Bears were not only team interested in QB Hanie

SHARE Bears were not only team interested in QB Hanie

Tracked down a quarterbacks coach in the league to pick his brain about Caleb Hanie, the Colorado State quarterback who was signed to a contract as an undrafted free agent to compete with Southern Illinois Nick Hill. The coach spoke on the condition he not be identified.

“He did throw quite a few interceptions but we thought that he was on a bad football team trying to make plays more than really making poor decisions. He didnt have a great team around him and it looked like he was just a competitor, trying to make plays and give his team a chance to win more than having a chronic problem making bad decisions. Hes got pretty good size (6-2, 236 pounds), really good arm strength. He was active enough in the pocket where he could make some plays. I liked him.

The coach also discussed USCs John David Booty, who the Bears passed on in the fourth round to draft LSU safety Craig Steltz, and Michigans Chad Henne, who the Bears could have nabbed in the second round.

“We kind of liked [Booty] too. We felt he was going to be maybe the most initially ready to play quarterback in the draft. We didnt know how much upside he had, but hes polished and he played in a really good, pro-style system at SC. All the concepts the NFL runs are very similar to what they were doing. Hes pretty polished. Very accurate on intermediate stuff to low. As it got deep down the field, it didnt always happen for him, but thought that he was polished and certainly could be a No. 2 for a long time and maybe could be a No. 1 but we didnt really project him that high.”

And Henne?

“I was real high on Henne. I know some people were knocking him that he wasnt always accurate. But he was hurt quite a bit of his senior year. But when he was healthy I thought he threw the ball as well as anybody. You cant underestimate a four-year starter at Michigan. There is a lot of experience there. He seemed like a bright guy who had the right demeanor and all that stuff. I look for him to play for a long time.

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