As a diehard, half-glass-full fan, I put my faith in Caleb Hanie. I want the guy to succeed. This past offseason, he signed a one year extension because he probably figured that he would get his chance to play after the Todd Collins experiment failed and having watched Jay Cutler get destroyed. He finally has his chance to prove that he can start at this level.
After two straight games of mediocre football, I'm starting to wonder if he is up for the challenge.
I put faith in Hanie because he showed us something against the Packers in the NFC title game. He was thrown into the fire, with little or no preparation and led the Bears to within a touchdown until he threw drive and game killing interception. Hanie showed us that he is willing to make plays downfield, has a short memory, and is a gutsy player.
After a week of preparation, I thought Hanie was ready to lead the Bears to victory against the Raiders. During the week, he said all the right things. He seemed confident and ready to rise up to the challenge. After a slow first half, he recovered in the second half and even though the Bears' rally fell short, there was hope that he would improve on his performance against the Chiefs.
The game against the Chiefs was supposed to be the game to show that he corrected the mistakes he's made in the past. This time around there were going to be no excuses.
Hanie was inaccurate, made poor decisions and looked indecisive against a talentless Chiefs team that didn't scare anyone.
After this performance, Hanie put himself in the same category as Collins, Craig Krenzel, Chad Hutchinson, Henry Burris, among a few.
In the two games he's started, Hanie is 29-60 in pass attempts, with 2 touchdowns and 6 interceptions.
Maybe we could make excuses for Hanie if the game was played at Arrowhead Stadium but this was a home game in front of the 4th Phase, a fan base that was totally behind him and might still be. It didn't matter if the Bears didn't blow the Chiefs out of the water. Everyone was expecting a win and the Bears should've have won.
Good teams win games they're supposed to win and with Hanie under center, the Bears are not a good team.
Luckily for the Bears, they keep the fifth seed because the Lions, Falcons, Giants and Cowboys lost too. All you could ask for is for the Bears to control their own destiny, and they do, but what if they find themselves on the outside looking in?
After a terrible offensive effort against the Chiefs, you have to wonder if Hanie can keep the Bears on track to clinch a playoff berth and find a way to stop the bleeding. If he continues to struggle, do the Bears have enough faith in Josh McCown to keep the Bears on track?
For the second week in a row, McCown was inactive because he's been slow to learn the system even though he was signed because he understands Mike Martz's offense.
Because of how awful Hanie has been and the lack of trust the coaching staff has with McCown, the Bears need to sign Donovan McNabb.
McNabb is battle-tested. With the Redskins and the Vikings, he lacked the talent around him. He was expected to be "the Man" when age caught up to him and he didn't have the Pro Bowl skill set he once had.
The Bears are built to win now. They might not have elite offensive weapons, especially with Matt Forte missing time, but they have the defense and the special teams to make up for the deficiencies on offense.
To make a deep run into the playoffs and possibly the Super Bowl, the Bears need a field general. McNabb is a field general. He's been in playoffs, knows how to win and understands what it takes. Hanie, from what we've seen, doesn't know what it takes to win a ball game.
McNabb might not be the player he was five years ago but he would be an upgrade over McCown and can step in, after a few weeks, if Hanie continues to regress.
If the Bears do explore the idea and sign him, McNabb won't be expected to lead the Bears right away. Expect the Bears to give Hanie time to win and enough time for McNabb to understand the playbook and the intricacies of the offense.