Tag:Donovan mcNabb
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: February 17, 2012 12:00 am
 

Could the Vikings be interested in Luck, RG3?

Ponder will start for the Vikings again in 2012. (Getty Images)
By Josh Katzowitz

Assuming Andrew Luck goes with the No. 1 pick to the Colts in April’s draft and then somebody trades up to take the Rams spot at No. 2 to select Robert Griffin III -- still somewhat of an assumption, of course -- the Vikings won’t have a shot at either of them.

That’s because Minnesota will pick at No. 3 and because the Vikings took a quarterback in the first round last year. And while it seems somewhat silly that Minnesota would entertain the idea of replacing Christian Ponder so quickly -- Ponder began the year behind Donovan McNabb and played decently for one of the worst teams in football before injuring himself and giving way to some spectacular performances by Joe Webb -- it’s not out of the realm of possibility I suppose.

Especially when general manager Rick Spielman goes back and forth when discussing Ponder’s future with the club.

"I know we're very confident in Christian, but if one of those quarterbacks is too good to pass up, you also have to weigh that in too," Spielman told local reporters, including the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "But we're very, very confident in what Christian Ponder brings. As we go through this process and our coaches come into this process and we put this thing together in April, I don't know where we'll be."

Although Luck and Griffin could be categorized as “too good to pass up” by Spielman, that might say more about the team’s confidence in Ponder -- who was 2-8 as a starter while completing 54.3 percent of his passes for 1,853 yards, 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions last year -- than anything else. The Rams, for instance, most likely won’t stick around the No. 2 spot because they’ve already got full confidence in Sam Bradford.

The Vikings, though, will vet Luck and Griffin, interviewing them at the NFL combine and perhaps having them make visits to Minnesota.

“We'll be at their workouts, yeah," said Spielman, who said last month that Ponder would be his starter heading into offseason workouts. "We'll be doing full monty on [Luck] and RG3."

Chances are, Ponder will be safe from having to compete with Luck and Griffin for Minnesota’s affections (Webb, though, might be a different story). But the Vikings will do its due diligence either way.

Said Spielman: “You never know what happens on draft day, and I would rather be over-prepared than under-prepared."

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Posted on: January 20, 2012 3:20 pm
 

McNabb really thought the Bears would sign him

McNabbBy Josh Katzowitz

After the Vikings cut Donovan McNabb on Dec. 1, he appeared on ESPN for an interviewe and seemed confident that, even if nobody claimed him off waivers, he would be signed as a free agent at some point soon.

That obviously never happened, even though apparently McNabb truly believed the Bears would ink him after Jay Cutler went down with his season-ending injury.

"I thought the Bears would call," McNabb said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000 (via ESPN Chicago). "So many people continuously talked about the Mike Martz offense and things of that nature. I personally didn't care about that. If you want to win and win now, you go out and get a better quarterback and you cater your offense to his strengths, and obviously the strengths of your team.

"Obviously it didn't work out well for them. It's unfortunate. I wish things would have worked out, but it didn't. We will see what happens from now on."

Instead of signing McNabb (or Brett Favre for that matter), the Bears -- who did put a waiver claim on Kyle Orton before losing five of their final six games of the season -- went with the disastrous Caleb Hanie before finding some offensive stability with Josh McCown.

Even so, Bears receiver Devin Hester didn’t relish the thought of bringing in McNabb, saying it would be a “waste of time” because McNabb hadn’t played in former offensive coordinator Mike Martz’s offense.

Still, McNabb would have liked the chance, particularly since Chicago is his hometown.

"I definitely thought about it," he said. "Growing up a Bears fan, I kind of saw myself playing back home and hopefully winning the Super Bowl ... I think when the situation was there, everyone, friends and family, thought it would happen. It didn't, things didn't work out well for them.

"I got a chance to relax and rest my body, so I don't mind at this particular time what happened, but things could have been different."

For McNabb, and certainly, for the Bears.

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Posted on: January 18, 2012 11:48 pm
Edited on: January 19, 2012 11:44 am
 

T.O., with more controversy, will join IFL

T. Owens has made more controversy in an upcoming GQ interview (US Presswire).

By Josh Katzowitz

Terrell Owens, with his money problems and desire to return to the NFL, has had a tough time staying out of the news in his first season out of the NFL. But late Wednesday night, Owens finally had some positive career news to share.

And now, it's official: Owens says he'll return to professional football with the Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League.

