If Jay Cutler doesn't play against the Panthers on Sunday, Todd Collins will get the start, offensive coordinator Mike Martz said.
You would think it would be a tough call since the Bears were content to start the season with Caleb Hanie as the backup before he was injured, prompting the team to sign the veteran Collins.
Collins was ineffective after replacing Cutler at halftime of Sunday night's game. He completed only 4 of 11 passes for 42 yards with an interception and a passer rating of 8.1. As previously pointed out on this blog, however, it was a tough spot for any quarterback, especially considering neither Collins nor Hanie get many reps in practice.
Hanie completed 3 of 4 passes for 36 yards during his brief stint.
As the more mobile of the two, a case could be made that he would be more effective. Martz, however, doesn't buy it.
"That's our judgment," Martz said when asked why Collins is the clear-cut No. 2. "That's the way we judge it. Todd's a guy who has played a great deal and won, and played exceptionally well at this level. We know what he is. He's demonstrated that in the preseason. He can play at a high level. It's just a question of getting him a little bit more familiar.
"We're very excited about Caleb and where he is. Caleb easily could be No. 2 right now. But because of the experience, and being in this competitive situation and knowing how to respond, and managing the game; these are things that are a little bit new to Caleb.
We know, at least I feel good about Todd, in those pressure situations, and we anticipate him managing the game very well and playing very well, and that's why he's the No. 1 (backup) and that's just kind of how we feel about it."