Bears

Final exam for Hanie, Bears' season

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Final exam for Hanie, Bears' season

Nothing has been or will be said about the Bears quarterback situation coming into a game but the final exam for Caleb Hanie and the Bears season is at hand. No more, no less.

But if the Bears struggle through another first half with Hanie they have never led after two quarters in his three starts the calls for Josh McCown are likely to be loud and clear Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks.

The Bears were averaging more than 30 points per game in their five-game win streak under Jay Cutler. They have totaled 33 points in their three under Hanie.

Hanie was handed an unwanted audition with the injury to Cutler. He is an unrestricted free agent after this season. People are watching.

I'm not worried about it personally, said Hanie, who has had good stretches and horrendous ones. All I'm worried about is the team. It's a critical stretch for the team. We've got three games. We're in the playoff hunt still.

We're confident that if we win out that other teams will slip up. And we're confident in the guys we have. So I'm not worried about any personal goals or agendas at this time, besides getting better and making the plays I need to make during the game.

It wont be easy for Hanie. The Seahawks are allowing opposing quarterbacks a passer rating averaging 78.6, which is 10th-best in the NFL.

The Martz effect

An irony in the Hanie situation is that the Bears are reaping what Mike Martz sowed, not this year, but well before that.

Under Ron Turner, Hanie was the No. 2 on a two-man depth chart with Cutler. When Martz took over, he wanted a veteran in the stable, which was generally met with public approval of Todd Collins. Or at least until Collins actually played.

Hanie was relegated to No. 3, which gave him less than no work with the Martz offense until he was thrown in after Collins failures at New York and Carolina. The only times Hanie began a game as other than the No. 3 was vs. Seattle and Washington and he didnt play then.

Hes getting better, Martz said last week. Theres no question hes getting better. Hes getting a better feel for the game. The more he plays, the better hes going to get. Hes going to have a long career in the league. Hes basically a rookie learning as he goes.

A second irony here is that Martzs own career well could be riding on Hanies performance. Martz may never have wanted Hanie as his quarterback, but Martzs future in Chicago, if there is one at this point, or elsewhere will depend in some measure on his ability to develop a quarterback, and that now means Hanie.

I have not lost any confidence in him at all. I really havent, Martz insisted. Weve just got to continue to teach and support him and encourage him and not discourage him and just hang in there with him, really.

Pat McAfee thinks Cam Newton is the move the Bears should be making this offseason

Pat McAfee thinks Cam Newton is the move the Bears should be making this offseason

Recently on the always-light-hearted, analytical-bending Pat McAfee Show, the former Indianapolis Colts player turned radio host weighed in on the Bears’ decision to keep Mitch Trubisky under center for the upcoming season. McAfee believes it’s time the Bears climb back into relevancy by replacing Trubisky with former-MVP Cam Newton:

If I was the Chicago Bears, I would be trying to get Cam Newton. What's the worst that could happen? He stinks? You guys stink anyways. 

With a “what do you have to lose?” mantra, McAfee believes that the Bears should swap out Trubisky for the Panthers' star. Newton is not a free agent, however; it's possible his time with the Panthers could be up,  as it's been heavily-rumored that they'll trade him away this offseason. Newton was sidelined most of the 2019 season with back-to-back injuries, first in his shoulder, then his ankle. If they trade away Newton, the Panthers could allot the money to rebuilding their team around one of the league’s best running backs, Christian McCaffery. 

2020 Senior Bowl: Jordan Love's 1st-round hype is real

2020 Senior Bowl: Jordan Love's 1st-round hype is real

MOBILE, Ala. — The Detroit Lions didn't gain any new fans after their questionable practice session (North team) on Day 1 of the 2020 Senior Bowl, but despite a lot of time warming up and working against air, there were a few prospect performances worth noting.

Utah State quarterback Jordan Love was the headliner, showing off his cannon of an arm in what was a clear display of starting-quarterback talent. Compared to fellow North team quarterbacks Shea Patterson (Michigan) and Anthony Gordon (Washington State), Love looked like the only quarterback who's capable of succeeding in the NFL. It wasn't even close.

Love has an effortless throwing motion. His passes are crisp, accurate and on a rope. Was he perfect? No. But he had the most impressive arm of the day. His first-round hype is very real and will only continue to build momentum as the week goes on.

RELATED: Here's who Bears scouts are watching at the Senior Bowl

As for Patterson and Gordon? Bears fans need to temper their excitement for both of them. Patterson's quirky throwing motion looks labored and forced while Gordon's slight frame and underwhelming arm strength scream backup at best.

Tight end Brycen Hopkins (Purdue) had a quiet first practice. His opportunities to make plays were limited. But he'll need a strong finish to the week to maintain his standing as the top tight end at the Senior Bowl.

One player Bears fans should highlight as a name to watch is Michigan offensive lineman Ben Bredeson. He looked the part on Tuesday. He has strong hands and the kind of powerful playing style that tends to lead to success in the NFL. He showed pretty good feet, too. He has a chance to rise up the board if he stacks two more positive practices together.

On the defensive side of the ball, Syracuse edge rusher Alton Robinson flashed in drills. He showed a good first step and violent hands at the point of attack. He won several reps with ease. The Bears have to add pass-rush help in the middle rounds, and Robinson looks like a quality prospect worth keeping an eye on.

Ohio State defensive lineman Davon Hamilton had a nice day, too. He was almost unblockable at times and practiced with a level of intensity that scouts are certain to like. While not a need in Chicago, Hamilton looks like a player whose value could trump need come draft day. 

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