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Tag:Brett Favre
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 17, 2011 12:05 am
Edited on: January 1, 2012 10:56 am
 

Did Packers QB coach interview at Penn State?

Tom Clements might or might not have interviewed for Penn State's football job Friday (US Presswire).By Josh Katzowitz

Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements, who has played a major role in the development of Aaron Rodgers, was reportedly interviewed Friday for the Penn State head coaching job, according to USA Today.

But ESPN Milwaukee writes that an NFL source says Clements, in fact, did NOT interview for the job.

"I’m not aware of any interview to take place today," Packers coach Mike McCarthy told reporters after practice Friday. "As far as if Tom was a candidate, I think he would be an outstanding candidate. I do not know what Penn State’s plans are. I’ve had zero communication with anybody from Penn State."

Also, a source told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, "There is no telephone interview or conversation that is scheduled between Tom and Penn State, there never has been one scheduled, nor is there anything scheduled in the foreseeable future."

Clements -- a former Notre Dame All-American and a Canadian Football League Hall of Famer who’s been a highly regarded NFL assistant -- was supposed to have been interviewed by acting athletic director Dave Joyner on the phone, according to USA Today. Yet, it seems highly unlikely that Clements would interview with Penn State without telling McCarthy first. 

Joyner also was to interview interim Nittany Lions coach Tom Bradley, though it’s hard to see Joyner continuing on with a former Joe Paterno assistant at the helm of the Penn State program. Joyner also has interviewed Jay Paterno, but the chances of him following in his father’s footsteps have to be less than zero.

Last week, Clements submitted his application to Penn State, though he declined to discuss his interest in the job. His players, former and current, had rave reviews for him, though.

"I would hire him in a second,” Brett Favre told USA Today.

Rodgers feels the same way. After Clements’ interest in the job surfaced, Rodgers said, "I don't want to see him leave, but if you look at that situation it's going to take a man with integrity to step in there and lead.”

"Tom has a great pedigree as a player, as a coach, as a teacher, as a human. He's a first-class individual.”

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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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Posted on: December 7, 2011 8:02 pm
 

Cutler: Favre would've come back for right price

Cutler thinks Favre might come back if the money was right. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

It's been about 24 hours since we last wrote about Brett Favre, the Wranglers wearin', gunslinger who hasn't played in an NFL game in 12 months. He released a statement Tuesday night suggesting that won't change anytime soon.

"In spite of reports about playing with various teams, I'm enjoying retirement with my family and have no plans to play football."

To which we added: "Hopefully, this is the last we speak of Brett Lorenzo Favre's possible return to the NFL (although somehow we suspect it won't be)."

We suspected right. On Monday, there were reports that Favre would consider joining the Bears, who lost starter Jay Cutler to a broken thumb. Backup Caleb Hanie has been wholly unimpressive as Cutler's replacement, throwing six interceptions and going winless in two games. Chicago said they weren't interested in Favre (or Donovan McNabb), and Favre promptly released the statement saying he's happy in his post-football career.

That should be that. But this is Favre, where "retired" sometimes means "I'll be back in a bit" and "no" means something much less definitive.

We really do think Favre's NFL career is over, but not everyone's convinced. CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman wrote Wednesday morning that "When Favre says he wasn't interested in the Bears job, he wasn't quite telling the entire story. He was definitely interested, I'm told, but when the Bears made it known the interest wasn't eventually reciprocated, then Favre made his public statement about not wanting to play."

What Freeman hears jibes with comments made by Cutler, who happens to share an agent (Bus Cook) with Favre. During an appearance on the Waddle and Silvy Show radio show, Cutler said he had spoken to Cook earlier this week.

"He didn't really expect Brett to come back," Cutler said. "Brett probably would have came back, but I'm sure it would have to be a very, very high number money-wise, and it would have been interesting.

"[Favre's] a West Coast (offense) guy. That's the reason he went to the places he went, Minnesota, and he was the entire time in Green Bay. So for him to jump in this system and try to orchestrate this offense would have been difficult for him."

Favre made about $25 million during his two seasons in Minnesota (never mind his earnings from the previous 18 years in the league). We'd like to think that money wouldn't be a motivating factor at this point in the proceedings.

Either way, we're with Freeman when he writes: "I think we have finally reached a Favre finality. At least, that seems to be the sentiment around the NFL. Teams are finally done with Favre. They no longer think his talent matches the accompanying headaches."

So we'll say it once more, this time with feeling: "Hopefully, this is the last we speak of Brett Lorenzo Favre's possible return to the NFL."

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Posted on: December 6, 2011 7:24 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2011 7:23 am
 

Favre denies return report; Bears not interested

Brett Lorenzo Favre: still retired. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

Perhaps there will come a time when an injury to an NFL starting quarterback won't reflexively lead to media inquiries about whether Brett Favre would be interested in the job. Sadly, we are not yet at that point. Never mind that Favre is 42 years old and has stated on several occasions going back to this summer that he ain't coming back.

