Time for a Change

The Bears have five games left this season and every remaining snap should be given to Chad Hutchinson, in order to see if he can be figured into the equation for next year.

The Craig Krenzel experiment might have come to an end Thursday against the Cowboys, as he left the game in the second quarter because of an ankle injury.

"He wasn't able to finish the game so right now it's a concern," Lovie Smith said.

Jonathan Quinn came in and made little difference.

Their combined passer rating was 33.5 on 15-of-31 for 132 yards with two interceptions. They took six sacks. Krenzel lost away a fumbled snap and Quinn threw two interceptions. In about four games, Krenzel has accounted for 13 turnovers (7 fumbles and 6 interceptions).

"A lot (of blame) will be placed on the quarterback," Smith said. "The quarterback position didn't play well, but other positions didn't either."

The coaching staff is finally considering going with Hutchinson because they don't play another game for 10 days, which should be enough time to get him ready against the Minnesota Vikings.

"We have a couple of days to heal up and analyze where we are," Smith said. "We'll look at all positions like we do each week, whether it's a win or a loss. We'll analyze the positions and see who gives us the best chance to win the following week.

If Hutchinson, who has been with the team for nearly two months, doesn't know the offense well enough to get on the field he shouldn't be on the roster.

Even though Krenzel completed just a grand total of 31 passes in his first three starts, justifying a change behind center when the team was in the midst of a three-game winning streak would have been difficult.

With R.W. McQuarters 45-yard interception return for a touchdown the Bears defense has accounted for five scores, which is the same amount of passing touchdowns the offense has in 11 games. With McQuarters punt return for a touchdown the team has six returns non-offensive scores.

One could argue that the only reason Hutchinson didn't appear in the final period of a blowout loss against Indianapolis was to avoid a quarterback controversy in a short week.

If Hutchinson had any success against the Colts the questions about playing him against Dallas would have come fast and furious.

Now with Krenzel hurt and Quinn obviously not a viable option, it's time to give Hutchinson a shot.

Following the 21-7 loss to Dallas, Smith went as far as to ask a reporter if he could suit up and play quarterback.

"We're looking at everyone right now with how we've played," Smith said.

While Rex Grossman is the future at the position, the Bears need to find an adequate backup so if he goes down again the offense can remain credible.

Hutchinson may or may not be the guy, but five games will give the decision makers a solid test sample.

"Development will come into play in any given year when we're out of the playoffs that's not the case right now," Smith said. "We're still in a mode to win. Give the best possible team we can on the field to win that next week."

At this point, development and having the best chance to win seem to point in Hutchinson's direction.


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