Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago Bears Day 10 Summary: Cutler rests, Hanie shines

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There have been a lot of questions about the preparedness of Bears backup quarterback Caleb Hanie.

But Hanie looked comfortable on Monday, when starter Jay Cutler took a scheduled day off.

"Jay's thrown the ball quite a bit but on days like today, you really want to see some of the other players," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "Caleb Hanie got some work with the 1's and we get to look at Dan LeFevour for a little extended time, which is always good."

Often, when a young quarterback with little experience is pressed into action, they rely on dump passes. But Hanie didn't hesitate to test the secondary, spreading the ball around quite well.

He showed touch on a swing pass to running back Kahlil Bell. He showed zip on a high sideline pass to Devin Aromashodu. And he showed trust in the scheme, leading Johnny Knox with a ball in the middle of the field, with rookie safety Major Wright inching forward.

"There's a few plays I want to have back," Hanie said. "Threw some balls down the field. We're still hooking up with the receivers. Still trying to get the timing. But I felt I did pretty well today."

Other notes and highlights from today:

* Rashied Davis is listed as the backup to Johnny Knox, and he bolstered that position on Monday. He made two nice catches back-to-back, adjusting to one that was thrown behind him and making one despite tight coverage by a defender. Meanwhile, Earl Bennett was sidelined.

* Greg Mathews made the catch of the day, sprinting and fully stretching out for a deep middle pass from Dan LeFevour. He initially controlled it with one hand then secured it with the other.

* Henry Melton continues to get a lot of reps as a defensive tackle, and he showed his explosive speed on one rush against Chris Williams and Roberto Garza in a two-on-two pass protection drill.

* Julius Peppers made one of the most athletic defensive plays, batting down a short swing pass from Hanie to a running back.

* Rookie Major Wright looked solid today, but he did drop one sure pick.

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That may be the first positive thing I have heard about Henry Melton so far this camp. Has he bulked up to 285-295 lbs., or is he trying to pull it off at 270-275? If he can maintain his explosiveness as a former FB/DE at the increased weight, we should at least be able to get something out of him in the nickel or dime package at DT.

Who is getting the reps on the offensive line? With Garza moving to the left side, is that pushing Asiata and Beekman out of the running, or is Tice continuing to rotate guys to get a look at them?

It's amazing Rasheed is the backup to Knox at this time. The semi-official depth chart actually has Bennet behind Davis. I haven't really heard much about Garza's switch to LG, I thought it was between Beekman and Asiata. It seems that Louis must have stepped up at RG to push Garza to LG. So looks like 1 new starting o-lineman and two starters (Omiyale and Garza) playing a different position than last year. I just hope this works out. Hopefully Tice knows what he's doing.

Its nice to hear that Caleb Hanie is catching on to Martz's scheme. The recent release of Mike Teel is also a pretty good indication that Caleb Hanie is getting a grasp of Martz's scheme. I think Teel was brought in just in case Hanie couldn't adapt to Martz's offense, the word coming out of the OTA's was that Hanie struggled a bit, again, obviously that isn't the case anymore.

Hanie's proved the last couple pre-seasons that he has all the tools to be a pretty effective starting QB someday, the arm, mobility etc etc. If Hanie does come on, I say let him sling it during the pre-season. In Jay Cutler the Bears have their starter for the next 10 plus seasons, but if Hanie can show something when he gets a chance to play. The Bears could use Hanie as trade bait for more draft picks much like the Falcons did with Matt Schaub a couple seasons back. A second rounder would be cool.

By next season rookie Dan LeFevour should be ready to compete as a #2 QB if Chicago were to trade Hanie. LeFevour was a winner in college and basically outplayed every QB at the senior bowl last winter, including a guy named Tim Tebow. Just an opinion now GO BEARS!!

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on August 9, 2010 6:15 PM.

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