Enderle Tabbed as Backup For Raider Game.................
Rookie Enderle likely Hanie backup vs. Raiders
By Brad Biggs, Tribune reporter 5:17 p.m. CST, November 23, 2011
The Chicago Bears don’t have to make a decision on their backup quarterback until 90 minutes before Sunday’s game at Oakland, but right now all signs point to rookie fifth-round pick Nathan Enderle handling that role against the Raiders.
Enderle has been active for just one game this season but will get the call unless the Bears deem newcomer Josh McCown can handle the role with just two days of preparation. Clearly, that’s why McCown was signed Wednesday afternoon.
“I think we have to get (McCown) here first to see exactly where he is but it does help when you have been in the system,” Bears coach Lovie Smith said. “He's a smart guy and all that. That should be an easier transition, but we have to see where he is. Nathan Enderle has been around here a long time. Nathan is in the backup role right now and we'll let everything else play out.”
Enderle played in two preseason games, the first and the fourth. The former Idaho Vandal completed 13 of 23 passes for 177 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. He was sacked eight times and has a 63.1 passer rating.
Since, he’s been forced to learn the offense the way all third quarterbacks in the NFL are used -- by observing. There aren’t reps for the third quarterback in practice so he has to pick up what he learns from the veterans on the practice field and in the meeting room. He drills after practice often with quarterbacks coach Shane Day, and they were on the field for an extra 25 minutes Wednesday.
“It’s standard around league get mental reps in on white board and watching the older guys do it right and then I can take that time to work on my technique when I don’t have to necessarily have to work on it when I have to work on mental stuff as well because that’s tough,” Enderle said. “I can work physically out here and get my mental reps in when the other guys are going.”
That physical work starts with the smallest details like the drop from center and his throwing motion. But the opportunity -- Enderle is one play away from being in an NFL game with his team in the playoff hunt -- isn’t too big for him.
“Getting some action in those two preseason games really just lets you know that it’s still just football,” he said. “The players are better and it’s a bigger stage but really when you break it down it’s still just football and as long as I am right with my reads and my technique, I’ll be fine.”
Offensive coordinator Mike Martz hasn’t said a lot to him, but he hasn’t had to either.
“He said this is why they brought me in,” Enderle said. “I need to be ready to go whenever.”