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Bears bench Caleb Hanie, Josh McCown will start

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Caleb Hanie is no longer the Bears’ starting quarterback. Unfortunately for Bears fans, that’s not because Jay Cutler is healthy.

Bears coach Lovie Smith has decided to bench Hanie and replace him with Josh McCown.

It’s easy to see why Hanie has been benched: He’s been terrible since taking over for the injured Cutler, and the Bears have gone from looking like the best NFC wild card team to losing every game with Hanie as the starter.

Unfortunately for the Bears, they’ll have to win at Green Bay on Christmas night and then beat the Vikings in Week 17 just to have a chance to make the playoffs, and even then they’ll need plenty of help. So no matter what McCown can do, it’s likely too little, too late.

Sunday against the Packers will be McCown’s first start since he started nine games for the Raiders in 2007.

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69 Responses to “Bears bench Caleb Hanie, Josh McCown will start”
  1. trodriguez89 says: Dec 21, 2011 12:11 PM

    About time.

  2. comeonnowguys says: Dec 21, 2011 12:11 PM

    Doesn’t matter, the season has long since fallen apart. Last year’s run of luck has now been paid for.

    I’m hoping the Bulls game goes into quintuple overtime so there is no reason at all to flip over.

  3. elgaffo says: Dec 21, 2011 12:11 PM

    should be game in hand…hopefully the Pack doesnt mess it up. I dont care what anyone says, having a division rival in the playoffs is NOT good. You dont need examples, its common sense.

  4. clintonportisheadd says: Dec 21, 2011 12:15 PM

    Way too little. Way too late…

  5. mvp43 says: Dec 21, 2011 12:17 PM

    Yes, Hainie has struggled, but at least he’s played. Friggan McCown has strapped on a cup in 4 years…………really, Lovie?

  6. coldlegend says: Dec 21, 2011 12:20 PM

    This guy is turrible.

  7. jutts says: Dec 21, 2011 12:21 PM

    I just can’t understand why? Is Enderle that bad too? Is he another waste of roster space?….. How is the team supposed to have any idea if this kid can play? Good call Jerry Angelo. Please George Mckaskey. Quit being a laughing stock.

  8. agelardi says: Dec 21, 2011 12:21 PM

    When a McCown is your best chance to win, you’re done.

  9. asst2regionalmgr says: Dec 21, 2011 12:21 PM

    Is this an indictment on Lovie and his conservative style or Jerry and the talent pool he made available to the coaching staff? I’d be curious to hear from the experts on this one.

  10. danny136200 says: Dec 21, 2011 12:27 PM

    Should have happened two weeks ago… Bears should have signed a competent QB weeks ago also.

  11. 1standlong says: Dec 21, 2011 12:37 PM

    As crazy as it sounds, Brett Favre or even Jeff Garcia would have been better options weeks ago. Sure, they both are old and possibly more prone to injury, but better options that Hanie or McCown in my opinion. Might have squeeked out a win by now and gave the Bears a chance.

  12. pryor4heisman says: Dec 21, 2011 12:38 PM

    Superbowl BICHES!!

  13. radrntn says: Dec 21, 2011 12:38 PM

    a tad bit late for this

  14. Kya_Tropic_Fan says: Dec 21, 2011 12:40 PM

    Angelo: “Nice job Lovie, that’s 5 in a row, bummer about Cutler, what should we do?”

    Lovie: “We have a strong defense, solid special teams, and a solid back up in Hanie”

    Angelo: “You dont think we should sign Orton, McNabb, Garcia, Jeff George, Steve Young, or Troy Aikman?”

    Lovie: “No, we are good, did you see the 1 half that Hanie played last year against the Pack, surely one good half of football is enough to bank on.”

    Angelo: “If you say so…”

    4 weeks later…

    Angelo: “Are you still convinced McNabb, Garcia, Orton etc couldnt have made enough plays to pull out a game or 2, I mean, anyone but Hanie beats the Broncos 2 weeks ago.”

    Lovie: “We are going to start McCown this week.”

