Tag:Caleb Hanie
Posted on: February 21, 2012 1:10 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2012 5:01 pm
 

2012 NFL Free Agency: Quarterback rankings

The 2012 free-agent quarterback class is an, um, diverse group. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Leading up to the start of free agency on March 13, we're compiling lists of the best 2012 NFL free agents by position. These are the quarterbacks.

Though the list of free-agent quarterbacks for 2012 isn't necessarily the greatest crop of players in NFL history, it does have the potential to be one of the most intriguing in years, because of one man: Peyton Manning. Manning's saga is well-documented at this point; the back-and-forth between Manning's camp and Jim Irsay dominated the freaking Super Bowl.

Releasing him into the wild seems like a mere matter of timing. So we're going to take that assumption and add Manning to our lists of free agents. We're also including the Saints Drew Brees and 49ers Alex Smith on this list, since both are technically unrestricted free agents, until they receive the franchise tag from their respective teams. There's a better likelihood of Jimmy Clausen unseating Cam Newton than there is Brees not returning to New Orleans, but maybe someone in the Saints office will forget to fax in the franchise-tag paperwork.


Brees offseason could be interesting.  (Getty Images)

1. Drew Brees

Breakdown: The biggest problem for the Saints isn't that Brees might leave. He's not going to unless something really ridiculous happens. The biggest problem for the Saints is that if they're forced to use the franchise tag on Brees, they could end up losing Carl Nicks and Marques Colston. That won't make Brees any happier when it gets down to brass-tack negotiating.
Potential Landing Spots: Saints

2. Peyton Manning

Breakdown: Perhaps you've heard of Manning before. He's third all-time in passing yards (54,828). He's third all-time in passing touchdowns (399). He's won more MVPs than anyone in NFL history (four). And he's second in his own family with Super Bowl rings (one). That last item isn't a shot at Manning, though. It's the reason we believe he's not done when it comes to football, and that he'll come back to the game supremely motivated. No one knows whether or not he'll be fully healthy by the time the 2012 season begins. We do know he won't be fully healthy by the time March 13 rolls around, though. Which means that anyone who signs him will be engaging in a serious high-risk, high-reward game of chicken with Manning's neck.
Potential Landing Spots: Cardinals, Dolphins, Seahawks, Jets, Redskins

3. Matt Flynn

Breakdown: Flynn's attempted just 132 passes at the professional level, but 81 of them are pretty impressive. Those came in the only two starts of his career, when Flynn managed to go 55 of 81 for 731 yards, nine touchdowns and two interceptions. There are concerns that Flynn can't make every throw (right now) and that he might be a product of Green Bay's system. But that system's in Miami now, as former Packers quarterbacks coach Joe Philbin is the Dolphins head coach. If Miami doesn't make a run at Flynn when free agency opens up, that should be a big red flag for anyone else interested in Aaron Rodgers backup.
Potential Landing Spots: Dolphins, Seahawks, Redskins

4. Alex Smith

Breakdown: Smith resurrected his career under new 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and, in the span of about two playoff minutes against the Saints, nearly flipped the entire narrative of his career. As it is, Smith's improvement in 2011 is impressive; according to Pro Football Focus, he had the third-highest accuracy percentage in the NFL (factoring in drops, throwaways and spikes) last year, behind only Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees. Smith's said he isn't interested in leaving San Francisco, and Harbaugh's gotten his back publicly, even though there's zero chance they'll use the franchise tag on him.
Potential Landing Spots: 49ers
Henne could surprise in the right spot. (Getty Images)

5. Chad Henne

Breakdown: Miami drafting a quarterback in the second round: an April tradition unlike any other! But no, seriously, Henne's in a long line of signal-callers that the Dolphins took in the second round who didn't pan out. He's had serious problems with interceptions; Henne's got a 3.5 percent INT rate over his career and only nine of his 36 NFL games have not featured him throwing a pick. And Henne tends to look particularly robotic at times in the pocket (these things go hand in hand). But he's only 26 and it's not fair to blame him for all of Miami's woes the past three years. Henne can make all the throws and flashed some serious potential at times during his tenure in South Beach. He's the highest-upside backup quarterback out there and he's got several former coaches -- Brian Daboll, Tony Sparano -- coaching in spots that could use a backup quarterback.
Potential Landing Spots: Chiefs, Jets, Broncos

