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Caleb Hanie calls No. 3 status “a touchy subject”

NFC Championship Football AP

The Jay Cutler controversy that has raged for the last week and a half has largely overshadowed the fact that Bears coach Lovie Smith made a huge mistake in declaring Todd Collins the No. 2 quarterback and Caleb Hanie the No. 3 quarterback for the NFC Championship Game.

When Cutler left the game against the Packers, Collins played horribly — just as he had in the regular season. When Hanie replaced Collins, he played well enough to spark the Bears and make the game interesting. So why was Collins ahead of Hanie on the depth chart, when Hanie had been ahead of Collins late in the regular season?

It’s a touchy subject to answer,” Hanie told David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune. “I was told [the demotion to No. 3] happened in practice during the [off] week. Not that I did bad but that Todd maybe ran things more efficiently. I think the experience factor had a lot to do with it.”

Hanie acknowledges that he was angry when he found out he was the No. 3 quarterback.

“I was obviously mad but you don’t let that alter the way you go about your business,” Hanie said.

Bears fans should be mad, too: The Bears’ coaching staff dropped the ball by having Collins ahead of Hanie in the biggest game of the year.

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42 Responses to “Caleb Hanie calls No. 3 status “a touchy subject””
  1. mikehuntsmellztu says: Feb 3, 2011 8:00 AM

    1st

  2. clusterpuck says: Feb 3, 2011 8:04 AM

    Let’s face it…the Bears werent winning that game with whoever was at QB.

  3. lbpackfan says: Feb 3, 2011 8:06 AM

    He played well…but also threw 2 interceptions…one of them housed by big Raji…ended up being game winning points for Packers. So, 2 horrible performances by Cutler and Todd and a so-so game from Hanie…

  4. skoobyfl says: Feb 3, 2011 8:15 AM

    Boo hoo. If you were that good, you would of been starting already. Listening to these guys whine about their current standings means that is exactly where they will stay.

    You want to start ? Play your heart out & study at every level, then you might have a chance. Nothing is a given in this world, except that you can’t get a coke at Pizza Hut.

  5. dgforreal says: Feb 3, 2011 8:19 AM

    Hopefully his NFCCG performance opens up an opportunity for the this guy somewhere. It was exciting to watch him almost snatch the Bears from the jaws of defeat.

  6. trimgod69 says: Feb 3, 2011 8:20 AM

    maybe Hanie shoulda been ahead of Cutler on the depth chart.

  7. thagawdshow says: Feb 3, 2011 8:24 AM

    Blah blah blah… complete non-story. Anyone who thought the Bears had a chance to win this game needs their head examined.

  8. play4blood says: Feb 3, 2011 8:29 AM

    HanieGate: At least it’s not another Favre article.

  9. chapnastier says: Feb 3, 2011 8:34 AM

    Hanie didn’t do all that bad either. Maybe he could be given a look in a QB needy town.

  10. alewatcher says: Feb 3, 2011 8:34 AM

    It really underscores the fact that the Bears still don’t value, nor understand, the QB position in today’s NFL.

  11. hodag54501 says: Feb 3, 2011 8:35 AM

    And hindsight is 20-20, no?

    If Caleb was so good, why couldn’t he beat Collins out for the number 2 spot in the 20+ weeks of exhibition and regular season play?
    Also, check out the story today about the coaching staff telling Cutler he wouldn’t play in the second half of the Championship game, but he took a painkiller and went out.
    I’m a Packers fan, so all of this is really funny to me, but all you new media types dropped the ball on the QB situation in Chicago. Maybe not so fast to judge?
    Looks like the “fans” have adopted the loser’s mentality in Chicago: the backup QB is always the fan favorite…until he’s not.

  12. xxwhodatxx says: Feb 3, 2011 8:35 AM

    Collins looked and played like he’d never seen a football before.

  13. dfeltz says: Feb 3, 2011 8:37 AM

    you’re whipping a dead horse here. Yes, Martz opened up the offense because, why not, 3rd string is in. Don’t forget, if Hanie doesn’t throw that pick 6, it could be tied, but he did throw it.

