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Finding a Backup Quarterback

| May 28th, 2009

I’m not down on Caleb
Hanie’s ability or potential. I like the kid and I’m hoping he becomes
the Frank Reich to Jay Cutler’s Jim Kelly (with the possible exception
of winning Super Bowls). But for the security of the
2009 campaign, the Bears need Hanie holding the clipboard. Here are
some options for the second banana on the QB tree…

The Tampa Two-Step
The quarterback collection agency known as the Tampa Bay Bucs
signed Byron Leftwich and drafted Kansas State’s Josh Freeman. This
leaves either Luke McCown or Brian Griese as the odd-man out when it
comes to the regular season roster and both would be a considerable,
professional upgrades over Hanie. (Although things didn’t necessarily
end well with Griese here.)

Damon Huard, San Francisco
Huard’s ten-game stint with the Chiefs in 2006 proved he is capable of
holding down the fort for an NFL franchise. He’s not a starter anymore
but – with a solid offensive line and running game – he’s not going to
throw a season away. And with Shaun Hill and Alex Smith expected to
compete for the starting job, Huard might be attainable for a low-level
draft pick (7th).

Rex Grossman, Free Agent
This has disaster written all over it. The fans can’t stand him. He
can’t stand the fans. The organization clearly wants to move on. But
with no teams in the NFL showing even the slightest interest in the
kid, isn’t the foundation in place for reconciliation? Grossman knows
the offense. He knows the players. He knows (I hope) that he’s not on
the same level with the current starter. I don’t want to see #8 fumble
snaps at Soldier Field any more than you do, but I’d take a fallen
leader with something to prove over an unproven, second-year kid any
day.

J.P. Losman, Free Agent
Also a free agent, Losman is an intriguing option for the Bears. Call
him “Diet Cutler”. He’s a strong-armed, confident kid with excellent
mobility. He’s Rex Grossman without the stigma of being Rex Grossman.
And what could he possibly cost? I’d think he’d be thrilled with the
opportunity to come into camp and compete with Caleb for the shot to
suit up each Sunday. And at this point in the year, the organization
should be looking for competitive bodies at the position, not potential
MVPs.

Brad Johnson, Free Agent
Ugh.

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