Chicago Sun-Times

Bears were not only team interested in QB Hanie

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Tracked down a quarterbacks coach in the league to pick his brain about Caleb Hanie, the Colorado State quarterback who was signed to a contract as an undrafted free agent to compete with Southern Illinois’ Nick Hill. The coach spoke on the condition he not be identified.

``He did throw quite a few interceptions but we thought that he was on a bad football team trying to make plays more than really making poor decisions. He didn’t have a great team around him and it looked like he was just a competitor, trying to make plays and give his team a chance to win more than having a chronic problem making bad decisions. He’s got pretty good size (6-2, 236 pounds), really good arm strength. He was active enough in the pocket where he could make some plays. I liked him.’’

The coach also discussed USC’s John David Booty, who the Bears passed on in the fourth round to draft LSU safety Craig Steltz, and Michigan’s Chad Henne, who the Bears could have nabbed in the second round.

``We kind of liked [Booty] too. We felt he was going to be maybe the most initially ready to play quarterback in the draft. We didn’t know how much upside he had, but he’s polished and he played in a really good, pro-style system at SC. All the concepts the NFL runs are very similar to what they were doing. He’s pretty polished. Very accurate on intermediate stuff to low. As it got deep down the field, it didn’t always happen for him, but thought that he was polished and certainly could be a No. 2 for a long time and maybe could be a No. 1 but we didn’t really project him that high."

And Henne?

``I was real high on Henne. I know some people were knocking him that he wasn’t always accurate. But he was hurt quite a bit of his senior year. But when he was healthy I thought he threw the ball as well as anybody. You can’t underestimate a four-year starter at Michigan. There is a lot of experience there. He seemed like a bright guy who had the right demeanor and all that stuff. I look for him to play for a long time.’’


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8 Comments

i'm glad the bears passed on henne. he throws the ball like a baseball and will probably blow out his arm. seriously his deep ball isn't that great, his recievers made him look a lot better than he actually is. at the senior bowl he lobbed that bomb to lavell hawkins for a td but it was more about hawkins adjusting to a poor throw than anything else. he had the worst completion percentage among the top quaterbacks and that's one stat that translates into the nfl. the bears have already been burned once with a quaterback like that, rex grossman.

booty is a back up at best.

i think caleb hannie was probably the best choice considering the other options, since the bears are going down this road at qb. not many can be as bad a grossman. maybe hannie won't pout and call it a night after his 6th turnover and that would be an improvement

Not sure what it is about certain Michigan QBs. Harbaugh, Brady, and now Henne. They run a completely vanilla offense there, and are a run-first team on top of that. I don't know if it is just something where they learn to be careful with the ball if they play the offense right, or that they play on a big stage, but you look at their biggest rival, and when was the last time a decent QB came out of Ohio State? You can claim Troy Smith, but the jury is still out on him. I think Drew Henson would have been solid if he had stayed in football instead of trying to play for the Yankees, but I don't know that he would have ever been a Pro Bowler or anything like that. John Navarre was pretty poor, and there have been no-names coming out of that program, but it seems like the guys who start for multiple years are pretty solid wherever they go.

Granted, this is one QB coach's opinion, but Parcells took Henne in round 2. There aren't a lot of highlights out there on Hanie, but the ones I have seen make him look like a decent developmental prospect. Nick Hill can probably make it in the league, but he is a west-coast type QB as far as arm strength and delivery. Seems like his short to intermediate throws are good, and he loses something as it gets down the field.

We'll see whether Henne, Brohm, or Booty end up being productive starters at any point in the next couple of years, and then gauge where our QB situation is, and see if we made the right call to draft Steltz instead of Booty, and Forte instead of Brohm or Henne. I personally don't like Booty as a pro prospect, but would have preferred other players over Steltz. As far as Henne/Brohm, I think we could have gotten Forte a round later if that was the RB we were targeting, or we could have packaged the 70 and 90 to get into the late 50s to take him after getting the QB.

Revisionist history is easy, but not always good to pursue...

First, they would not have gotten Forte later in the draft.

There is a very good chance he would have been gone the very next pick to Detriot, who selected Kevin Smith, an inferior prospect, with the first pick in the third-round. And since most teams are ALWAYS in need of a backup, you can't project what others would have done.

Forte went where he was supposed to go.

As far as the QB, I suggest you look at the list I posted on the 2009 draft.

QBs rarely develop once you get out of the first round.

And it is rather selective to try and compare Henne to the best QBs who have come out of Michigan.

Fact is, while most Michigan QBs are somewhat productive, most end up as journeymen following one or two good seasons -- and that includes Harbaugh.

While I would have liked a QB -- my choice would have been Woodson, Ainge or Dixon -- the odds are that a safety or RB will contribute more than a QB from a weak QB class.

And frankly, considering all the guys after Ryan were either managers (Henne, Booty, Brohm) or projects (Woodson, Johnson, Ainge, Dixon, O'Connell), I have no problem taking Hainey as a free agent.

I'm more distressed the team didn't get another linemen high than a QB.

I, too, would liked to have had the Bears drafted a talented QB to groom. At this point you'd have to say the R.Grossman isn't the long term answer, and I'd truthfully have to say the K.Orton is still an unknown. Orton hasn't been given the opportunity to lead the club as the number 1 QB since his rookie year. I think the Bears aren't looking for the next Tom Brady/Tony Romo. They want to surround the QB with lots of talent and let the QB manage the game and not turn the ball over. I think Orton can do that. With a stellar defense, excellent special teams and a genuine running game you can win with a "game manager" QB.