  14. ohenry78 says: Feb 3, 2011 8:39 AM

    I think Bears fans should just be mad that the Bears Still Suck.

  15. blackqbwhiterb says: Feb 3, 2011 8:46 AM

    Don’t feel bad, Caleb. 1) It wasn’t going to change the outcome of that game, and 2) It won’t happen again, I guarantee you.

  16. myvickinabox14 says: Feb 3, 2011 8:48 AM

    The double fist clench throw down with his O-face in the picture relates well with this story. I like it

  17. annnann says: Feb 3, 2011 8:56 AM

    Caleb Hanie could be starting somewhere. In one of the biggest games, he really stepped up and played great!

  18. jc1958coo says: Feb 3, 2011 8:57 AM

    how is your knee? ok now your no.1 !!

  19. louisvillebear says: Feb 3, 2011 8:58 AM

    I like our coaching staff, but every Bear fan knew Hanie should stayed at No. 2. This is just one example of the coaching staff elevating one player over another because of PRACTICE. Look at how they perform on the field during the games. Over the past several years, we have better receivers sitting on the bench because they don’t practice well. If they are not putting the work in, fine, but just because another player looks good in practice doesn’t make him better.

    Hanie has always showed great feet, a good arm, and good decision making during games. Most of that work has been in preseason, but he showed it during the real games this year.

    I hope we resign the kid, because I think he has a future. I don’t know if we have the right QB coach to help the development process, but we need to retain our good young talent.

  20. drgfri says: Feb 3, 2011 9:02 AM

    It’s not being #3 that is so annoying, per say. It’s who the #1 and #2 guys are ahead of him. Oh, and Rex Ryan loves the feet you know……..

  21. oldschoolfootball says: Feb 3, 2011 9:24 AM

    Hanie appeared to be the only QB on the Bears roster that had a spark of life. Cutlers demeanor from the start of that game appeared to me like he was down and out. He looked as though he wanted to be someplace else. Better luck next year Bears.

    GO PACK GO!

  22. blackqbwhiterb says: Feb 3, 2011 9:26 AM

    DAn Snyder called…he said he’s going to offer Chicago 3 1st round picks and $90 mil to Hanie over 4 years…..If he doesn’t sign Farve first

  23. ninjapleazee says: Feb 3, 2011 9:28 AM

    one thing for sure about this article is that all the packers fans are a bunch of idiots… you guys mad that a 3rd string QB shredded your mighty defense in ONE quarter?

  24. calloustongue says: Feb 3, 2011 9:37 AM

    Only a Bears fan could describe their QB getting a few garbage yards against a prevent mode Packer squad, while throwing 2 INT’s as “shredding.”

    Get a clue man. Hanie is just another INT machine in the making. At least he gets to learn from the best in the business. How do you miss a 350lb lineman sitting right in a passing lane??

  25. JimmySmith says: Feb 3, 2011 9:47 AM

    Upon further review, the Bears still suck

  26. ch0rn says: Feb 3, 2011 9:55 AM

    Rodgers only had a QB rating in the 30s after the first drive of the game, and also threw as many INTs as Hanie. People act like this game was a blow out. The Bears had the ball on the 30 yard line with a minute left. Not saying they should have won, but let’s not make it seem like the Packers won by 30 points.

  27. 4dabears says: Feb 3, 2011 10:27 AM

    Dropping the ball is everyday business for this coaching staff.

  28. pervyharvin says: Feb 3, 2011 10:37 AM

    You Packer fans are just who we think you are….tools.

    You saying that Hanie scored junk points and Bears had no chance are living in a barrel of Limburger and we smell your stench. You guys should be happy for you squeaked out a victory that needed 2 pics from a guy that rides the pine. Was close to going to OT. Steelers are going to slap you back to reality and we will all be here waiting. Remember, just like you tell Viking fans, losing the SB means you are nothing but a LOSER!

  29. swagsn says: Feb 3, 2011 10:42 AM

    Honestly, this is a Bears team that overacheived like crazy this year. Cutler had a phenomenal FIRST YEAR in the Martz offense, and I think Martz actually showed he can still coach by fixing the O-line halfway through the season.

