After stepping in for Todd Collins, who stepped in for Jay Cutler, in the NFC Championship game last January, Caleb Hanie looked to have a bright future in front of him. Hanie re-signed with the Bears for a one year contract to remain the backup.
Although it was only two quarters of playoff football, most of us (myself included) believed that Hanie would be a capable backup if Cutler would ever go down. We also knew that there was a possibility of Cutler going down this season because of what we've seen from the offensive line in the past.
Well, Hanie got his shot and at the very least, everyone hoped that he would help the Bears finish 3-3 to end the season with the potential of Cutler returning for the playoffs. To give him some credit, Matt Forte's injury didn't help either.
Hanie started training camp as the backup and was briefly demoted. Mike Martz didn't have confidence in Hanie as he kept making the wrong reads, made poor decisions and held the ball too long too often. Hanie earned his backup job back and Hanie finally got his shot when Cutler went down and now he might have played himself out of the league.
Through four games, Hanie has 9 interceptions with a 41.8 passer rating, worse than Tyler Palko and better than Luke McCown and Kyle Boller -- not exactly elite level players . By comparison, Donovan McNabb, as bad as he was with the Vikings, had an 82.9 rating and with only 2 picks and the Bears still took a pass. The inability to feel the pressure, make throws to wide open recievers and the pick 6's ultimately sealed the Bears' playoff chances and quite possibly Hanie's career in the league.
I wanted Hanie to be successful, if not semi-successful, and I wanted him to move on to a new time with a chance to compete for a starter's job. After his contribution to the Bears' slide, I don't think that will happen.