In a video he posted on Beeyoo.com, Owens proclaimed the following: "Uh-oh, it's official. It just went down. I'm headed back to Texas. That's right. IFL here I come. Allen, Tx., Here I come. I'm gonna be me. Allen, Tx., I'll see you in the end zone."

As we wrote before, players only make $225 per game in the IFL, and they get a bonus for winning. Owens' paycheck, though, figures to be much larger than that, as the Wranglers put out a story on their website last month that said his compensation package could be worth between $250,000-500,000 (it seems likely Owens would have an ownership stake in the franchise if that's the case).

"I'm sure Cowboys fans and all football fans in the area would love to get T.O. back." Wranglers coach Patrick Pimmel said last month. "Terrell would be a great addition to our organization and I hope we can make this happen."

Now, the Wranglers and Owens have. But that doesn't mean Owens isn't still causing controversy of the negative persuasion.

It came to light Wednesday that Owens made an accusation in the February issue of GQ in which he’s said that before he was to read an apology to his Eagles teammates for his behavior in 2005, Jeremiah Trotter told him not to read the section that was intended as an apology to Donovan McNabb.

TO's Problems
Here’s an excerpt of the GQ article that likely will cause many more headaches in Philadelphia:
How about the decision not to publicly apologize to McNabb for suggesting in an interview immediately after the Eagles lost the Super Bowl that the quarterback had “got tired” on the field? For a moment, he is silent. Could he actually be on the verge of admitting he made an error?

“Well, I probably should have done...,” he begins, rubbing his hand along the contours of his massive shaved dome. Then he stops himself. “No. No. Listen, I was in the locker room before the press conference, and my team captain, Jeremiah Trotter, read through that apology they wrote for me. He got to the bottom part, the part where it had the stuff about Donovan, and he did this.” Owens snatches a piece of paper from the table and rips off the bottom three inches. “This is the team leader we’re talking about; he told me not to do it.”

Trotter, not surprisingly, was outraged by the accusation. In a text to the Inquirer on Wednesday night, Trotter wrote that Owens’ quotes were a “super lie.” Then, the former Eagles linebacker tweeted the following to Owens, “yo man y u lying to GQ Mag I never told u that call me ASAP!!!!!”

A few minutes later, Owens responded, “@jtrotter_54 lying about what?” Then, Owens sent Trotter a direct message with his contact information, so I assume the trail on that aspect of this story has run cold.

But Owens also had this to say in the GQ article, “To say I regret anything would be a slap in my grandmother’s face. Are there some things I might do differently now? Sure.”

Apologizing to McNabb apparently is not one of them. At the end of the excerpt, though, Owens got it exactly right. “I am not,” he says, “a tactful person.”

No, but once again, Owens is officially a professional football player. And he has all bunch of new teammates to whom he can be tactless.

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Posted on: December 30, 2011 4:57 pm
Edited on: December 30, 2011 4:58 pm
 

Top Ten with a Twist: Draft needs

A. Luck should be a No. 1 selection in next year's draft. Who will select him, though (US Presswire).

By Josh Katzowitz

As we enter the final weekend of the season, a number of squads are just playing out the string, hoping to put a solid performance on film, ready to clean out their lockers and look ahead to next year. While only four games on this week’s schedule mean absolutely nothing in terms of the postseason, quite a few of those teams are just looking to play spoiler.

And looking to the 2012 draft, where they can begin to rebuild their team or shore up that one position that could put them over the hump for next season. That’s why we’re taking the 10-worst teams in the league this year and finding one major flaw that needs to be fixed from April 26-28 in New York City’s Radio Music Hall.

For these teams -- and their fans -- the time has come to salivate at the prospects of landing the exact right guy that could change their fortunes for years to come.

10. Bills: Defensive line -- I didn’t like the Ryan Fitzpatrick $59 million extension earlier this year, and I hate it now. But I think Buffalo has other concerns for the moment, and they come on defense. For one, Buffalo has a tough time stopping the run. First-round pick Marcell Dareus has been a bit inconsistent at the nose tackle, but he also has the ability to play like a monster. The 3-4  ends, though, need to be better. Injured tackle Kyle Williams obviously will help when he returns next season, but the ability to rush the passer once in a while also would help (Buffalo’s 25 sacks ranks 30th in the league).