6. Jason Campbell

Breakdown: It's hard not to feel sympathetic for Campbell. The former Auburn star and first-round pick has had roughly 25 offensive coordinators since he started taking snaps in college and he's about to start out on his third NFL roster once the free-agency shuffling begins anew this year. He's 30 and hasn't played a full season in the past two years, either because of injury or being benched. The latter was for Bruce Gradkowski, so it's hard to tell what's worse for his reputation. He makes a lot of sense for a team that wants someone to push their starter without making a stink in the locker room.
Potential Landing Spots: Chiefs, Eagles, Jets

NFL Free Agency

7. Kyle Orton

Breakdown: Orton's was a "winner" with the Bears, he was a stat-hog for a season with the Broncos, he flirted with the Dolphins and finally he was a streak-killer with the Chiefs. He's not going to be anyone's starter in 2011, unless Washington seriously misplays everything in free agency and the draft (not out of the question). But he's an above-average backup in the NFL and could certainly compete with the starters that various teams -- KC, Washington, Jacksonville, for example -- will trot out in 2011. Orton doesn't want to deal with being a "stop-gap option" but it's unlikely he'll have a choice next year.
Potential Landing Spots:
Redskins, Chiefs, Jaguars, Bears, Broncos

8. David Garrard

Breakdown: Pete Prisco's second-favorite quarterback missed the entire 2011 season after the Jaguars cut him and he underwent surgery for a herniated disk in his back. There was interest in the 34-year-old last year after teams lost quarterbacks to injury, but he decided to recover from the surgery instead. While that's the smart move, Garrard won't find the market as friendly for his services this time, especially since his agent said on February 15 Garrard would be ready in "four to six weeks." Expect someone with a steady starter and tenuous backup to look to Garrard.
Potential Landing Spots: Bears, Broncos, Buccaneers, Rams, Raiders

9. Shaun Hill

Breakdown: Hill's 32 and not exactly a spring chicken. But he performed admirably in place of Matthew Stafford in 2010 and the fit between he and the Lions is a nice one. The Lions are tight with cap space, but Hill appears to like where he's at, and it's not like he'd break the bank in another location anyway.
Potential Landing Spots: Lions
VY's likely to remain a backup. (Getty Images)

10. Vince Young

Breakdown: Now seems like a good time to remind you that the guy who coined "Dream Team" in Philly was indeed the backup quarterback and someone on a one-year contract. His personality and turnovers will cause a problem for teams looking to sign him. Unless that team happens to run the read-option offense and could really use a mobile quarterback with success in the NFL to step in and freelance if/when Tim Tebow gets hurt/melts down.
Potential Landing Spots: Broncos

11. Rex Grossman

Breakdown: Did you know that Rex Grossman is actually "Rex Grossman III"? Poor Mike Shanahan had RG3 on his roster the whole time and didn't even know it. Sigh. Anyway, Grossman's not going to attract a lot of attention on the market, and nor should he. As the old saying goes, though, "love the one you're with." And Grossman and the Shanahans are with each other, even if Rex isn't starting next year. It would be surprising to see him playing anywhere else in 2012.
Potential Landing Spots: Redskins

HONORABLE MENTION

Unrestricted Free Agents: Dennis Dixon, Josh Johnson, Brady Quinn, Charlie Whitehurst, Donovan McNabb, Dan Orlovsky, Drew Stanton, Caleb Hanie, Charlie Batch, Kellen Clemens

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Posted on: January 5, 2012 11:41 am
Edited on: January 5, 2012 3:49 pm
 

Report: Cutler didn't want Martz back in Chicago

Martz, Cutler

By Josh Katzowitz

This might not surprise you, especially considering Jay Cutler dropped an F-bomb on former Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz, but, according to the Chicago Tribune, Cutler met with coach Lovie Smith and said he was in favor of moving on without Martz.