    I hate the Bears, but people should stop ripping on them for their QB getting hurt in the NFC finals… injuries happen, be happy they took such a positive step forward as an offense.

  30. newreality1 says: Feb 3, 2011 10:46 AM

    I can tell you there wasnt a person in wisconsin that wasnt out of there mind happy when collins came in. At that point we all knew it was over. Hanie made a game of it and the kid has heart. I dont know what the bears coaching staff was thinking but up north were sure were happy with there decision. See you next year boys!

  31. Pacific NW Mark says: Feb 3, 2011 10:47 AM

    It is a touchy subject, because had Hanie replaced Cutler initially, instead of after Collins’ disastrous series, the game may have taken a different turn. The only certain thing we know is we’ll never know for certain.

    Hanie is a far better QB than Collins, whose presence on the playoff roster at all is a complete mystery – Collins threw 10 completions and five interceptions all season, for a QB rating somewhere south of his shoe size.

    Clearly the Packer fans and national media want to believe Green Bay’s ascendancy was divinely pre-ordained, but the reality is much less clear: after the first few series the Bears defense had stopped the Packers cold. If Cutler doesn’t go down, if Hanie had entered the game earlier, if that fat SOB Raji is a step slower and gets stripped while simultaneously waddling and hot dogging into the end zone, does the game end differently?

    Perhaps and perhaps not The game was far closer than the final score would indicate. And it’s going to be a touchy subject at least until next season, if not beyond.

  32. firejerry says: Feb 3, 2011 12:08 PM

    CHICAGO—–“Where Quarterbacks go to die”.

  33. metalhead65 says: Feb 3, 2011 12:26 PM

    nice to see there are some intellegent cheeseheads out there,to bad there are not more. the bears had a great season and won the division on their own and not because of injuries or whatever excuses you want to throw out. if that’s the case then the bears would have beaten you if cutler had not been injured. the only reason you won that game is because hanie threw those picks and you know it! maybe if the coaches had let him play during the season he would have been better prepared for what the packers threw at him. and your greatest qb ever did not do squat after the first 2 series and also threw 2 picks. and even though he had not played all year hanie still almost beat you so get over yourselves. but the bottom line is the packers won. that being said being a bears fan there is no way in hell I will ever root for you to win just as you would never cheer for the bears. GO STEELERS!

  34. urworstnitemare58 says: Feb 3, 2011 12:49 PM

    I’m not sure what game some of you watched? I think if Hanie started that game they would be playing the Burg on Sunday.
    The Bears out played Greenbay the second half on both sides of the ball. Some of you posters must have a different network as it sounds like you were watching a whole different game than the rest of the country.

  35. shadowgm1 says: Feb 3, 2011 1:25 PM

    Enough of the “we beat you and we belong there” garbage. Hanie led a revolt in the fourth, but on the back of 34 all purpose yards by Forte (26 run and 8 receiving) and is getting a lot of credit for completing ONE pass (32 yards to Knox, 19 of which was RAC). That was basically the one drive he got right. The guy found holes in the conservative prevent zone, of which receivers made hay with tons of RAC yardage (and helped by Nick Collins keeping his brain on Mars for the second half, giving up three or four big plays, two of which were Knox setting up the TD and Knox running for the second TD). Thank Nick Collins that you were ever in it at all, and Hanie better send a care package when he gets a lucrative deal out of this performance, as he surely will. Scott Mitchell, Part II – you heard it here.

    Here’s the hidden statistics no one talks about: Driver catches Briggs “shoe kick pick” and they score at the end of the first half (no doubt they would have – of 7 drives in the first half, the Packers drove deep in Chicago territory or scored a TD five times – that’s a 71% success rate). This makes it 17-0 or 21-0 at half, depending on your preference. In the second, if Rodgers scrambles while down on the 6 yard line as opposed to throwing it directly to Urlacher, there’s another TD drive, extending the lead to 24-0 or 28-0 (again, your preference). This is before Todd Collins or Hero Caleb Hanie even sets foot out there, which play-call wise is a world away from being down only 14. Yadda yadda yadda, he leads the TD drive and makes it 24 or 28-7. You will never convince me that they would have kept running (which made the play action successful in Hanie’s initial drive) and Hanie would have gotten an extra TD in the time Collins was in. Raji’s pick six makes it 31 or 35-7, and I’ll spot the second TD again, because Collins was not focused on the task at hand. Essentially the Bears were beat by at least 24, but a lack of focus by WR’s, the QB and especially SS Collins kept this as close as it was. It was a more dominant win than it appeared.