    Angelo: “He still plays, I havent heard his name since 2007.”

    Lovie: “My job is safe though, right?”

  15. geniusesq says: Dec 21, 2011 12:41 PM

    The Bears are to blame for this. They should have paid Matt Forte. Maybe he would have been there to help lead when Cutler got hurt.

  16. edgarh21 says: Dec 21, 2011 12:42 PM

    So much for Lovies Smiths were fine at Quarterback hahah. Time to curries with Lovie as well as That idiot up in Cincinnati.

  17. niubears says: Dec 21, 2011 12:44 PM

    Complete joke.. A month ago this team looked like they would be the only team who could compete with the Pack. Good news.. At least they can keep losing and get better draft picks which will then be blown on an injury-plagued guy

  18. primetime0552 says: Dec 21, 2011 12:44 PM

    Remember when all the Bears fans were saying that Hanie would do just fine because of how he played in the Green Bay game last year, and the Bears would still make the playoffs…..

  19. Gordon says: Dec 21, 2011 12:49 PM

    They wasted 4 years on this guy. If that’s not an indictment o their ability to evaluate & develop players.

  20. emil4423 says: Dec 21, 2011 12:53 PM

    Rock bottom for Hanie…… Thats how you know he sucks McClown has to start

  21. musiccitymiracle says: Dec 21, 2011 12:53 PM

    You gotta feel for great players like Urlacher who are denied a shot at the playoffs thanks to Lovie’s idiotic management of the QB situation. Everybody knew after a couple of Hanie starts that the Bears needed to make a big move. Everybody but Lovie.

  22. commandercornpone says: Dec 21, 2011 12:56 PM

    actually, mccown outplayed warner when they were both in az years ago…

    he is a helluva athlete. but the bears really lost it when they let seattle murder them last week.

  23. rjwh23 says: Dec 21, 2011 1:00 PM

    Actually, McCown has seen action with NFL players more recently than 2007… in a 2010 summer league at a Charlotte YMCA. You might remember Steve Smith breaking his arm in one of the games. Josh will be ready on Christmas.

  24. lrt79 says: Dec 21, 2011 1:06 PM

    primetime0552 says: Dec 21, 2011 12:44 PM

    Remember when all the Bears fans were saying that Hanie would do just fine because of how he played in the Green Bay game last year, and the Bears would still make the playoffs…..
    ———–

    Remember when you should have been aborted? Your mom does.

  25. tampajoey says: Dec 21, 2011 1:10 PM

    99% of backup QBs in the NFL are incompetent.

    What is the use of having Caleb Hanie as a backup QB if he can’t even keep the team competitive when the starter goes down?

  26. jessethegreat says: Dec 21, 2011 1:24 PM

    Sad fall for a divisional opponent. Make no mistakes, the Bears will be back to the playoffs soon even if they don’t make it in this year.

    This Packers fan still respects the Bears much more than I could ever respect the Lions or Vikings. They have a competent knowledgeable fanbase. They have a rich history full of victories. They share one of the best rivalrys in football with the Packers.

  27. rockbottom37 says: Dec 21, 2011 1:33 PM

    maybe Hurd can give the whole team a gram and maybe they can win another game this season… as long as the Bears have Mike martz and Marinelli as their coordinators this team will stay pathetic!!!!

    GO Lions!

  28. thevza says: Dec 21, 2011 1:35 PM

    Remember back in the day during pro wrestling, when a bad guy would get beat up and then just roll out of the ring, regain his composure, and then walk back to the dressing room and get counted out? Seriously, what would happen if the Bears just forfeited the last two games and didn’t show up? Every week is a new serious injury, a new off-field disaster. The smartest move by far would be to just call it off now, for Gods sake, before one of the remaining stars tears an ACL or something in a meaningless game.

  29. orangeflh says: Dec 21, 2011 1:46 PM

    elgaffo says:
    Dec 21, 2011 12:11 PM

    should be game in hand…hopefully the Pack doesnt mess it up. I dont care what anyone says, having a division rival in the playoffs is NOT good. You dont need examples, its common sense.

