General manager Jerry Angelo professed that games are won and lost in the NFL at the quarterback position during his season-ending press conference, as he appeared to be in the market for more competition for incumbent Kyle Orton before 2009.
But Angelo's words have rang hollow ever since because he did nothing more in free agency than bring in Brett Basanez off the Carolina practice squad, plus the Bears haven't been linked to any of the big-name QB prospects available in April's draft. Even with quality veterans like Jeff Garcia and Byron Leftwich currently on the open market that could be had for reasonable money, neither has been to Halas Hall for a visit. And as far as the draft is concerned, Angelo and Co. have been conversing with the likes of Alabama's John Parker Wilson and Buffalo's Drew Willy the last month or two, not Georgia's Matthew Stafford or USC's Mark Sanchez.
Veteran minicamp is next week in Lake Forest, and all signs point to Caleb Hanie, an undrafted rookie free agent from Colorado State less than a year ago, being the No. 2 behind Orton.
However, Chicago looks to have added another quarterback to its draft board this week, although, like both Wilson and Willy, he's a long shot at best to make a living throwing a football on Sunday.
As reported by Mitch Sherman of the Omaha World-Herald, the Bears had a one-on-one with Joe Ganz of Nebraska following his Pro Day workout Thursday in Lincoln.
Ganz (6-0, 210) was fairly productive this past season for the Cornhuskers, completing 67.9 percent of his passes for 3,568 yards with 25 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Although he was only the full-time starter his senior year, he wrapped up his collegiate career with a completion percentage of 65.1 and a TD-to-INT ratio of 44-to-18. But he's not very big, isn't much of an athlete, and doesn't possess a strong arm, so it's a possibility team officials only talked to him because he's a local product – he graduated from Amos Alonzo Stagg High School in the Chicago suburb of Palos Hills.
Like Hanie, Ganz's best bet will be as an undrafted free agent since Scout.com does not list him among the top 27 quarterbacks available for the NFL Draft.
Needless to say, Orton isn't going to lose any sleep over this news.
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John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.
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