Bears quarterback Caleb Hanie, who got his first professional start Sunday, experienced another first this week.
The fourth-year veteran got to review tape of an NFL game he started and finished, and he believes the information, criticism and evaluation he received from coaches will help him perform better this week against the Chiefs.
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"I gained a little more confidence," Hanie said. "Coming straight out of the game, you have 3 turnovers that you're responsible for, and you feel bad about it. Going back watching the tape, you've got to watch it with a hard eye on yourself and really evaluate (whether an interception) was a bad decision, a bad throw; what was it? Looking back, there were a lot of great things that came out of the game. It wasn't as bad as it might have felt after the game."
Hanie's 3 interceptions all came in the first half, but he had a passer rating of 107.4 in the fourth quarter -- although the Bears' rally fell short. With the confidence of one NFL start under his belt, Hanie believes he'll be able to better handle the "antsy" feeling he had early in his first start that led to 2 first-quarter interceptions.
"Being that it was my first game, I needed to just breathe, let everything hang out, especially at the beginning," he said. "I felt like I did that after the first quarter, and Jay (Cutler) and (quarterbacks coach) Shane (Day) did a good job helping me through that initial process.
"Now I think I'm good to go, so no excuses this week."
Despite his rocky start and the Bears' first loss in seven weeks, Hanie still has the confidence of his teammates.
"No question about it," center Roberto Garza said. "That's not even an issue for us. We know we're going to take a big step toward the right direction this week. He kept us in the game and kept us in it enough to almost win the game at the end. So we expect him to get better, and that's what it's all about."
Just four days after his thumb surgery, Cutler made it a point to be on the sidelines to provide support for Hanie, moral and otherwise. But Cutler said no amount of input and advice from himself and coaches can substitute for the on-the-job, under-fire training Hanie is getting on the field.
"It's hard to come in as a backup, and his expectations were high (because) he's been in the system," Cutler said. "But, still, he hasn't experienced a lot of these plays in a game situation. I can only tell him so much. He's got to really go out there and learn for himself, which is the hard part."
Cutler said Hanie's transition from little-used backup to full-time starter can be eased by the playcalling of offensive coordinator Mike Martz.
"We just have to be really careful of what kind of situations we put (Hanie) in," Cutler said. "Mike's got to be careful with that because we don't really know what Caleb's comfortable with. Caleb doesn't know what he's comfortable with because he hasn't run a lot of these plays. He hasn't done a lot of the stuff in the offense in a game situation, in high-pressure situations.
"So we'll just take care of him, and I think he's gong to get better and better. That second half was night and day from the first half. I think things were just moving pretty quickly for him in that first half, and once he settled down, he started to play pretty well."