Jay with rookie Enderle
For the third straight year the Chicago Bears are entering the season with a clear defined No. 1 quarterback. It is also the first time in a few seasons that Jay Cutler will not be forced to learn a new offense as offensive coordinator Mike Martz remains with the team.
The team has five QBs in camp but only three are expected to make the team. Of course Jay Cutler will be the starter with restricted free agent Caleb Hanie being the backup and most experts assume that fifth-round draft pick Nathan Enderle will be the third, mostly inactive, quarterback. The other two guys in camp are former Patriot and Chief Matt Guiterrez and undrafted rookie Trevor Vittatoe from UTEP. Vittatoe could potentially make the practice squad and may have a shot to be the third quarterback next season when Caleb becomes a free agent.
Jay Cutler is going to try and rebound from some negative critiques over him leaving the NFC title game with an injured knee and possibly regain his Pro-Bowl form which he had his final season in Denver. Hopefully the addition of wide receiver Roy Williams will give Jay the big target he has lacked during his first two season in Chicago.
Hanie is coming off a very impressive second half replacing Cutler and former backup Todd Collins when he nearly led the Bears comeback during the NFC title game. Many reports say that Mike Martz is not a big fan of Caleb but his play in the final game forced the Bears hands to bring him back to be Jay's backup. With the lack of upgrades made to the offensive line there could be a good chance for Hanie to show off his talents to other teams across the league as he will be an unrestricted free agent at season's end.
Finally we come to the project quarterback Nathan Enderle, whom Mike Martz personally worked out before the Bears drafted him in the fifth round. Enderle was a four-year starter at Idaho and is getting groomed to possibly take over the backup job from Hanie next season if not sooner.
Hopefully this season will not be like seasons past where all three quarterbacks play for the Monsters of the Midway, but with the shape of the offensive line I for one have serious doubts how likely that will be. Let's all pray to Papa Bear Halas for the health of Jay Cutler and let's hope we don't hear Lovie utter the phrase "Nathan Enderle is our starting QB."
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