Thursday, August 18, 2011

Overreact Much, David Haugh?

Ahh. Do you smell it? It's time for the first fisking of the summer. David Haugh wants Mike Martz to know that he's not happy about the demotion of Caleb Hanie that didn't actually happen, since Martz said Caleb will be the #2 at the start of the season barring injury. Anywho, you know the drill: Haugh's in italics, I'm not.

Almost singlehandedly, Mike Martz has all but stopped Caleb "Hania" from spreading throughout Kankakee County this summer.

Other things that have stopped Caleb Hania:
1. It's a stupid term
2. He's the back up quarterback.
3. No, seriously, he's the back up quarterback.

It seems the Bears offensive coordinator has spent more time in the backup quarterback's head this month than his own dorm room. As a result, Hanie's confidence evacuated. His consistency scattered.

See, what Haugh is going to argue here is that Hanie is playing poorly because Martz doesn't believe in him. This is actually a good stance to argue, because Martz is thus always wrong, even if Martz is actually criticizing Hanie because...you know, he's playing poorly.

Suddenly the Bears have to be careful handling Hanie, who finds his career at a crossroads out here in corn country.

Indeed, if the Bears aren't careful with Caleb here, he may end up nothing more than a back up quarterback.

"I haven't played as well as I wanted, especially (Saturday),'' Hanie admitted Wednesday.

But Martz shouldn't criticize him for that. Or something. What's a coach for again?

So began the preseason's most ridiculous and avoidable controversy when Hanie didn't exactly look like a million bucks — or the $1.2 million for which the Bears signed him. He struggled, only flashing hints of the play-making ability that made him notable in the NFC Championship game.

It's ridiculous and avoidable for 2 reasons: it's a back up quarterback, and it doesn't exist. He didn't get as many reps during ONE DAY of practice. The depth chart never changed any point.

But if the first exhibition game means so little, why did Martz make Hanie watch fifth-round rookie Nathan Enderle replace him as the No. 2 quarterback the next practice? Why create a problem with a guy who clearly must be part of the solution?

Because it was just for one practice. He also stated he was rewarding Enderle (who was 7 of 10 for 110 yards) by giving him some more reps. This is called "building a young QB's confidence", note this, since David Haugh is supposedly all for it.

This is how you stunt the growth of a promising young quarterback, how you kill confident Caleb. This is when you are supposed to build Hanie up rather than tear him down, one subtle, psychological move at a time.

This is how you expose David Haugh as a f&%king hypocrite. Here's Haugh in a piece last year:

I have doubts Martz can. Martz has made a career out of designing ways to make quarterbacks pile up big numbers. What he has done mostly with Cutler is enlarge his ego. End the bro-mance. A struggling, self-destructive quarterback doesn't need to hear how brilliant he is. He needs to be threatened with his job if he throws four picks again.

So, when the young QB is Caleb Hanie, Martz needs to go out of his way to protect his fragile ego. When it's Jay Cutler or Nathan Enderle? F*&k those guys, man, this is a results business.

Like most young quarterbacks, Hanie has flaws. He needs to economize his body movement when setting his feet and learn how to use his vision more effectively. He has to unload the ball quicker. He is far from beyond criticism.

That criticism just shouldn't come from Mike Martz, apparently. David Haugh will be the arbiter of when, who, how, and why should be criticized under the Lovie Smith regime.

But Hanie possesses a knack for making plays, a quality that turned him into Mr. August every training camp before this one. Those traits resurfaced Wednesday in a solid practice, the same instincts that carried Hanie in a playoff performance that apparently impressed everybody in Chicago but Martz.

He also has a knack for throwing the ball to defensive tackles. I love Caleb, I really do, but he's in no way an established player. In his career he's completed 21 of 34 passes (61.7%) for 219 yards (6.4 YPA), 1 TD, and 3 INTs (including the playoff game, of course) and a 53.4 rating. None of those numbers are going to blow anybody's mind. He's proven nothing other than that he's a promising back up quarterback. The key thing to remember here is that Martz Hasn't demoted Caleb. Also, we have no idea whether Nathan Enderle could possibly be better. Martz may want to find out. That's a pretty novel concept. Last year we all criticized Mike for going with the shitty, established veteran over the young guy. Now we're criticizing him for at least seeing what the younger guy can do with a few more reps? Ridiculous.

Also, according to everyone but David Haugh, Caleb looked abysmal in that practice and threw three interceptions, following a poor preseason performance and five interceptions the week before in practice.

Martz inherited Hanie but he has to stop inhibiting him. Keep doubting a quarterback and eventually his tentative play will prove a coach right. But throw support behind a guy through adversity and often that faith is rewarded.

Always support your quarterback, Martz. Don't criticize him. But don't build up his ego, either. Maybe even make up some rumors about trading him for Donovan McNabb. Either way, Caleb Hanie needs to know there will be consequences if he plays poorly. No, wait. That's Jay Cutler. Caleb needs the bromance that you're not supposed to have with Jay, or something. I don't know. Why the hell does David Haugh get paid for this?