    “““““““““““““““““““““`

    You’re right on the money there, especially when it comes to the Pack and the Bears. The Bears worry me. They ALWAYS worry me. No matter how messed up things are for ‘em, they’re going to come out and play HARD against the Pack.

  30. nineroutsider says: Dec 21, 2011 1:50 PM

    Maybe this is the way to beat the pack…worked for the cheifs. Go Bears!

  31. comeonnowguys says: Dec 21, 2011 1:51 PM

    Kya_Tropic_Fan says:
    Dec 21, 2011 12:40 PM
    Angelo: “Nice job Lovie, that’s 5 in a row, bummer about Cutler, what should we do?”

    Lovie: “We have a strong defense, solid special teams, and a solid back up in Hanie”

    Angelo: “You dont think we should sign Orton, McNabb, Garcia, Jeff George, Steve Young, or Troy Aikman?”

    Lovie: “No, we are good, did you see the 1 half that Hanie played last year against the Pack, surely one good half of football is enough to bank on.”

    Angelo: “If you say so…”

    4 weeks later…

    Angelo: “Are you still convinced McNabb, Garcia, Orton etc couldnt have made enough plays to pull out a game or 2, I mean, anyone but Hanie beats the Broncos 2 weeks ago.”

    Lovie: “We are going to start McCown this week.”

    Angelo: “He still plays, I havent heard his name since 2007.”

    Lovie: “My job is safe though, right?”

    I bet you thought when you were typing this out that you had event the slightest clue what you were talking about.

    It’s not like the Bears claimed Orton, or McNabb was cut by a bottom-tier and continues to be passed over by every other team in the NFL. And It’s not like every other QB you listed was a complete joke as an idea. Oh wait… that’s all true.

    primetime0552 says: Dec 21, 2011 12:44 PM

    Remember when all the Bears fans were saying that Hanie would do just fine because of how he played in the Green Bay game last year, and the Bears would still make the playoffs…..

    Remember when Peppers (cleanly) destroyed Calvin Johnson and the Bears curbstomped the Lions? I do. Enjoy your default playoff spot and first-round loss. Hopefully your coach won’t cry about his final handshake of the season.

  32. svcfilmguy says: Dec 21, 2011 1:52 PM

    Bears bench terrible QB in favor of mediocre journeyman. I understand in theory why they started Hanie; they were hoping he could show enough to be a long-term backup to Cutler. What I don’t understand is how the staff thought he could do that. He hasn’t been bad. He’s been *atrocious*. How did they not figure that out in practice? How did they not bring in a better option than McCown? What a wreck the Bears season has turned into.

  33. hwatt says: Dec 21, 2011 2:02 PM

    1)The Bears have admitted the season is lost, and just want to see what McCown can do, which as a Bears fan I understand. Hanie started in all the games that mattered.
    2)Last time the Pack faced a Bears qb they had no tape on, it was Hanie and he was lighting them up (although the Pack were so ahead in that NFC champ game it wasn’t like they felt the need to play lights out defense on the kid). This year the Bears pull the trick again, let’s see what happens.

  34. pencepost says: Dec 21, 2011 2:04 PM

    elgaffo says:Dec 21, 2011 12:11 PM

    should be game in hand…hopefully the Pack doesnt mess it up. I dont care what anyone says, having a division rival in the playoffs is NOT good. You dont need examples, its common sense.
    ————-

    Interesting hypothetical situation for the Packers: Would they rather have the Lions or the Bears make the playoffs?

    If the Chargers beat the Lions on Saturday, and if the Packers take it easy on Christmas and the Bears win, it will likely set up a Week 17 in which the Bears could make the playoffs instead of the Lions, if the Bears beat the Vikings and the Packers beat the Lions. Bears would have the tiebreaker of better division record (Bears 4-2, Lions 3-3).

  35. asublimeday says: Dec 21, 2011 2:04 PM

    Shoulda signed Favre

  36. blueintown says: Dec 21, 2011 2:05 PM

    Sounds a lot like McNown. Not a good sign, Bears fans..

