I planned on hitting the quarterback position towards the end of my series, and the entire post would have been along the lines of, 'Cutler-1, Hanie-2, Enderle-3, move on nothing to see here', but with the recent flip flop of practice reps by Caleb Hanie and rookie Nathan Enderle, there's a buzz around the Bears fandom. Even if the rep switcheroo was only for 1 practice. After the jump I'll get into that #2 battle, but first here's my quick thought on Jay Cutler. He'll have the finest season of his career. Book it.
I'm not reading that much into the repetition flip flop. Mike Martz does these kids of things. He likes to push buttons, he likes to hand a player some adversity and sit back to watch it unfold. Would Hanie gripe and complain to the media or his agent? Would he sit and pout on the sidelines? Would he continue to be a good teammate? Maybe Martz dosen't like Hanie, but I don't think he'll let his personal feelings get in the way of naming the #2 QB. His gigantic ego would take a hit if Enderle were the backup, saw some game action and failed.
Things like last seasons Todd Collins experience happens all around football. Coaches trust their veterans sometimes to a fault. He performed good in practice, he's been effective throughout his career, so Martz gave him the benefit of the doubt. But in the biggest game of the year the Bears didn't mess around with the vet, they saw Collins take just a handful of snaps in the NFC Title game before putting in Hanie. It may have took Martz longer to see that his guy was done and that the game has passed him by, but Todd Collins is no longer the Bears problem.
I have no issue with if Martz wants to send a message to Hanie for his performance against the Bills, and at the same time reward Enderle for his. Backup quarterbacks move around a lot in the NFL. It's just the nature of the position. Their extreme confidence in themselves has them always looking for that starting opportunity. This is more than likely Hanie's last season backing up Cutler. He signed his tender for 2011, and I don't see him accepting a role as #2 in 2012. Enderle is signed through 2014. So it is what it is.
I'd be remiss if I failed to mention rookie QB Trevor Vittatoe. There, I mentioned him. He's a practice squad candidate.
If by some chance the Bears do decide to go with a veteran QB, I think it'll be Hanie that is the odd man out. No way the Bears expose Enderle to the waiver wire and take a chance that their draft choice is scooped up. Their hand was forced last year in losing Dan LeFevour, and they won't allow a kid they perceive as the future walk away again. But I don't think they'll bring anyone in unless someone is hurt.