How do you go from being hailed as a national treasure after a strong "spirited" effort in a championship game, to an anxiety filled, and confident deficient QB who throws 6 pics and a QB rating of less than 50% in two games (reminiscent to the poor play of ex-Bear QB Rex Grossman). To many this seems like a huge contradiction, and an enigma that is nothing short of dichotomy for a mad-man.
To me however, the answer is simple; some guys are great in a relief situation, while others are built to be starters. Last year Caleb Hanie came into a mop-up situation in a championship game against a division rival. Hanie brought energy and enthusiasm into the game that injected life into a near dead offense for the Bears, and nearly pulled off a miracle.
There have been some back-ups that actually succeeded in their come-from-behind efforts, but in the end the reality was clear, that they were great in relief, but couldn't get it done in the leading role. This is definitely true of Caleb Hanie, despite the fact that I was one who believed in him like many of you. Yes, we drank the Kool-Aid, and now we're left with an upset gut.
In truth, Caleb Hanie had every reason to succeed, and every confidence of the coaches, players, as well as the fans. However the end result was 2 losses to teams we could beaten any day of the week. The Raiders beat us with a QB who had no training camp, no pre-season, and had not put on pads until a month ago. KC beat us with a 3rd string QB who's only TD pass was came on a Hail-Mary pass that actually got slapped into his receivers hands by one of our guys.
Defensively the Bears did all that could be done especially in the last game against the Chiefs, but Hanie couldn't put up nothing more than 3 points. On the other hand, Hanie did not get any help from Martz play calling (which included more 7 to 10 step drop-back, and less 3 step drops), and of course Roy Williams whose ball juggling act led to another interception, and a blown TD. Honestly we can thank Martz for that too because he lobbied for Williams to be signed in the same manner as his campaign for Todd Collins last year.
I also read a thought from a Bear Fan that summoned it up very nicely as far as Lovie Smith is concerned:
"Rex is our QB...Rex is our..., Caleb is our QB...Caleb is our... Lovie, it's one thing to be loyal and then it comes to a point where digging your heals in and becoming stubborn and foolish. A Coach is supposed to do whatever is best for the goals of the team and it's successful outcome". email@example.com
All I can say to that is "Right-On Michelle". It appears that the "Man-From-Glad" shows us once again that he is the quintessential
players coach. The reality in this situation is knowing how to make the tough decisions when the odds are against you. Look at Andy Reid in Philly, instead of calling things as we all saw it (regarding the apathy and dis-engaged behavior of DeSean Jackson) Reid states the complete opposite by referring to Jackson as being "all-in", Philly is now 4-8.
There's big difference between standing up for your guy, and saying anything to keep from "rocking-the-boat". Real leaders know when it's time to rock-the-boat, and stand for what is good for the team and not the one... Last Sunday we should have seen a much better effort from Hanie after his slow start in Oakland in the first half of that game. In the second half , Hanie played much better against a better team than KC. So why did Hanie tank at home, against one of the worst teams in the NFL?
The answer to me (again) is simple, Hanie doesn't have the juice to carry this team to the post-season. Now with Matt Forte gone, what chance do really have? Who can we depend on (other than our defense) to step-up??? Here's the equation:
Lovie doesn't want to hurt his QB or his lackluster OC's feelings + No Matt Forte + Roy Williams drops that become turn-overs + The defense on the field too long in games + No one left to back-up Hanie, but a rookie, and retired walk-on in McCown = Can't get to the post season without help from other teams, and most likely finish 9-7.