New Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz essentially confirmed what most of us have felt since last year, when the Bears carried just two quarterbacks on the active roster: adding a veteran backup would provide valuable insurance should the worst happen and Jay Cutler suffers an injury.
Martz was interviewed at the end of the three-day rookie minicamp and asked about sixth-round pick Dan LeFevour as well as veteran Caleb Hanie.
“Caleb is going to be a good player, but you really don’t know,” Martz said. “It would make us all feel a little easier with a veteran because you just never know.”
Hanie was the Bears’ only backup quarterback last year as the Bears elected to add Brett Basanez to the practice squad.
“The only thing we don’t know is how well he responds under pressure. Can he take this information and see things and react quickly? Sometimes that takes time. He needs experience. We’ll see as much of Caleb as we can to get a feel for where he is.”
The Bears like LeFevour’s tools, which is why they selected him as a value pick in the sixth round with so many other needs to fill. But Martz spent the entire minicamp working on fundamentals with LeFevour, who spent his college career in a spread offense. Quarterbacks who operate out of that offense in college are usually wet behind the ears and require a learning period to get up to the speed of the pro game.
That leaves the Bears in a quandary, as their season would essentially be over if Cutler were to suffer a season-ending injury, or miss a significant length of time. If Martz has his way, the Bears will continue to explore the possibilities that remain on the market, including former Rams quarterback Marc Bulger. Bulger will be looking for an opportunity to start, which will include a higher salary than other backup plans. If the Bears do have any interest in Bulger, they’re likely waiting to see how the market plays out before committing big dollars to a veteran backup quarterback.