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Josh McCown wants Caleb Hanie to succeed

Josh McCown completed pass threw an interceptiagainst Seahawks. | Matt Marton~Sun-Times Media

Josh McCown completed a pass and threw an interception against the Seahawks. | Matt Marton~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 21, 2012 8:18AM



As a competitor, quarterback Josh McCown would’ve embraced an opportunity to enter Sunday’s game before the score got out of hand.

“But at the same time,” McCown told the Sun-Times after the Bears’ 38-14 loss, “you have to go when they call you.

“You have to take advantage of the reps you get. But I hate to go in under those circumstances, obviously.”

Caleb Hanie has completed 51 of 102 passes for 613 yards with three touchdown passes and nine interceptions.

His passer rating is 41.8.

McCown made his Bears debut with 4:54 left after the Seahawks intercepted Hanie and returned it for a touchdown for the second time.

McCown scrambled for five yards on his first play, but the play was called back because of a holding penalty on J’Marcus Webb. Then he completed a short pass that running back Kahlil Bell turned into a 12-yard gain.

On second-and-eight from the Bears’ 29, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman stepped inside and intercepted a pass McCown intended for receiver Roy Williams.

“I looked the safety off to the left, and it was a timing thing,” McCown said. “I threw it to a spot on the right. I was expecting Roy to come on that post, but the [defensive back] jumped inside.”

Signed to a one-year deal, McCown said his focus is to “just be available.”

“Get myself ready to go, so depending on the direction they want to go, I’m ready,” he said. “But I’m supporting Caleb, and hopefully he can bounce back and be all right.”

Coach Lovie Smith said the team is still evaluating videotape and the Bears haven’t made any decisions on who will start this Sunday in Green Bay.

“Right now, Caleb Hanie is our starting quarterback,” Smith said. “We finished up, we felt like we needed a boost, we needed to change the course a little bit, but we do that with all players.

“None of those decisions has been made with any of our position [players].”

Asked if he would consider playing rookie Nathan Enderle, Smith said, “This isn’t a tryout period, either. We’re trying to win a football game. So the best guys that give us an opportunity to do that, of course talking with our coaching staff, will be on the field. No more than that.”

McCown said he empathized with Hanie, who completed only 10 of 23 passes for 111 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.

“I’m the last guy who sits there and says, ‘I hope this guy struggles so I can play.’ We all have Bears uniforms on,” McCown said. “We’re all part of this team together, and you want your team to do well.

“So nobody’s rooting for Caleb more than me. Your heart breaks for him.”



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