Chicago Sun-Times

Lovie upbeat despite Cutler injury: 'We'll be fine'

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Bears coach Lovie Smith sounded like he was trying to talk Bears fans off the ledge when discussing Jay Cutler's broken thumb Monday.

''We have a good football team,'' Smith said at a news conference at Halas Hall. ''Our football team is not based on one player. We have a lot of good football players and they're going to all step up. We'll be fine.''

The Bears announced that Cutler will be out ''an extended period of time'' after suffering a broken thumb on his throwing (right) hand in Sunday's 31-20 victory over the San Diego Chargers at Soldier Field. But Smith emphasized that it is his understanding that Cutler will return before the end of the season, and in time for the playoffs if the 7-3 Bears qualify.

Fourth-year pro Caleb Hanie will start at quarterback against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday in Oakland. With rookie Nathan Emnderle the only other healthy quarterback on the roster,Smith said the Bears will try to sign a veteran quarterback to back up Hanie.

''The plan is to get [Cutler] back at the latter part of the regular season,'' Smith said. ''Caleb Hanie will move into the starting-quarterback role. Caleb's been around here a long time and the team feels comfortable with him leading us.

''There's a lot of good things happening. Don't feel sorry for us or anything like that. We have a lot of things in place. We're losing and we're going to miss a great player for a period of time. We will miss Jay, but we will keep his spot warm and we're going to continue to win with Caleb.''

Smith acknowledged that he doesn't expect Hanie to be as integral to the offensive production as Cutler, who has had passer ratings of 96.9 or above in four of his last six games. In Sunday's victory over the Chargers, Cutler was 18-of-31 for 286 yards, two touchdowns and the one interception, which happened when receiver Johnny Knox slipped on the Soldier Field turf. That one play alone dropped his rating from 111.3 to 97.0.

"Offensively we're going to rely on our running game a little more,'' Smith sid. ''We have a great defense and special teams. You know how we win football games around here, so that will be the case.''

Though losing Cutler is a blow, if it turns out that he can return later in the season, especially if the Bears make the playoffs, the news Monday was not as bad as it could have been.

''My glass is half-full, of course,'' Smith said. ''Yes, I'm looking at it that way -- Jay is coming back. In the meantime, we have business to take care of.''

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4 Comments

"Fourth-year pro Caleb Hanie will start at quarterback against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday in Oakland. With rookie Nathan Emnderle the only other healthy quarterback on the roster,Smith said the Bears will try to sign a veteran quarterback to back up Hanie."

This is WONDERFUL! Now its only a matter of time untill, wait for it Bumstead-a-holics, the great Todd Collins to be resigned and make his triumphic return to Chicago! Todd Collins = Total Beast! No questions asked!

Oh my this is really great great news. I think I'm going to totally rock out now! Yeah yeah!

In fact my friend introduced me to this wild and crazy heavy metal group known as Enya. And when I rock out toEnya I make sure to turn the volume up all the way to 6! I don't know for sure, but I bet it drives my neighbors and landlord bonkers hee hee hee! They probably had no idea what an untamed rebel the Bumstead was. Now if you'll excuse me, my cocoa is getting warm.

Go Bears!

Wat about signing Mark Bulger????

Did we learn nothing from the Todd Collins experience?

How about the Bears just take a million bucks in ones, set fire to the pile at the end of Navy Pier and have a weenie roast? Then they take the reps that this veteran QB will need, and let Nathan Enderle have them. In that way they get more value from the money, and use this an an opportunity to develop a young player.

Enderle is drawing a check every week as a professional athlete. If he is not capable of performing that task, they should cut him and try somebody else.

I do not think signing a veteran is such a great idea. I would prefer that the Bears stick with what they have until necessity dicates otherwise. some rookies come in and provide a spark, and Enderle might do that if Hanie were to go down.Besides, I really do not see all that much out there as far as veteran quarterbacks available go.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Potash published on November 21, 2011 2:32 PM.

Bears announce Jay Cutler and Pat Mannelly will need surgery was the previous entry in this blog.

Rookie Laptad first in line to replace Patrick Mannelly is the next entry in this blog.

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