    Now they face a similar team in Pittsburgh, with the #1 defense in the league (no doubt padded by games against the Bills, Raiders, Panthers and two apiece by the Bengals and Browns). They made the Super Bowl almost by default, being thouroughly outplayed by the Ravens before a colossal Baltimore internal collapse with three turnovers in the third quarter. We wouldn’t even be talking about the Steelers if the Jets hadn’t knocked off the Pats, either. Look at games the Steelers faced offenses similar to Green Bay’s – New Orleans and New England – both losses. I expect Collins to shut out Wallace, which is a huge component of the Steeler attack, especially when the opposing offense is racking up yardage and points.

    I have a feeling that, come Monday morning, there will be a lot of fans wondering how different the game would have gone WITH their big-game savior Santonio Holmes.

  36. CKL says: Feb 3, 2011 3:20 PM

    calloustongue says: Feb 3, 2011 9:37 AM

    Only a Bears fan could describe their QB getting a few garbage yards against a prevent mode Packer squad, while throwing 2 INT’s as “shredding.”

    Get a clue man. Hanie is just another INT machine in the making. At least he gets to learn from the best in the business. How do you miss a 350lb lineman sitting right in a passing lane??
    __________________________________
    How ’bout if I rip your young backup QB instead…the one who “blew” that last drive against my team (the Pats) and “cost” them a chance to win? The truth is BOTH players (Flynn & Hanie)made some mistakes that young QBs (and old ones…see McNabb, Donovan) make but BOTH guys showed promise and did a lot of good things too. I was impressed with both guys and hope they each get a chance to show their promise as starters somewhere since it likely won’t be with their current teams.

    Why act like a bitter fan who criticizes a good effort from a young player based on past rivalry and not reality?

  37. terrellblowens says: Feb 3, 2011 4:10 PM

    The Bears’ coaches made the right choice going into the game. I would take experience every time in a game of that magnitude, unless the guy way an absolutely pathetic excuse for a QB. And we are talking about a backup QB here. Caleb Hanie wasn’t exactly a great QB, so the decision is not as bad as you have exaggerated it to be, MDS. Collins was not too bad a few seasons ago as the Redskins’ backup. Can’t blame the Bears for that decision

  38. shadowgm1 says: Feb 3, 2011 7:42 PM

    metalhead65 says:
    Feb 3, 2011 12:26 PM
    the bears had a great season and won the division on their own and not because of injuries or whatever excuses you want to throw out. if that’s the case then the bears would have beaten you if cutler had not been injured. the only reason you won that game is because hanie threw those picks and you know it! maybe if the coaches had let him play during the season he would have been better prepared for what the packers threw at him. and your greatest qb ever did not do squat after the first 2 series and also threw 2 picks. and even though he had not played all year hanie still almost beat you so get over yourselves. but the bottom line is the packers won.

    —————————————————-

    Which statement do I start with? Let’s take…Cutler first. Cutler leaving was the best thing production-wise that happened to the Bears for the entire game. Mike Martz’s system is based on timing, which is helpful while masking a QB’s accuracy issues, which Cutler has struggled with since coming into the league. You Bears fans honestly never saw this coming, watching Cutler outthrow a horrid Seahawks defense in the most masterfully inaccurate performance since the days of Randall Cunningham in Minnesota? Or that the very defense you laud as the top of the league crumbled late with end of the road Hasselbeck throwing all over you? Receiver running under the ball in the passing game got you as far as it did, it was going to be exposed at some point.

    Green Bay was disrupting the route timing all day with bumping WRs at the line in zones and resulting in Cutler wildly overthrowing the ball deep. When they backed off and played speed vs. speed in man coverage, they picked him off (when he wasn’t confused by the blitz or the coverage.
    As I said above, Hanie got a lot of credit for doing more than Collins and Cutler, yet it wasn’t much at all. Big game performances always over-amplify expectations, which is what you have here. He had time with a three man rush to pick apart the prevent coverage on two of five drives, get over it.