Cutler apparently met with Smith to give his opinion before Smith and Martz met to officially part ways. Martz’s contract was up anyway, but considering Cutler (among others in the organization) didn’t want Martz around, it seemed unlikely Martz would return for another season.

"Obviously I would sure like to be back,” Martz said last month. “I think all of that stuff works out. This is going to be a great football team and I would like to be a part of it. We’ll just see how it works out."

Latest Coaching Rumors, News
Though Cutler had a standout season in Martz’s system, Martz, earlier in the year, didn’t seem all that concerned about keeping Cutler protected by the offensive line. In fact, Cutler was asked in September if he could survive the year, and he hoarsely said, “I don’t know. I don’t know."

Martz also didn’t make friends with Pro Bowl running back Matt Forte by using him in such an inconsistent matter that it led Forte to say he thought the Bears didn’t believe he's an elite player. And Martz didn’t come off great when he blamed backup Caleb Hanie for an interception on a play that probably shouldn’t have been called for such an inexperienced player in the first place.

Now, Smith will have to hire his third offensive coordinator in four years, and hopefully, Cutler will give his seal of approval.

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Posted on: December 28, 2011 9:00 pm
 

Lovie Smith refuses to answer query about Martz

Martz, Cutler

By Josh Katzowitz

With the Bears season nearing its end and with offensive coordinator Mike Martz in the final year of his contract, this question, put to coach Lovie Smith, seems awfully legit and somewhat obvious: So, are you bringing back Martz next season?

Thing is, Smith didn’t see it that way.

“What kind of question is that anyway, at this time?" Smith demanded, writes Rapid Reporter Gene Chamberlain. "What kind of question is that? Why would you ask a question like that anyway?"

Will Martz return?
Well, the reason why it was asked is fairly understandable, but sadly, Smith didn’t answer the question. When reporters asked Martz about the same subject, he was slightly more pleasant about answering the query.

"Obviously I would sure like to be back. I think all of that stuff works out," he said. "This is going to be a great football team and I would like to be a part of it. We’ll just see how it works out."

Martz hasn’t had the most pleasing of years. He and quarterback Jay Cutler made big news when Cutler fired a “F--- him” at Martz after he and his coach disagreed on a playcall. Martz also was criticized plenty when he seemed to forget about Matt Forte (who, ahem, made the Pro Bowl) by calling for passes on 52 of 63 total plays in a bad loss to the Saints early this season and by not designing plays to keep Cutler out of the arms of defenders (Cutler was asked in September if he could survive the year, and he hoarsely said, “I don’t know. I don’t know.”)

Martz also didn’t get much out of backup Caleb Hanie and then later blamed Hanie’s execution for a tough play-call that Martz probably had no business asking for in the first place.

While Martz is easy to criticize, the Bears offense hasn’t been THAT bad with him in charge. Chicago ranks 16th in the league in points and 20th in yards gained, which is certainly an improvement on last year when they were 21st and 30th, respectively, under Martz.

So, will he be back? Hopefully, Smith feels like answering that question next week when the season is over.

Also on Wednesday, Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said he was impressed enough by Josh McCown’s appearance in his first start with the team last Sunday that he wouldn’t mind considering McCown as Cutler’s backup for next year.

“In Josh’s case, he came in here late,” Angelo told the team website, via the Chicago Tribune. “He did a real nice job. He did have a familiarity with the offense, so it wasn’t like he was brand new. He was new to us, but not new to the offense, and he showed that. We’ll have time to make that decision, and hopefully we’re going to see another good performance Sunday.”

The only other question, I guess, is whether Martz will be around next season to help make that decision.  Or as Smith would say, "Why would you even make that comment, anyway?!?"

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Posted on: December 27, 2011 5:46 pm
 

Bears officially end seasons for Cutler, Forte

J. Cutler and M. Forte both went on the IR list (US Presswire).

By Josh Katzowitz

It’s official. The seasons for Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and running back Matt Forte are finished, as the team announced today that both have been placed on the Injured Reserve list.

Now that the Bears have been knocked out of the playoff picture for good, this move was to be expected.