(UPDATE: Favre released a statement Tuesday night. "In spite of reports about playing with various teams, I'm enjoying retirement with my family and have no plans to play football," he said.)

Of course, Favre brought this on himself with the annual "I'm not really retiring" press conferences. And now it's his burden to bear for the rest of his days. It also explains why he's been linked to the Dolphins, Texans and most recently the Bears.

On Monday, a report surfaced that Favre would listen if Chicago called. On Tuesday, a source told ESPN that the Bears have no interest in Favre despite losing Jay Cutler to a broken thumb and subsequently going 0-2 with backup Caleb Hanie.

"That's our group," head coach Lovie Smith said Monday of Hanie, Josh McCown and Nathan Enderle, the three quarterbacks currently on the roster. "We're going to make improvements with our group. We're not looking on the outside. We won't have a quarterback tryout or anything like that."

Hopefully, this is the last we speak of Brett Lorenzo Favre's possible return to the NFL (although somehow we suspect it won't be).

Last week, there was speculation that Donovan McNabb could join the Bears after being released by the Vikings. That didn't happen either.

“If [the front office] feels like [McNabb] can help us win games, then that's the number,” defensive back Corey Graham said, via CSNChicago.com. “But as of right now, we actually believe in Caleb. We've seen him do a lot of great things in practice and things of that nature, so we believe in what he can do. Yeah, it's been a rough couple of games for him, but I'm pretty sure he can bounce back and I'm pretty sure he can be OK for us.”

And Devin Hester, during a Monday radio appearance, said that signing McNabb would be a "waste of time" because of the intricacies of Mike Martz's offense and with only four weeks left in the regular season.  

To recap: if Chicago is going to make the playoffs it won't be because of a late-season acquisition of a veteran quarterback. It will be because Hanie played much better over the final month of the season than he did the previous two weeks.

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Posted on: December 5, 2011 1:57 pm
Edited on: December 5, 2011 2:15 pm
 

Report: Brett Favre would listen if Bears called

Posted by Will Brinson



And so it begins: a report out of Chicago Monday indicates that Brett Favre "would listen" if the Bears, dealing with serious deficiencies on offense, came calling.

Mike C. Wright of ESPN Chicago cites a "source familiar with the quarterback" who said Favre "would listen if the Bears made a pitch." Wright also adds, however, that it's "highly doubtful" that the Bears would call and that, as of the report, Chicago had not contacted Favre.
Week 13 Recap

That backs up what Bears coach Lovie Smith said on Monday when addressing the offensive issues following a sprained MCL injury to running back Matt Forte that could sideline the Bears two best offensive players -- quarterback Jay Cutler and Forte -- for the rest of the regular season.

"That's our group," Smith said of his quarterbacks. "We're going to make improvements with our group. We're not looking on the outside. We won't have a quarterback tryout or anything like that."

On the heels of back-to-back three-interception games from Caleb Hanie, the Bears were tied to plenty of rumors surrounding free agent Donovan McNabb. (Wide receiver/kick returner Devin Hester believes that would be "a waste of time.")

The upshot to either Favre or McNabb is that they have more experience (and, hopefully, skill) than Hanie. The downside is that they don't know Mike Martz' offense, and getting either up to speed wouldn't be the easiest of tasks.

Additionally, each one would bring a touch of drama to the situation, as you might expect.

The more likely scenario is that Chicago does what Chicago does, which is try to win games with defense and special teams. But the Bears are still in the playoff hunt, and Favre will, apparently, never go away. So let's not rule anything out completely just yet.

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Posted on: November 28, 2011 6:43 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2011 9:51 pm
 

Yates to start, Kubiak won't 'rule out anybody'

Posted by Will Brinson



Earlier Monday we learned that injured Houston quarterback Matt Schaub was fully behind (former) third-string rookie T.J. Yates and his ability to succeed as a starter with the Texans. Even better news came out late Monday afternoon: coach Gary Kubiak is on board with Yates as well.

Kubiak confirmed on Monday that Yates would start for the Texans in Week 13 and also confirmed that Matt Leinart is out for the season.

"We are going with T.J. It’s T.J.’s opportunity and it’s his job and I told him and I told the team that today," Kubiak said after Monday's practice. "But I also told the team that we will bring in somebody else. We’ve got a young quarterback and a backup who’s been here for four days, so we’ve got to find some experience out there, who’s been in a few rodeos, so to speak, and make sure we’re preparing ourselves for down the road."

  Who will that quarterback be? Well, Kubiak also left open the ominous, but unlikely, possibility of a certain retiree joining the Texans roster.

