Bears not interested in signing another quarterback

The Bears know they need to get better play from their quarterback position. But they’re not going to send a limo into Chicago to pick up Donovan McNabb or a private jet to Mississippi for Brett Favre.

Coach Lovie Smith believes that the solution instead involves continuing to develop Caleb Hanie, rookie Nathan Enderle and recent pick-up Josh McCown while Jay Cutler recovers from thumb surgery.

Caleb Hanie looks for a receiver during Sunday’s 10-3 loss to the Chiefs at Soldier Field.

“We have our quarterbacks here now,” Smith said. “We have three of them here now and another one is rehabbing who will come back hopefully this year. Those are our quarterbacks.

“We’re going to make improvements with our group like all positions. We’re not looking on the outside. We’re not having a quarterback tryout or anything like that. These are our guys and we’re all going to get better.”

Although Hanie struggled in Sunday’s 10-3 loss to the Chiefs, the Bears believe that he gives them a better chance to win than a street free agent who would need several weeks to learn Mike Martz’s high-volume offense.

In his second NFL start, Hanie completed just 11 of 24 passes for 133 yards with three interceptions and a 23.8 passer rating against the Chiefs. But he had one touchdown pass nullified by a penalty and a second potential score turn into an interception after his perfect pass squirted through Roy Williams’ hands.

“Caleb’s our quarterback and he, like the rest of our team, didn’t play well yesterday,” Smith said. “But give us a little bit of time. There’s this week. Hopefully we’ll see some improvements this week for our football team.”

Rumor mill: Smith vehemently denied a report that surfaced over the weekend indicating that Martz would not return next season to coordinate the Bears offense.

“If there’s a change that will be made, I’ll be making it and I definitely haven’t discussed that with anyone,” Smith said. “I’m sure there are a lot of things out there that people make up. That has to be made up because nothing like that came from me. It should definitely stop right there.”

Super sub: Smith praised Craig Steltz for his performance in Sunday’s game. Filling in at strong safety after Major Wright exited with a sprained shoulder in the second quarter, Steltz recorded a team-leading and career-high 10 tackles while also forcing a fumble with a big hit.

“I was very pleased with what Craig came in and did,” Smith said. “But that’s how he normally plays when we ask him to come in. He’ll come in, he’ll be steady, he’ll be where he’s supposed to be always and you know what type of play you’re getting from him. We were very pleased with what he did.”

Backup plan: McCown is making progress, but he could be inactive Sunday in Denver for the third straight game since signing with the Bears Nov. 23.

“Nathan Enderle is our backup quarterback right now,” Smith said. “We’ll see how the week goes. I can’t look that far into the future. Josh is doing everything we’re asking him to do and he is making progress, but our focus is somewhere else right now.

“It’s hard to come in off the street. Josh is listed as our third quarterback, and the third quarterback is not getting a lot of reps. But what we’re asking him to do, I’ve been pleased with that. He’s been taking a lot of the ‘look’ squad reps right now. He’s a veteran, but hopefully we won’t get to our third quarterback.”


2 Responses to “Bears not interested in signing another quarterback”

  1. Sandy Says:

    Great review! You actually overviewed some interesting news in this post. I came across it by using Google and I’ve got to admit that I already subscribed to the RSS, will be following you on my iphone 🙂

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