9. Dolphins: Quarterback -- Look, the Dolphins have some talent. They proved that when Tony Sparano’s job was on the line, and they started winning games. They proved it by nearly beating Tom Brady, and they proved it by nearly beating Tim Tebow (that last point was a joke). While Matt Moore has been much better than expected after taking over for Chad Henne, he’s a Band-Aid. I think most of us would agree that Henne isn’t the answer as the starter, and perhaps, he and Moore could have a battle to see who could back-up a legit starting quarterback. Reggie Bush established himself as a 1,000-yard rusher, and with a talented quarterback like Robert Griffin III (if he lasts that long in the draft), the Dolphins could begin pushing for AFC East crowns.

8. Browns: Pass rushers -- Cleveland got two defensive linemen early last year (tackle Phil Taylor in the first round and end Jabaal Sheard in the second), and they’ve done a nice job on the left side of the defensive line. But the defense ranks 25th in the league in sacks, and defensive end Jayme Mitchell hasn’t had a great season. Marcus Benard, coming off a solid rookie season last year, is on IR, and if the Browns could get one more high-end rusher in the draft, they’d have talent and depth.

7. Redskins: Quarterback -- It’s probably time for Mike Shanahan to come to the realization that his quarterback picks the past two years have been disastrous (Donovan McNabb, Rex Grossman, John Beck). He said the other day that the rebuild of this franchise has taken more time than he thought, but a standout quarterback obviously would help that process along. Shanahan also said that there was no question in his mind that he’d be back next season, but unless he finds a way to invigorate his offense, that might be a different story this time next year.

6. Chiefs: Right tackle -- Looking across Kansas City’s depth chart, there’s not one position group that so obviously needs to be overhauled. The Chiefs have talent, even if some of those positions don’t have much depth. But right tackle Barry Richardson has badly struggled this season. According Pro Football Focus, Richardson is the worst-rated offensive tackle in the league (the decision to cut Jared Gaither near the end of the season was a bad one). Left tackle Branden Albert is solid, but the right side of the line needs to be reworked.

Minnesota's secondary has been a big concern this year (US Presswire).5. Buccaneers: Run defenders -- The Buccaneers tried to shore up their defensive end spots last draft, taking Adrian Clayborn in the first round and Da’Quan Bowers in the second round. Considering Tampa Bay ranks dead last in sacks, the experiment hasn’t paid off immediate dividends. But the Buccaneers are also terrible against the run, and even though tackle Albert Haynesworth has played better than most of us had a right to expect, there are still huge holes to fill in the lineup.

4. Vikings: Secondary -- The Vikings rank as the 31st-worst defense in the NFL, but in reality, their front seven has talent (for instance, Jared Allen, Kevin Williams and Chad Greenway). Minnesota lost Antoine Winfield (its best corner) early in the year, Chris Cook has legal troubles, safety Jamarca  Sanford has struggled badly and the rest of the safeties have been ravaged by injuries. It’s no  wonder opposing quarterbacks dominate the Vikings defensive backs. On the season, Minnesota has recorded seven interceptions, worst in the NFL. The Vikings need to find somebody who can force turnovers in order to improve this unit.

3. Jaguars: Receivers – Oh, how they need receivers. Yes, Blaine Gabbert has been, by far, the worst rookie quarterback to play this year, but Jacksonville, even with new ownership and a new coach, probably needs to give him more than a season to see if he’s a quarterback of the future. He also needs somebody who can catch his passes. Here are Jacksonville’s top-three receivers: Mike Thomas, Jarret Dillard, and yeah, nobody else. In fact, there’s a good chance running back Maurice Jones-Drew will end up as the team’s leading pass-catcher this season. Hard to blame Gabbert completely when his receiving corps is so bad.

2. Colts: Running backs -- Assuming Peyton Manning returns healthy next season -- admittedly, a huge assumption -- his receivers should continue to be fine (this, of course, depends on what happens with free agents Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon). But we’ve seen this year that without a running game, a Manning-less Colts squad has very little chance of doing anything (mostly because Manning makes up for SO many team deficiencies). Joseph Addai, who’s averaging 3.8 yards per carry and probably won’t get to 500 rushing yards on the season for the second year in a row, might be released into free agency, and Donald Brown, while improved, isn’t a legit No. 1 running back. The Colts obviously have a big decision to make regarding Manning and Andrew Luck, but taking a running back probably wouldn’t be a bad idea.

1.Rams: Offensive linemen -- There’s been talk that maybe the Rams should grab Luck if they end up with the No. 1 pick. Which, with Sam Bradford on the team, would be ludicrous. Instead, St. Louis should be focused on how to put together an offensive line that doesn’t lead the league in sacks allowed. The biggest problem, not including injuries to Jason Smith and Jacob Bell that have hurt the unit, has been the line’s interior. Linemen aren’t the sexiest position, but damn, St. Louis needs to find some that can stay healthy and keep Bradford and Steven Jackson out of danger.