  37. nflfollower says: Dec 21, 2011 2:10 PM

    Like Jay Cutler, McCown has a very strong arm and is pretty darn mobile. Unfortunately for the Bears, that is where the comparison ends.

    But hey who knows? Last week a guy who hadn’t started in awhile put together a nice little game against the Packers D.

  38. asublimeday says: Dec 21, 2011 2:13 PM

    Well said Jessethegreat. As a bears fan I feel the same way. Too many egghead fans on both sides are classless, but those of us in the know share a mutual respect between the bears and packers. Looking forward to the return of the rivalry next year.

    Who could respect the lions after what the bears did to them? What a joke.

  39. nflfollower says: Dec 21, 2011 2:15 PM

    Interesting hypothetical situation for the Packers: Would they rather have the Lions or the Bears make the playoffs?

    If the Chargers beat the Lions on Saturday, and if the Packers take it easy on Christmas and the Bears win, it will likely set up a Week 17 in which the Bears could make the playoffs instead of the Lions, if the Bears beat the Vikings and the Packers beat the Lions. Bears would have the tiebreaker of better division record (Bears 4-2, Lions 3-3).

    —-I think it’s a safe bet to say the Pack just wants to lock up homefield advantage through the NFC this week vs. a Bears team starting McCown. I’m sure that’s their ideal situation, rather than needing a win vs. the Lions to avoid a trip to SanFran in the playoffs. Especially after the season they’ve had.

  40. tshirttom says: Dec 21, 2011 2:20 PM

    pencepost says:Dec 21, 2011 2:04 PM

    elgaffo says:Dec 21, 2011 12:11 PM

    should be game in hand…hopefully the Pack doesnt mess it up. I dont care what anyone says, having a division rival in the playoffs is NOT good. You dont need examples, its common sense.
    ————-

    Interesting hypothetical situation for the Packers: Would they rather have the Lions or the Bears make the playoffs?

    If the Chargers beat the Lions on Saturday, and if the Packers take it easy on Christmas and the Bears win, it will likely set up a Week 17 in which the Bears could make the playoffs instead of the Lions, if the Bears beat the Vikings and the Packers beat the Lions. Bears would have the tiebreaker of better division record (Bears 4-2, Lions 3-3).

    Yeah and Santa Claus is coming to town

  41. sfkforever says: Dec 21, 2011 2:23 PM

    If this doesn’t prove why a whole front office should be fired then I do not know what will!!!

  42. pigskinswag says: Dec 21, 2011 2:29 PM

    I guess being more aggresive with Caleb Heinous didn’t work, huh?

  43. shorttracknews says: Dec 21, 2011 2:38 PM

    If we lose Sunday (I mean when we lose) the Bears need to start Enderle and see what they have in him. Minnesota, Cincy, Carolina, Jax all started rookie QB’s this year….at least give him a shot

  44. mialto says: Dec 21, 2011 2:51 PM

    Packers second and third stringers are going to play. Like Austin Powers would say “You stole my mojo!”

  45. Nevis says: Dec 21, 2011 2:54 PM

    Green Bay is going to lose back to back weeks to Orton and McCown and I am going to laugh.

    BTW, I am not a fan of any NFC North team. I am just sick and tired of everyone blowing up the Pack like they are an all-time great team.

    Nope nope nope.

  46. flickaboogie says: Dec 21, 2011 2:58 PM

    I remember when when McCown played for the Lions. He was a good Wide Receiver.

  47. Nevis says: Dec 21, 2011 2:59 PM

    Bears fans need to stop pining over McCown being ineffective and focus on the fact the Bears D has a great chance to make Rodgers’ life hell with their swiss cheese Oline.

    Packers are an Aaron Rodgers-concussion away from being a non-factor.

  48. orangeflh says: Dec 21, 2011 3:08 PM

    Nevis says:
    Dec 21, 2011 2:54 PM

    Green Bay is going to lose back to back weeks to Orton and McCown and I am going to laugh.
    ““““““““““““““““““““`

    Are you going to laugh in the same manner that everyone around you laughs at you whenever you say something this asinine, or will you laugh differently?