Though Cutler -- who broke his thumb in Week 11, which inevitably allowed Chicago to go from a 7-3 playoff contender to a 7-8 hopeless cause that has nothing to play for in Week 17 -- had said earlier this month there was an “outside chance” he could play vs. the Packers, that was an unrealistic goal.

That game occurred last week, and the only reason backup Caleb Hanie wasn’t on the field playing that day was because he had been so bad in his previous starts that Chicago, instead, started a man who, not long ago, was coaching high school football.

And the crazy thing about it was that Josh McCown, while certainly not on the same level as Cutler, was galaxies ahead of Hanie and performed relatively well on the road in Green Bay.

Meanwhile, Forte, who had made his desires for a contract extension widely known (and for good reason), wasn’t planning to return to the game unless he was 100 percent (also for good reason) after injuring his knee Dec. 3.

"These injuries, they usually take four to six weeks [to heal] they say," Forte said on Dec. 18. "And this will only be week three. I'm not going to rush to get back on the field and play while I'm hurt, because (if) you're not at 100 percent you may injure it even more if you do that."

Left unsaid was this: “Yeah, I’m not going to play, because there’s no way I’m going to put my knee on the line after I've already hurt it for a team that doesn’t pay a deserving player.”

Either way, both can begin looking forward to next season and trying to build another playoff run that won’t get spiked because of significant injuries.

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Posted on: December 23, 2011 8:11 pm
 

For the gambler in you, Week 16

Babin

By Josh Katzowitz

Each week, we’ll take the best -- and most clever -- odds collected by Bovada for the upcoming week and give our take. This is important stuff, perhaps the most important post you’ll read all week. Because if you can’t lose money while watching a game in which you have absolutely no effect, what’s the point of watching sports at all?

Will Jason Babin tie or break the record of 22.5 sacks in a single regular season? 

Yes 5/1

Well, considering Babin doesn’t get to play against Brett Favre at all (“Thanks again, Brett,” says Michael Strahan), it’ll be tough to match Strahan’s record. Babin has 18 sacks and two more games to tie Strahan, and he’s be on fire recently, recording eight sacks in the past three games. That’s the good news. The not so good news is that the Eagles finish the season with the Cowboys and Redskins -- which rank 20th and 10th, respectively, in sacks allowed this season. So, while it might be tempting to take the odds, I think I’d probably go ‘no.’

Will Bear GM Jerry Angelo be fired before Game 1 of the 2012 regular season?     

Yes -140

No EVEN

Retired? Maybe.
Fired? No. While Caleb Hanie has been terrible since taking over for Jay Cutler, the Bears were on their way to the playoffs if their most important player didn’t get hurt. Now, if you’re asking Matt Forte, what he’d like to see happen, he might point toward a firing. But I don’t see it for now. That, however, doesn’t mean Angelo will be back next year.

Will Raheem Morris be the head coach of the Bucs for Game 1 of the 2012 regular season?     
   
Yes +110

No -150

I want to say yes, simply because the slide for the Buccaneers this season has been so steep. But I can’t stop thinking about last year’s surprising 10-6 finish that Morris helped orchestrate. I’d go no, but when Morris says things like this about his team, “You know, they’re not listening,” that’s certainly not a good sign.

Will either the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or Buffalo Bills win another game this season?

Yes -210

No +170

The Buccaneers play at Carolina and Atlanta; Buffalo plays host to Denver and then is at New England to end the season. Straight-up, I’d pick the Buccaneers and Bills to lose all of those games, but I think one team will end up winning one game. I’d bet ‘yes’ on this one, and cross my fingers.

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Posted on: December 21, 2011 1:53 pm
Edited on: December 21, 2011 1:59 pm
 

Josh McCown to start for Bears on Christmas

By Will Brinson

Caleb Hanie had a good run (well, a run anyway), but it's all over now -- the Bears announced on Wednesday that Josh McCown will start on Sunday against Green Bay, per our Bears Rapid Reporter Gene Chamberlain.

It's been quite a while since McCown took starting snaps in an NFL game. December 23, 2007 to be exact, when, as Chamberlain notes, McCown went six of eight for 48 yards before leaving the game.