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Posted on: December 25, 2011 1:28 pm
 

Could Webb replace Ponder as Viking QB of future?

WebbBy Josh Katzowitz

Joe Webb has made a career so far of entering games when the starting quarterback is injured -- or making a spot start himself -- and impressing people enough for them to say he’s a legit NFL starting quarterback. Now, it seems as if he’s impressed his coach enough for Leslie Frazier to wonder if Webb might be the team’s quarterback of the future.

"Some of the things he does, man, and what it does to the rest of our team -- you can't ignore it," Frazier said, via ESPN 1500. "It's something we're going to take a real hard look at as we go forward. He definitely lifts our team. He's done it. He did it a season ago as well.”

After rookie Christian Ponder was knocked out of Saturday’s game with a concussion, Webb led the team on three scoring drives that helped surprise Washington and knock off the Redskins, 33-26. Webb, once again, showed how he’s a double threat by completing 4 of 5 passes for 84 yards and two touchdowns and rushing four times for 34 yards. Combine that with his performance vs. the Lions a few weeks ago when he replaced Ponder with the Vikings losing by 17 and nearly led the team to a comeback victory, and you can see why Frazier might be having second thoughts about his starting quarterback.

On Saturday, Webb got some help from backup Toby Gerhart, who looked good while rushing for 109 yards on 11 carries after Adrian Peterson left the game with a torn ACL. But Webb has been showing his skill since last year when we quoted Frazier saying, “It'd be hard for me to say that I knew that Joe would play at such a high level so consistently.”

In terms of his ability to impress in short bursts, this year hasn’t been any different for Webb.

"Magic. He's gifted, man," receiver Percy Harvin said. "He's one of the gifted players that you can't describe. You can't practice it. Not too many teams got quarterbacks that can do what he does."

It’s clear that Webb’s teammates, especially Harvin apparently, have great confidence in the second-year player. But it’s hard to imagine that Frazier will turn the keys of his offense over to Webb anytime soon.

Remember, Ponder was the No. 12 pick last year. He signed a four-year $10.5 million contract that was fully guaranteed, so, we’re not talking Peterson-type money here. But it’d still be unusual to give up on a first-round pick after a rocky rookie season. Especially with the lockout preventing Ponder an offseason and with Donovan McNabb taking the team’s first six starts.

But assuming Ponder is out next week with his head injury, Webb should get the chance to start the season finale. And if he makes another spiffy performance, the rumblings about giving Webb more of a chance to take Ponder’s place permanently only will increase.

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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 11, 2011 9:31 am
 

Report: Bears gauged interest in Marc Bulger

BulgerBy Josh Katzowitz

With all the talk about the Bears interest (or lack thereof) of Brett Favre -- he’s never going away people! -- and whether Chicago wanted to take its chances on signing Donovan McNabb, the organization apparently was looking at another veteran quarterback to gauge his interest in returning to the league.

That quarterback, according to the Chicago Tribune’s Dan Pompei, was former Rams starter/Ravens backup Marc Bulger. And though coach Lovie Smith has come out and said the Bears didn’t want to add another quarterback to the mix of Caleb Hanie, Nathan Enderle and Josh McCown, with Matt Forte out for the next few weeks, it makes perfect sense Chicago would want to figure out another way to get some offensive firepower.

The problem, in this case, is that Bulger simply wasn’t interested. As Kurt Warner said last August, when Bulger decided to retire in the first place, Bulger doesn’t want to play football anymore. So, when the Bears called him recently to talk to him about joining the team, he said thanks but no thanks.

Pompei also writes that the Bears DID, in fact, talk about signing McNabb. They obviously chose not to add him, but it’s not because they didn’t think he could still play the game.

Writes Pompei: “The team feels good about Caleb Hanie and did not want to send him a message they were looking to replace him. They wanted to keep Hanie focused on doing his job rather than looking over his shoulder.

“The other issue is it would have been difficult to prepare McNabb. Josh McCown needed less time and attention to integrate himself in the Bears offense because he had played for Martz before. McNabb never had played in any system remotely similar.”

But if Hanie continues his poor production of late (he’s completing 48.3 percent of his passes for six interceptions and two touchdowns since taking over for the injured Jay Cutler), the Bears might have to do something before they’re knocked out of the playoff race for good.

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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