  49. gmen1987 says: Dec 21, 2011 3:16 PM

    Some of this has to be placed on Bear fans too. Many of them became big Caleb Haney fangirls after last year’s NFC championship game. Questioned Jay Cutler’s toughness. It’s called Karma.

  50. greenandgoldgirl says: Dec 21, 2011 3:24 PM

    This whole Bears situation is just so sad. I have great respect for the Bears players and enjoy the rivalry with the Packers. No matter what the pundits say it is the best rivalry in the NFL. The Bears always play the Pack hard, it is football the way it’s suppose to be played. Hopefully the Bears will be back to full strength next year so this epic rivalry can continue.

    I have to agree, can’t find an ounce of respect for the Lions or Vikings, but the Bears, solid players, fans who know the game, hope things improve for you guys next season.

  51. willcoop says: Dec 21, 2011 3:26 PM

    Cade McNown, Josh McClown, what difference does it make! We are going to get our asses handed to us. Line in shambles, contract squabbles, quarterback issues, GM misuse. This team went backwards faster than my mustang. Well the good news is this……pitchers and catchers report in about 8 weeks!

  52. starderup says: Dec 21, 2011 3:30 PM

    Yeah, that’s going to work. McCown hasn’t been any good since he left the Cardinals years ago.

  53. purpleisreallypinkyouknow says: Dec 21, 2011 3:30 PM

    shorttracknews says:Dec 21, 2011 2:38 PM

    If we lose Sunday (I mean when we lose) the Bears need to start Enderle and see what they have in him. Minnesota, Cincy, Carolina, Jax all started rookie QB’s this year….at least give him a shot
    __________________________________

    Lovie (and Jerry A) may be fighting for their jobs after this week, if they aren’t already….Enderle doesn’t see the field this year, unless McCown and Hanie go down.

  54. primetime0552 says: Dec 21, 2011 3:36 PM

    comeonnowguys says:Dec 21, 2011 1:51 PM

    Remember when Peppers (cleanly) destroyed Calvin Johnson and the Bears curbstomped the Lions? I do. Enjoy your default playoff spot and first-round loss. Hopefully your coach won’t cry about his final handshake of the season.

    ===========================

    Yeah, I do remember that. Funny how Bears fans forget the beating they took at the hands of the same Lions on Monday night. How is it a default playoff position? The Lions could finish the season with 10 or 11 wins. The Lions also would have had the tie breaker over the Bears if they had identical records….

  55. svcfilmguy says: Dec 21, 2011 3:44 PM

    “Packers are an Aaron Rodgers-concussion away from being a non-factor.”

    Yeah…that can be said about any team looking to make it in the playoffs. What would the Saints be without Brees? I’m not understanding what you’re getting at.

  56. edavidberg says: Dec 21, 2011 3:55 PM

    1) Enderle is terrible, probably worse than Hanie.

    2) Angelo was on notice last year we needed a better backup but again he ignored the position. (Not that we ever should have been in that position, everyone knows you need a backup that can win a game or two if your starter goes down.)

    3) It’s a shame that turd Marion Barber single-handedly lost the Denver game because just that win could have helped our playoff chances immensely. Not to mention the moron lined up improperly taking a TD off the board against KC changing the tenor of that game. At least with Caleb Hanie he is completely inadequate for the job he is asked to perform. Barber is just an idiot who cares more about getting 100 yards than winning a game.

  57. stavreafavre says: Dec 21, 2011 3:56 PM

    Apart from the game being on the road, playing against GB isn’t the worst scenario in the world for a guy coming off the shelf. Packers’ D has made an awful lot of QBs look like Pro Bowlers. Not much pass rush and generally poor coverage. They do get interceptions, but it wouldn’t surprise me for McCown to have a pretty good evening.
    Nevis, here’s a couple more bombshells you can drop on the guys at the local watering hole: New Orleans is a Drew Brees concussion away from being a non-factor. And New England is a Tom Brady concussion away from being a non-factor. Go get ‘em, Tiger!

