Brad Biggs and Vaughn McClure at the Chicago Tribune note that Caleb Hanie was taking the snaps as the number 2 quarterback yesterday after yielding to Nathan Enderle on Monday. He threw three interceptions:
“‘It’s not going well,’ Hanie said of training camp. ‘It’s just middle of the road. I’m still getting timing back and rhythm back and all that stuff.’”
The interceptions are OK. In fact, at this point you might even say they’re natural. But they are indicative of how far Hanie is behind in terms of running the offense.
No Bear needed the offseason more than Hanie and no Bear was more hurt by the labor stoppage that prevented him from getting the work he needed. Hanie was injured during the first preseason game last year and lost valuable time learning how to handle the offensive coordinator Mike Martz‘s offense. As a result, when he took over for Jay Cutler and Todd Collins, he ran the team more like a rookie than a third year pro. Fans like to give Hanie credit for moving the ball against the Packers in the final playoff game but rarely mention the two devestating interceptions he threw.
Clearly Hanie was out of his depth last season and needed some hard coaching. It was also clear last Saturday in the first preseason game that not getting it in the offseason was a problem. Once again, instead of reading the defense, dropping back and throwing the ball to a spot, Hanie ran the offense like a Chinese fire drill. I think its safe to say that Martz would have rather Hanie had done what he was supposed to and thrown interceptions than what he actually did. Martz allows some of that from Cutler because he has to. But he’s not going to tolerate it from Hanie and his displeasure was evident in the way he distributed the reps Monday.
You can’t have the rookie Enderle as your backup right now and Martz knows that. The shame of it is that in terms of running the offense the way its supposed to be run, Enderle’s not that far behind Hanie. That’s really bad with a questionable offensive line and Atlanta, New Orleans and Green Bay lined up in order to start the season. We better all hope that by some miracle Cutler survives completely healthy or that Hanie gets a lot better very quickly.