Denver Broncos: Is Caleb Hanie Ready to Lead If Manning Goes Down?

Sarah Marshall@SBMarshallBUContributor IJuly 30, 2012

ENGLEWOOD, CO - JULY 26:  Quarterbacks Peyton Manning #18, Brock Osweiler #6 and Caleb Hanie #16 of the Denver Broncos talk during training camp at the Paul D. Bowlen Memorial Broncos Centre at Dove Valley on July 26, 2012 in Englewood, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

After acquiring Peyton Manning in the offseason, the Denver Broncos signed Caleb Hanie, presumably as a backup quarterback. The plan was for Hanie to take over if Manning went down with an injury.

After five days of training camp, Hanie has been taking snaps in the number two offense. Rookie Brock Osweiler and Adam Weber have also been taking snaps in the number two offense.

There still isn't a set second-string quarterback, with coach John Fox saying, "we pretty much have a One and have a 2A, B and C." At the end of training camp, if Hanie wins the position of second-string quarterback, will he be ready to take over if Manning goes down?

Hanie last played for the Chicago Bears, taking the reigns after Jay Cutler went down with a thumb injury. In his first NFL start, Hanie threw two touchdowns and three interceptions and ended the Bears' win streak. After three consecutive poor performances, Hanie was replaced by Josh McCown for Weeks 16 and 17. 

After reading Hanie's stats from last season in Chicago, it's scary to think he could be the quarterback if Manning goes down with an injury, which is a very real possibility. It doesn't help that Hanie isn't getting as many reps. I mean, what IF Manning goes down and Hanie isn't fully prepared? The Denver Broncos' dreams of a deep 2012 season would, more than likely, be over. 

In his four NFL seasons, Hanie has more interceptions (9) than touchdowns (3). In his last game with Chicago, he had one touchdown, three interceptions and lost to the Seattle Seahawks, 14-38. 

When the Broncos signed Hanie, I was a little confused. I understand having confidence in Peyton Manning as your quarterback, but there needs to be a steady second-string quarterback in case of injury. Hanie is not it. The Broncos need a quarterback that is more reliable. Fans and players want to hope Manning won't get hurt, but if he does, the Broncos are in trouble with Hanie at the reigns. 

Maybe after a few more days of training camp Hanie will steadily improve, but at this point, it might be better to let Osweiler have more reps. If I were John Fox, I'd give him more reps than Hanie, because Hanie is not the quarterback of the future and wouldn't be a good choice to take over if Manning goes down.