  58. Nevis says: Dec 21, 2011 4:09 PM

    orangeflh says:
    Dec 21, 2011 3:08 PM

    Are you going to laugh in the same manner that everyone around you laughs at you whenever you say something this asinine, or will you laugh differently?

    ————————

    Oh that’s right, because the Chiefs didn’t just beat them with a QB signed 2 weeks before in his first start.

    I guess the Chiefs must have missed the “we can’t beat them they are too good” memo.

    Bears could do the same, especially as a division rival.

  59. comeonnowguys says: Dec 21, 2011 4:38 PM

    primetime0552 says:
    Dec 21, 2011 3:36 PM
    comeonnowguys says:Dec 21, 2011 1:51 PM

    Remember when Peppers (cleanly) destroyed Calvin Johnson and the Bears curbstomped the Lions? I do. Enjoy your default playoff spot and first-round loss. Hopefully your coach won’t cry about his final handshake of the season.

    ===========================

    Yeah, I do remember that. Funny how Bears fans forget the beating they took at the hands of the same Lions on Monday night. How is it a default playoff position? The Lions could finish the season with 10 or 11 wins. The Lions also would have had the tie breaker over the Bears if they had identical records….

    ——————————–

    I do. The Bears were in a stretch of playing terrible football (well, I guess that’s relative with Caleb Heinous, lol) and the game was still much closer deeper into the game.

    The rest… nevermind, it’s all woulda-coulda-shoulda. If you can’t see that the Cutler injury all but guaranteed Detroit a playoff spot, then I don’t know what to tell you.

  60. pigskinswag says: Dec 21, 2011 4:50 PM

    Luke & Josh McCown…when it comes to quarterbacking families, are they the Anti-Manning?

  61. gb4mn0 says: Dec 21, 2011 5:09 PM

    jessethegreat: I’m in agreement. As much as I hate seeing the Pack lose to the Bears I still have a respect and admiration for them. They are indisputably one of the true foundational significant franchises of this game we all love. It’s always had a different feel about it when the Pack & Bears play vs when the Champs play the 3rd rate, wannabe relevant bottom feeders in MN.

  62. juststeel says: Dec 21, 2011 5:21 PM

    Heads should roll for the poor decision to start a quarterback who has no business being in the NFL.

  63. 2difshoe says: Dec 21, 2011 5:36 PM

    Strange how Cutler’s injury ends Caleb Hanie’s carreer !

  64. joecb91 says: Dec 21, 2011 6:05 PM

    At least he will always have the week 17 game where he knocked the Vikings out of the playoffs in 2003.

  65. Nevis says: Dec 21, 2011 6:07 PM

    svcfilmguy says:
    Dec 21, 2011 3:44 PM
    “Packers are an Aaron Rodgers-concussion away from being a non-factor.”

    Yeah…that can be said about any team looking to make it in the playoffs. What would the Saints be without Brees? I’m not understanding what you’re getting at.

    —————————

    Of course it’s a risk for every team, but are the Packers not starting 2-3 new Olineman this week because of injuries?

    So the “point” is that GB’s risk factors just shot through the roof and that would cripple their run.

    So while losing a starting QB hurts any team, Rodgers means even more to his team than most, not unlike a Peyton Manning.

  66. granadafan says: Dec 21, 2011 6:52 PM

    This is the same Bears team that lost to Tim Friggin Tebow. Bears fans have no room for any crowing.

  67. dd393 says: Dec 21, 2011 7:41 PM

    Wasn’t Steve Fuller available?

  68. sodapopgrizzly says: Dec 22, 2011 7:19 AM

    From a different perspective; is this an indicator that Martz will be back with the Bears next year? Since both Enderle and McCown were selected for the Martz offense, why bother looking at either one of them unless Martz is returning for 2012?

  69. jutts says: Dec 22, 2011 10:55 AM

    What did Hanie major in at college? I think he will be using his degree to get a real job…

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