    Rodgers only big mistake was throwing a pick to Urlacher down on the six yard line (and, coincidentally the sixth of eight consecutive drives almost to the door of this “vaunted” Bears defense.

    Pacific NW Mark says:
    Feb 3, 2011 10:47 AM
    It is a touchy subject, because had Hanie replaced Cutler initially, instead of after Collins’ disastrous series, the game may have taken a different turn. The only certain thing we know is we’ll never know for certain.

    Hanie is a far better QB than Collins, whose presence on the playoff roster at all is a complete mystery – Collins threw 10 completions and five interceptions all season, for a QB rating somewhere south of his shoe size.

    Clearly the Packer fans and national media want to believe Green Bay’s ascendancy was divinely pre-ordained, but the reality is much less clear: after the first few series the Bears defense had stopped the Packers cold. If Cutler doesn’t go down, if Hanie had entered the game earlier, if that fat SOB Raji is a step slower and gets stripped while simultaneously waddling and hot dogging into the end zone, does the game end differently?

    Perhaps and perhaps not The game was far closer than the final score would indicate. And it’s going to be a touchy subject at least until next season, if not beyond.

    —————————————————-

    Again, sore loser territory. The Bears (as pointed out in my earlier post above) were thouroughly outplayed. The score is lipstick on a boar. Green Bay did not need to press in the second half and clearly let up on the gas until Hanie scored in the early fourth.

  39. greatgallopingghost says: Feb 3, 2011 7:54 PM

    OK, the decision to keep Collins at #2 could not have been based on performance. He took the field last year when Cutler was out and totally stank up the place. This decision was purely arbitrary and one for which the coaching staff needs to take the hit.
    Hanie has had very limited action during pre-season (I know, I watched every game) and, according to other Bears team members (most notable being Urlacher and Olsen), hasn’t even been getting much practice time. So, he came into the game cold.
    This next statement is in no way meant to slam Cutler but the statistics are fairly one sided. Cutler has always struggled against Green Bay and why not, they are a great team. But he could only muster 80 passing yards and no TD’s while playing over half the game (injury aside). Hanie played for a little less than 17 minutes and passed for over 150 yards with two touchdown drives. And this into a Green Bay double coverage prevent defense. Despite two interceptions thrown he almost engineered a comeback. I hope the Bears find a way to keep and play Hanie more in the future.

  40. hodag54501 says: Feb 3, 2011 8:51 PM

    It’s sooooooooo nice to see Pervy having a problem watching a team that beat them twice this year playing in the Super Bowl.

    They have:
    1) A head coach who was the underling of the guy who hired him who was then fired.
    2)A QB who unretired who then played like he was just plain tired.(and chased by lawsuits)
    3)A veteran team with no heart, most of whom will be playing elsewhere next season.
    4)No starting QB on the horizon. Best they can do is pick up someone else’s castoff(AGAIN).
    5)A stadium with a roof that wants to act like it has no roof. So they go play in a stadium with no roof, then show they can’t play in a stadium with no roof.

    I could go on, but kicking the worst bunch of losers in the league(the pride of Minnesota) is too easy.
    I always admired Bud Grant. Sorry he has to see that rotten barrel of yard waste the LA Vikings have become.

  41. urworstnitemare58 says: Feb 4, 2011 1:16 PM

    shadowgm1,
    You better put the crack pipe down!
    I don’t even know how anyone could come up with your fairyland breakdown. Also maybe the Ravens never would have been in that game if not for the Steelers miscues in the first half.
    So get off your cloud as it seems you can’t tell fact from fiction with all that smoke from your crackpipe hazing your vision.

  42. newreality1 says: Feb 4, 2011 1:54 PM

    Hey metal head, I love what you said. If dem bears were in the big game I wouldnt either. Classy dude , liked your comment a lot. But ,buddy , why have your heart broken twice in 2weeks? See you guys next year. GO PACK GO

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