Winless in three starts, Caleb Hanie has learned an obvious bout hard truth about starting as an NFL quarterback.
"That wins are tough to come by. They don't hand them out," Hanie said. "The plays that are out there, they have to be made. There's no excuses for... I mean there are excuses you can make, but that's all they are are excuses.
"They don't get the job done."
Hanie said he thought the Bears played well enough to win Sunday's game in Denver.
"You just gotta finish games. As a team we have to finish what we started," he said. "We played them tough for almost the whole game until the very end.
"It was a tough loss, but we'll bounce back. There's a lot of character in this locker room and on the coaching staff. So no doubt in my mind we'll bounce back strong this week."
It may or may not be too late.
The Bears have fallen behind the Atlanta Falcons and Detroit Lions -- both 8-5 -- and they no longer control their own playoff destiny. Still, they can't accomplish anything, unless they defend their home turf against the Seattle Seahawks Sunday.
Here are some other highlights from Hanie's presser:
* On if he talked to Marion Barber: "I think it's important. The guys are gonna listen to what the quarterback has to say. I feel as though if the quarterback's not giving the guys the encouragement as well as the praise when it's needed, then guys are not going to follow you as much. It was something I felt like I needed to do. Marion's a professional. So I'm sure he doesn't need it and at the time he probably didn't want to hear it. He probably just wanted to think to himself at that moment. But you just gotta do what you gotta do sometimes. It might help him in the long run -- hopefully."
* On how critical this stretch is for him, since he's an unrestricted free agent after this season: "I'm not worried about personally. All I'm worried about is the team. It's a critical stretch for the team. We've got three games. We're in the playoff hunt still. We're confident that if we win out that other teams will slip up. And we're confident in the guys we have. So I'm not worried about any personal goals or agendas at this time, besides getting better and making the plays I need to make during the game."
* On if he feels the Bears have to win out: "You feel like 10 wins is where you needed to be. But what Lovie says is you can't get 10 wins without getting eight. So we've got to get this one. And that's our focus is this week. We know that we have a tough task ahead, but it's doable."
* On what play he would want back from Sunday: "It was like third-and-10 or something, third and long. It was Marion out of the backfield and I just missed him on that. It was a big play. It was there for the taking and I just missed him. Those are the ones you always want back. And those things are magnified when you lose and that's just something you've got to deal with. I own that play. I own all the passes that I miss. So I just got to hit it."
* On his mindset: "I'd love to be 3-0. It's kind of, would you rather be 0-3 or 3-0? Obviously. I'm trying to do the best I can during the week and on the field. Haven't gotten the job done so far, but I'm confident that if I keep plugging away that I'll make the plays that put us over the hump. We're trying to push through. It's changed for everybody. You look at ... it's not just the quarterback changing for the other quarterback. It's everybody getting used to everybody. Everybody getting used to me. Me getting used to everybody. Playing in an NFL game, four quarters. Getting used to that. Seeing all the different looks. Making all the plays that need to be made. Being sharp on every single pass. It's a tough game. And quarterbacks a tough position. But it's fun. And it's fun when you make plays and get the glory of winning the game. But you've got to deal with some of these losses, too. And that's part of being a quarterback as well."
* On the organization's support of him: "It's been great. Lovie's been great. Everybody I've talked to has been nothing but supportive of me. And it shows ... I mean, their confidence in me helps me
keep my confidence in knowing that I can do the job. It's been great. I don't need a pat on the back after losses. But it doesn't hurt."
* On the absence of Earl Bennett: "It's huge. We haven't been able to find Earl the last couple of weeks, for whatever reason. Teams have been keying on him. They know he's our third-down guy. He's our clutch guy. He's going to make tough catches and find ways to get open. We just got to find ways to keep getting him open and we've got to find ways to get in a position where we can use him."
* On if Barber addressed the team after his mistake: "You know, I think that stuff's overrated. We're professionals here. We all know what it takes to win football games, especially veteran guys as many guys as we have around here. Personally, I had a lot of stuff after the game so I wasn't around him the whole time to know if he said anything to anybody. But those are the type of things ... you could tell he was upset. He didn't need to come say, 'Guys, I messed up.' If I... said, "'Guys I messed up, I missed Marion on that pass. We probably wouldn't be in this position if it wasn't for me. Guys I'm sorry.' Everybody could say that about a play in the game. It just so happened his was late, late in the game and it gets magnified."