Since then, he's played in four NFL games (two with Carolina, one with Chicago), completing two of his eight attempted passes and throwing one interception.

In other words, things had to get really, really bad for the Bears to bail on Hanie and take a shot at McCown running the offense. And things did: Hanie completed an even 50.0 percent of his passes (51 of 102) for three touchdowns and nine picks this season and though he's been somewhat effective as a scrambler, it's pretty obvious he's not a capable starter in the NFL.

McCown probably isn't the "answer," per se, but the Bears are in a four-game losing skid since Jay Cutler suffered a broken thumb against San Diego. In those four games -- three of which were against the AFC West -- Chicago's been outscored 86-47. 21 of the points scored by their opponents came either on defensive touchdowns (two from the Seahawks) or via a Hail Mary (Tyler Palko to Dexter McCluster).

And the Bears limited the Raiders to six field goals (18 points) and a touchdown. It's not hard to imagine a world where, if they had a capable backup quarterback, they'd be in the playoffs.

So, um, Merry Christmas, Josh.


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Posted on: December 18, 2011 9:57 pm
 

Bears starting QB is up in the air for next week

C. Hanie is 0-4 as Chicago's starter (US Presswire).

By Josh Katzowitz

With Caleb Hanie, once again, playing unimpressively (10 of 23 for 111 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions) in Chicago’s 38-14 loss to the Seahawks, the Bears benched him in favor of Josh McCown.

And with the team 0-4 since Jay Cutler was lost (and with Hanie throwing three interceptions in three of those games), coach Lovie Smith wouldn’t say Hanie would return next week as the starting quarterback.

"It's right after the game and we're disappointed in our performance today at the quarterback position," Smith said, via Rapid Reporter Gene Chamberlain. "I can't tell you any more than that."

After McCown replaced Hanie, he only threw two passes -- one was a 12-yard completion and one was an interception. But if he’s called upon to start next week, he’ll feel confident about himself.

"Yes, I felt ready," he said. "There's obviously a different tempo on the playing field you can get when you start than if you come in off the bench."

Since taking over for Cutler, Hanie has thrown three touchdown passes and nine interceptions. He also hasn’t figured out a way to get the Bears a victory, and a team that was once 7-3 is 7-7 and out of the playoff race for now.

"First off, we're disappointed in our team and how we played the last four weeks," Smith said, via ESPN Chicago. "Of course, Caleb is a large part of that, just the quarterback position in itself. It's hard when you don't get more production from the quarterback position. And Caleb's been our guy, great opportunity, but we haven't played as well as we need to though."

Remember a few weeks ago when rumors had popped up that the Bears might be interested in Brett Favre and/or Donovan McNabb? You remember when Smith said the trio of Hanie, McCown and Nathan Enderle were his guys and that the team wasn’t going to search for other quarterbacks on the free agent line?

Turns out that might not have been a great decision. And it could have just helped ruin what was once a prosperous Bears season.

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Posted on: December 18, 2011 1:26 pm
Edited on: December 18, 2011 6:17 pm
 

Knox carted off field; has movement, Lovie says

By Josh Katzowitz

UPDATED: Coach Lovie Smith said Johnny Knox has movement in his extremities.

"Johnny has total movement throughout his body, has total use of all his extremities," Smith told reporters.

Obviously, that's exceptional news.

----------

Already down a receiver after the Bears waived Sam Hurd on Friday, Johnny Knox appeared to be hurt seriously early in the first quarter of the Chicago-Seattle game.

After catching a pass from Caleb Hanie in the flat, Kam Chancellor caused Knox to fumble, and as Knox tried to recover the ball, he was blasted by Anthony Hargrove. The upper half of Knox’s body bent backward as his momentum tried to continue forward.

Knox

Earl Thomas ultimately recovered the ball for the Seahawks, but Knox remained on the turf for several minutes afterward. He was strapped to a body-board and taken off the field on a cart. Knox, whose helmet was removed, was moving his hands and arms as he was led off the field. He then gave a brief thumbs-up to the crowd.

He has a back injury and won't return to the game.

(H/T to Bubba Prog for the GIF)

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com