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Lloyd hoping to be Orton's primary target
By Bob LeGere | Daily Herald Staff

Brandon Lloyd

 

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Published: 8/20/2008 12:06 AM

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Now that the Bears have chosen Kyle Orton as their quarterback, they must determine who will be catching his passes.

Brandon Lloyd leads all Bears wideouts with 5 catches in the preseason, and his 56 yards are second on the team to tight end Kellen Davis' 80 (on 4 catches).

But Lloyd isn't taking anything for granted as he prepares for Thursday night's game against the San Francisco 49ers, the team that drafted him in the third round out of Illinois in 2003.

"I'm still searching," he said. "We'll find out when the preseason's over."

Actually, the answer should be obvious after Thursday's third game, since the starters will play more than in any other preseason game and are expected to make only token appearances in the preseason finale Aug. 28 at Cleveland.

"We're zeroing in on that," offensive coordinator Ron Turner said. "That's sorting itself out. They'll all play in this game, but that's starting to take shape."

Playing time Thursday night could be indicative of the pecking order, but that's not foolproof, according to Turner.

"There are some guys we still we want to get a good look at just to make sure," he said. "There might be some guys that we know what they can do and maybe they don't get as many reps.

"You can't (always) say, 'Oh, he's getting a lot of reps; he must be the guy.' It might be, but it might not be."

Orton should play into the third quarter this week, and he seemed to develop a rapport with Lloyd on Saturday night at Seattle when the two hooked up four times in the two-minute offense that produced a field goal at the end of the first half.

But Lloyd isn't about to think of himself as Orton's go-to-guy quite yet. "I just think I was open," he said. "He was just picking my number. I don't think there's anything to read into that. It easily could have been Devin (Hester) or Marty (Booker)."

Hester has 3 catches for 38 yards, and Booker has just 1 catch for 15 yards. Rashied Davis, who also has gotten snaps with the first team but missed the last game to be present at his daughter's birth, has 1 catch for 11 yards.

Crucial decisions on playing time will be made soon after Thursday's game.

"Whoever's making the decision on who the No. 1 is, or who the No. 2 is, or who the guy is that gets the most balls is - whoever decides that," Lloyd said, "I just want to make sure I'm making plays when my number is called."

And that won't change regardless of who's throwing the ball, Lloyd said.

"It's more for the quarterbacks' sanity than mine," he said of Monday's decision to go with Orton. "It doesn't matter who the quarterback is. I'm going to be where I need to be when I'm supposed to be there, and the quarterback will deliver the ball."

That's the plan anyway.

Aches and pains: Defensive end Mark Anderson will not play Thursday after having what coach Lovie Smith termed "minor thumb surgery," and he may or may not be back for the last preseason game.

Tight end Desmond Clark (sprained knee), long snapper Patrick Mannelly and linebacker Nick Roach also will not play. Defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek (calf) and running back Kevin Jones (knee) are expected to see their first preseason action.