Mike Martz gets a developmental quarterback

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From Neil Hayes, who doesn’t know how to use a computer very well:

Based on offensive coordinator Mike Martz’s strong recommendation, the Bears took Idaho quarterback Nathan Enderle in the fifth round (160th overall).

Enderle was a four-year starter in Idaho’s pro-style offense and is said to be intelligent and competitive as well as heavy-footed.

He’s a project, a developmental quarterback not unlike Dan LeFevour. The Bears selected LeFevour in the sixth round last season before cutting him at the end of training camp. That Martz thought so highly of Enderle was the deciding factor in the Bears selecting a quarterback instead of a linebacker, cornerback, receiver or a player at some other position of greater need.

“Martz went out and worked him out this year and he really fell for the kid in terms of the intangibles,” player personnel director Tim Ruskell said.

Enderle completed 56.7 percent of his passes last season for 3,314 yards with 22 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, which Ruskell believes is more attributable to the 6-foot-4, 240-pounder losing the key playmakers that made him more successful as a junior, when he completed 61.5 of his passes with 22 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

“It was awesome when he came out,” Enderle said of Martz. “You could tell he had so much football knowledge. He started to tweak with my drop and some other things I was doing just when he was out here.”

Here’s my question: What’s to prevent what happened to LeFevour from happening again?

LeFevour was locked in as the third-string quarterback heading into training camp last summer. Based on his performance during offseason minicamps and early in training camp, he wasn’t somebody who would see the field. Then came an injury to backup Caleb Hanie, which meant LeFevour was forced into backup duty long before he was ready.

The Bears responded by signing veteran Todd Collins, resulting in LeFevour being cut late in training camp. He was signed by the Bengals.

The Bears went to training camp with three quarterbacks last season but will likely take four to Bourbonnais this season — Jay Cutler, Hanie, Matt Gutierrez and Enderle. Ruskell said he and the coaching staff are comfortable with Hanie being the primary backup next season and Martz was intrigued by what he saw from Gutierrez during his brief stint in training camp and wanted to see more.

If Hanie were to get hurt again, their wouldn’t be as great a need for a veteran because the more experienced Gutierrez could take over the backup role.

“He’s done a good job over the years with guys who maybe weren’t at their highest tier,” Ruskell said of Martz. “He’s done a good job finding these guys and developing these guys. That factored into the decision.”

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