushing his agenda and start pushing Caleb Hanie out the door.   If Hanie isn’t going to be the #2 quarterback, there are 2 key things that the Bears need to do.  Check ‘em out after the jump.

  1. If Hanie isn’t going to be your primary backup to Cutler, there is no sense to keep him on the roster.  He’s just occupying space and taking reps away from Enderle, whom the Bears and Mike Martz seem intent on developing.  Let Hanie go.
  2. Go get a veteran quarterback.  No disrespect to Enderle, but a rookie quaterback in Mike Martz’s system has virtually no chance for success.  As we learned last season, the backup quarterback is tremendously important, especially behind this sorry excuse for an offensive line.  I’m not sure if Mike Martz has enough juice to drag Marc Bulger out of “retirement” or if there’s another experienced vet that knows the Martz system, but again, if Hanie isn’t part of the solution, he’s part of the problem.

I think the Bears are making a big mistake by pushing Hanie to the side.  Now maybe this is just another motivational tactic (see: Knox, Johnny), but with the limited reps, they need to focus on getting them to the right people, people who will contribute.

Hanie did solid work in the NFC Championship game relieving Todd Collins, whose ineffectiveness may have cost the Bears a trip to the Super Bowl when he relieved Jay Cutler.  What if Hanie had gotten meaningful snaps the week leading up to the NFC title game instead of Collins?

Did Hanie look great in the preseason opener against the Bills?  No.  Consider that behind that line with that blocking, Peyton Manning wouldn’t have looked good either.    If the Bears were going to do any demoting on Monday, I give you exhibits A and B, J’Marcus Webb and Lance Louis.  If anyone needs a message sent, those two should be tops on the list.

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