Hanie's Shoulder Hurts, But Collins' Contract Smarts Worse - NBC Chicago

Hanie's Shoulder Hurts, But Collins' Contract Smarts Worse

As Hanie rehabs shoulder, Collins steps in



    Hanie's Shoulder Hurts, But Collins' Contract Smarts Worse
    Getty Images
    With Hanie out with a shoulder sprain, the Bears need a backup option.

    The Bears signing of veteran backup quarterback Todd Collins puts injured back-up quarterback Caleb Hanie is in a tough spot.

    Not only does he have to focus on getting healthy so that he can return to the Bears, but when he gets healthy, he'll have to fight for his old job.

    According to Hanie, he's not worried about it:

    "My reaction is I’ve just got to keep on plugging away at getting better, and all the work that I’ve done up to this point, I just need to keep on building on that," Hanie told ChicagoBears.com. "I need to get back from my injury quickly, so I can continue the process."

    The Bears expect that Hanie will be ready in time for the season opener. Lovie Smith has acknowledged that the backup QB job doesn't belong to Hanie or Collins. In fact, noone's job is safe.

    "Every job is open to competition," Smith said.

    That's the best news Bears fans can hear. Competition between Hanie and Collins -- players at vastly different points in their careers -- will make both of them work harder.

    Hanie has just one year in the league, and played in just three games. He's been competent, but not dazzling. Still, throughout training camp, the Bears brass reiterated they were happy with Hanie's progress. His sprained shoulder threw the team for a loop, as they had to scramble for a fill-in. First, they signed Matt Gutierrez, and then added Collins on Monday.

    Collins is a journeyman QB, having played with Washington, Kansas City and Buffalo. He's a middle-of-the-road QB, but one who can learn offenses quickly. He's won half of the games he's started, and completed a 56 percent of the passes he's thrown. In other words, a proficient backup, but not the man who will lead the Bears to the Super Bowl.

    Both are hungry and want to secure their spot with the team, which is great news for the Bears. Two players pushing each other will make them both better.