Good point IDC, but I think they did get some o-line guys late that have a chance to stick. I agree a RB was important in round 2, no matter what your opinion of CED is, and you have to have two guys there also to be competitive in the league. My take is that its Orton's job to lose, Rex was signed as insurance in case Kyle's not ready, and to keep him from going elsewhere and having success. Kyle has good ball-handling skills, has played and lived in cold weather his entire life, and showed at the end of last season that he is learning to read defenses.Plus when he's in the game the team WINS, and that all I care about. If Williams is ready at LT, then I say move Tait back, but he might not be, it is easier to move tackles to guard(the plan for the FA o-linemen) than the other way around, I see Beekman or Big Cheese(if they can get him mean) starting this season. Also Marcus Monk might be a steal, he has good hands and is re-covering from an ACL, everyone knows it takes a 1 1/2yrs to come back from that surgery he had last year..Anybody really know what the two FA-QB's can do?

As far as a rookie QB on this team, who would mentor this guy. I would surley not want him looking up to Rex. As far as Orton I think he can use a vet to help him out when he has questions. As for the Bears not picking up a QB I think it was a smart choice, on the other hand getting this close to the start of the camps, it wasnt smart for the Bears to be in this situation. They need a old savy vet that has been there and done that.We all know Rex wont listen to anybody, hes a meat head, Orton wants to learn and is probably the best suited QB for Turners system. Thumbs up in not drafting a QB and hurt his devolpment by not having the right players around him. Thumbs down by not having a vet already in place learning the system.

Now drafting Forte I think was the best back for what the Bears want to do. He has proven year after year he can produce. What the amazing thing about Forte is that he was the only Tulane weapon on that offence. Small school or not numbers dont lie and definatly arent deceiving. Thomas Jones flurished in this system, and Matt Forte is a bigger and faster version of Jones. Being 6 ft 1 in and 215 lbs running a 4.46 40 thats booken. Some might say that he doesnt have a 2nd gear well look at some of these dudes runs.He was pulling away from alot of people.
Im going to say with the Bears situation at RB Forte playing all 16 games will lead all rookies in rushing. Im not saying Forte is the best rookie RB, Im just saying the Bears are going to relie on this guy heavly.

Projected RB list
Forte
AP
Wolfe
I wouldnt be surprised if the Bears dont give Benson a clean bill of health and put him on the I.R. That way it would be cheaper than to cut him.

I know it's hard to predict how a player will turn out but it's hard to ignore trends. the quarterback draft class of 2008 has some similarities with the quarterback draft of 2003.

matt ryan was by far the best qb prospect of the class just like carson palmer was 2003.
the ravens traded up to select a one year wonder who would have been a late round pick in
both years. kyle boller was pretty much the joe flacco of 2003.
the bears, as always, were sitting there in desperate need of a qb in both years. ha i guess any year really.
in 2003 they reached for grossman at 22 (i'm saying its a reach because if you read any of the scouting reports from 03 you'll see what i mean, positives: good not great arm, throws a catchable deep ball, tough and has moxie. negatives: has trouble learning new systems, will need to improve film room study, parties too much, makes poor decisions, poor accuracy at times. I don't know about you but that doesn't sounds like a 1st rounder to me.)
i'm glad jerry angelo didn't move around to select any of those guys. he addressed the glaring needs, we desperately needed a left tackle and williams was a safe choice. i tried for a long time to see some good in benson but lets face it he's been a total and complete bust, he would have been better off playing baseball for the dodgers. forte wouldn't have been around after the bears slection because the lions would have taken him with the next pick, they have a similar philosophy to the bears. earl bennet also helped fill another glaring hole at wide out. harrison has too much potential too pass up and you know lovie had to get a guy somewhere in there. I know people may not like the steltz choice but he's better for the team than booty. at worst steltz will be a stud on special teams. he could start someday. no he doesn't have great speed but he's a playmaker. people saying that he can't cover is just plain wrong. his strength is in coverage because he has good awareness and the ability to jump a route. anticipation and reaction time makes up for speed and he has both. in cover two he'll have help in his called on to play, so i wouldn't worry too much about him. after booty all of the other quarterback were highly developmental. I personally like ainge but i'm not upset that we didn't take him. i'm hoping that this quarterback class will turn out like 03 and thankfully angelo stuck to his board and didn't reach on anybody.

here is the 2003 quarterbacks selected
round 1
1. carson palmer
19. kyle boller
22. rex grossman
round 2
none
round 3
88. dave ragone
round 4
110. seneca wallace
round 5
163. brian st. pierre
round 6
192. drew henson
200. brooks bollinger
201. klif kingsbury
round 7
232. gibran hamdan
241. ken dorsey
undrafted free agent
tony romo

i'm hoping that caleb hannie will be the tony romo of the 08 draft but if not (which is likely) we can always get somebody next year.

Rex has his problems but know one thing. He can throw the deep stuff. He can throw the bomb and he can throw the very deep completions that just kill the other team. A lot of starting pro QB's still struggle with the very deep throw. This is the value that Rex brings to the Bears. I don't even want to see a QB under center that doesn't have a very strong arm. Orton is not in that class. That is his problem. You guys go on and on about drafting QB's. The only QB's worth drafting are guys like Elway, Brees, Marino and Manning. Obvious superstars. I would prefer trading for QB's from other teams because at least you know what you are getting. It is all about the money because QB's are SO expensive!

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on May 1, 2008 9:45 PM.

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