Jay Cutler is out with a fractured right thumb, and Caleb Hanie is now the Bears’ starting quarterback. So how does that change the offense?
Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher noted that Hanie is a good runner and suggested that Chicago might want to follow the lead of the Denver Broncos with Tim Tebow.
“He’s going to be able to move around in the pocket a little bit, maybe a little Tebow offense,” Urlacher told Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.
Bears coach Lovie Smith, however, said he’s expecting Hanie to run the same Mike Martz offense that Cutler has been running.
“It’s not like we’re going to start running a different offense with Caleb,” Smith said at his press conference today. “We’re going to run our offense with Caleb at the helm and we’re going to win football games that way.”
Smith said he anticipates signing a veteran quarterback as a backup, but that he’s confident in Hanie and in the rest of the team stepping up in Cutler’s absence.
“We’re going to rely on our running game a little bit more — and we’ve been relying on it quite a bit,” Smith said. “We have a great defense and special teams. You know how we win football games around here.”
Although the early reports indicated that Cutler would miss 6-8 weeks, Smith sounded more optimistic than that, saying that Cutler should return during the regular season. Until then, Smith said Cutler’s contribution will be helping Hanie.
“It’ll be coach Cutler for a while,” Smith said. “Whenever there’s an injured player, a veteran, I expect him to move into that coaching role for a while.”
And coach Cutler will be showing Hanie how to play like Cutler, not how to play like Tebow.