"I don’t think you rule out anybody," Kubiak said when asked if he could eliminate Brett Favre from the discussion. "I know there’s, like I said, a lot of names being mentioned. We’ve got to continue to work through the process. I'm not going to rule out anybody, nor confirm anybody."

On Sunday night, Peter King of Sports Illustrated reported on NBC that he talked with Favre and Texans general manager Rick Smith, and both said there was no mutual interest in a return to the NFL for No. 4, even in a good situation like the Texans offer.

So it seems pretty unlikely that Favre will get a call from Houston, if he would even respond. Favre doesn't really make all that much sense for Houston, given that they're already fully committed to running the ball and shutting teams down defensively. Yes, he's got more experience than Yates (who, as we noted, is already UNC's greatest NFL quarterback, with just over a half's worth of statistics). 

But Favre also brings a pile of drama to the table, with no guarantee for success, and that might be too much of a gamble for the Texans to take.

Of course, if Yates struggles, well, you can't rule anyone out.

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Posted on: November 21, 2011 11:42 am
 

Which free agent QBs could fit Bears needs?

Cutler, Martz

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Now that Bears coach Lovie Smith has officially confirmed the news that Jay Cutler broke his thumb* while trying to make a tackle after an interception during Chicago’s win against the Chargers on Sunday, we wonder where the Bears offense goes from here.

*You can see video of the play here.

The Bears QB Future
The quick reaction from across the league has been definitive: the Bears are screwed. And it’s hard not to disagree, especially when you consider Caleb Hanie is the new starting quarterback and fifth-round pick Nathan Enderle (if you haven’t heard of him, that’s OK -- he played his college ball at Idaho) is his backup. That could be a recipe for disaster.

Hanie has played a total of seven games in his three-year career, and in the regular season, he’s completed 8 of 14 passes for 66 yards. But his real moment to shine occurred during last year’s NFC championship game (you might remember it because Cutler injured his knee, couldn’t return to the game and got toasted for it by his colleagues on Twitter) when he completed 13 of 20 passes for 153 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions in Chicago’s 21-14 loss.

The Bears most likely will have to sign a third quarterback for the roster (or a fourth, assuming they don’t place Cutler on IR, and for now, the Bears don’t have a timetable for his return), and they’ll have to troll the free agent market to do so. Chances are, they won’t get somebody more prepared to play in this offense than Hanie, but an experienced quarterback could add depth and keep Enderle from having to come into the game.

Here is a list of five potential free agents the Bears could target.

BulgerMarc Bulger: This one seems the most obvious, because Bulger worked under Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz when Martz was the head coach in St. Louis. In order for an incoming free agent to have any chance of playing this season for the Bears, he most likely would need to have knowledge of Martz’s style of play. Bulger has that. But Bulger has made it clear he’s not interested in returning to football. He told the Ravens at the beginning of season to give him a call if Joe Flacco suffered an injury, but since then, Bulger has told at least one team that he’s not interested in playing football anymore. Unless Bulger was guaranteed that he would be a backup, the Bears probably should move on.

Chances of this happening: 10 percent

Trent Edwards: After he didn’t make the Raiders squad out of training camp, Edwards actually had a chance to sign with the Dolphins once they lost Chad Henne. But Edwards took one look at that franchise and said thanks, but no thanks (Matt Moore, by the way, is forever grateful). Edwards actually had a decent year as the Bills starter in 2008, but he eventually lost that job to Ryan Fitzpatrick. The problem with Edwards, though, is that he’s not been especially good for the past three years. I mean, if Kyle Boller beats you out of a backup job, that’s not a very good sign.

Chances of this happening: 8 percent
T. Collins struggled in last year's NFC championship game (US Presswire).
Todd Collins: Just because Collins is 40 years old (!) and got yanked for Hanie after Collins briefly replaced Cutler in the NFC championship game last year (as seen in the picture at left) doesn’t mean the Bears shouldn’t look at him anyway. Collins spent a season with Martz, so he should know the offense relatively well. The problem is that Collins has never been anything more than an NFL backup, and if you had to pick between Collins and Enderle, you might be better suited to go with the rookie. But for some reason, I think there’s a chance Chicago could turn back to Collins if things get desperate.

Chances of this happening: 20 percent

Jake Delhomme: If the Bears were looking for a Collins alternative who is four years younger with infinitely more NFL success, they could do worse than Delhomme. That said, Delhomme was a disaster last year in Cleveland and eventually gave way to Colt McCoy. Though there reportedly was interest in him by the Browns and the Dolphins this year, Delhomme isn’t doing much of anything these days (except for sending John Fox congratulatory text messages). Fortunately, the Bears coaching staff would have the ability to watch film from Delhomme’s stay in Cleveland last year. And that should be enough to force the coaches to toss Delhomme’s number in the trash.

Chances of this happening: 5 percent

Brett Favre: Stop it. Just … stop it.

Chances of this happening: 0.5 percent

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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