Chicago Sun-Times

Caleb Hanie embraces the opportunity

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Bears backup quarterback Caleb Hanie is preparing for his first NFL start Sunday in Oakland. And he's disappointed his friend Jay Cutler is hurt, Hanie also is looking forward to a chance to showcase himself, especially since he'll become an unrestricted free agent after the season.

""It's a great opportunity," Hanie said. "You never want it to come at the expense of one of your good
friends and close teammates and one of your best players. You never want that to happen but you have to take advantage opportunities when they're give to you so that's what I'm going to try to do."

Here are some of the other highlights from his first press conference:

* On his ability to extend the pocket: "Definitely, I can move around a little bit, and be mobile when I have to. But I'm gonna go in there and make the throws at the end of the day."

* His comfort level: "I'm a lot more comfortable. Having a year in this offense previous to this one is a huge help. Jay will tell you. You've seen the progression of his game this year. So I'm looking to have the same type of results."

* On his snaps with the starting offense during the practice week: "Usually, I don't have any reps with the first team when Jay's healthy. He's taken all the reps, which is the way it should be in my opinion because you're the guy that's gonna take most of the snaps barring a major injury. So usually, no."

* On if it's better to be thrown into a game or have a week to prepare: "That's a good question. Sometimes it's better to be there and just be shocked, and boom you're in the game because you don't have to think about it. But you have the whole week to think about it now. So you get a little bit more nervous. But at the same time, if you prepare the right way, I feel like you'll be very confident going into the game. And you have to feel better about that type of situation."

* On risk-taking: You never want to try to do too much, but you also don't want to go into a shell and try to not take any risks. So it's a fine line trying to find that."

* On if this opportunity will shape his future: "Yeah, like I said, it's a great opportunity. But I'm not too worried about down the road. I'm just trying to focus on what the Oakland Raiders do. They've got a lot of athletic talent on the other side of the ball, and I've just got to worry about this week. It is a great opportunity."


* On how hard Mike Martz has been on him: "It's been fine. You have ups and downs just like any good marriage. You have some bumps in the road, but Mike has been great this season. I think [he rode] me hard first off last season, and whatever it's been nothing but helpful. At the time, sometimes you're reluctant to take that criticism and stuff like that. But looking back on it, it's always a good thing."

* On the support of his teammates: "I've gotten the full support of my teammates. Anybody from Urlacher to guys on offense, offensive line, kickers whatever; they've all given me their two cents. They think I'm gonna do a good job. So it's good to have that support behind you. I don't need any extra motivation. But it is nice to have."

* On possibility of Kyle Orton being signed: "It won't affect my confidence at all. I know where I am in this offense. I know what I'm doing in this offense. I've been waiting for this opportunity. Kyle's a great guy.I was here with him as a rookie, and he did a great job in the locker room and stuff like that. So I like Kyle. It won't affect my role at all."

* On what they told him about signing Orton: "I talked to Lovie this morning, he just said whatever veteran quarterback we bring in, you don't need to worry about it. You're our guy. And that's it."

* On if his game is similar to Cutler: "We're pretty similar. Our offense is built around being mobile in the pocket and making accurate throws and getting the ball out quick, while at the same time protecting the football. So I think that plays to my strengths."

* On being the next Tom Brady: "Yeah, you hope so. If you don't have that confidence, I think there's no way you're going to be the next big thing like that. So I've got to play with confidence and see
where it leads. Take it week to week but we'll see where it leads."

* On if the Bears have to limit the offense: "I've just got to do the things that the quarterback has to do. Jay does some special things with the ball. Not to say that I'd make the same plays that he does but
there might be some plays that I make that are different than the style that he plays. So I feel real confident in the way that I play in this offense. As long as I stay within myself in the offense I think we'll be successful and keep the explosiveness that we need to offset the running game."

* On what advice Cutler has given him: "Yeah, he pretty much gave me media advice, how to charm the media. That's basically what he was talking to me about. No, I reached out to him and just asked about his surgery and all that stuff and to see if he's OK. He's all good. He's in good spirits. As any athlete that gets injured, it's a bummer at the time but he'll be back quick. I'm confident in it."

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3 Comments

Great article Sean! Caleb will do just fine! The offense and defense just needs to step it up! If everyone gives 100%, the Bears can't lose! It definitely has to be a team effort!

Backup quarterbacks generally don't win games in the NFL - that is why they are backups.

They often have some liability (or liabilities) that prevented them from becoming the starter in the first place: weak arm, unable to always diagnose coverages, limited mobility, unable to make certain throws, unable to look off defenders, unable to "feel" pressure, etc. These liabilities are quickly diagnosed and exploited by NFL defenses and, because of their physical limitations, the backup QB can't overcome these defensive adjustments.

This almost always leads to consistent losses. We need to remember how the Bears feasted on backup QB's last year - now the tables have turned.

The offense has been stagnant these last two games as defenses have figured out how to stop our running game. Only some miracle throws by Cutler and timely interceptions have bailed out the impotent offense recently. Expect about one half of football next Sunday and then there will be almost continual blitzing by the Bears opponents which will lead to sacks, INT's, and potentially Hanie getting injured. It will look like the Saints game, each game, for the rest of the year

A record of 3 and 3, even with the Bears remaining schedule would be nothing short of miraculous. A record of 1 and 5 is more likely and I wouldn't be surprised if we go 0 and 6.

Caleb Hanie is going to provide good leadership and good decision making. If he can not
allow the defense to bait him and not target receivers causing undo interceptions there is no reason why the Bears cannot succeed with Hanie as QB.

The Bears could go 4-2 over the next 6 or at worst 3-3 which would get them to 10 wins, that should be good enough for wild card. My gut tells me that 11-5 is in the cards for the Bears.

Hanie is mobile, he is a good leader and he will provide the spark the Bears need to help lead the offense. The offense will hold its own and the Bears Defense and Special Teams really need to excel through the rest of the year and through the playoffs.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on November 23, 2011 1:41 PM.

Could the Bears be interested in Kyle Orton? was the previous entry in this blog.

Chiefs claim Kyle Orton, Bears sign Josh McCown is the next entry in this blog.

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