The Chicago Bears went out and got Todd Collins a couple weeks before last season started, in part, because Mike Martz didn’t believe in Caleb Hanie as a backup to Jay Cutler.
Collins bombed in a Week 5 start at Carolina when a concussion sidelined Cutler, and then was yanked after a quarter of action in an NFC title game loss to the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field. It was Hanie who nearly rallied the Bears against the Packers.
The third-year undrafted free agent from Colorado State completed 13 of 20 passes for 153 yards, directing two touchdown drives in the fourth quarter of the 21-14 loss, including one that ended on a 35-yard pass to Earl Bennett. Of course, Hanie was picked off twice and Packers defensive tackle B.J. Raji returned one for a touchdown.
Is Hanie the unquestioned backup now?
“I don't know. We will see,” Martz told Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune. “We don't have to worry about any of that right now.
“He's fine. He just needs to get more time out there. That's it.”
The Bears went with only two quarterbacks on their 53-man roster in 2009. Entering the offseason, they’ll have three. Collins comes out of contract and the club signed Matt Gutierrez to a reserve/futures deal.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune