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Backup QB Hanie plans to be ready
By Bob LeGere | Daily Herald Columnist
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Published: 11/6/2008 12:05 AM

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Assuming Kyle Orton doesn't play this week, third-string quarterback Caleb Hanie, an undrafted rookie from Colorado State, could be just one Rex Grossman injury away from his NFL debut.

"I'm just going to get myself ready this week and have a good week of practice, so I can feel confident and ready if I ever have to go in," the 23-year-old Hanie said. "It's crazy to see where I've come from as far as (being from) a small town (Forney) in Texas, not going to one of the prestigious BCS colleges, and being here now. I've always hoped and thought that I would be at this point, so I'm glad to be here."

Hanie has been splitting the scout team reps with Grossman the past few weeks, but he should get all those snaps this week while Grossman works with the first team. Hanie completed 29 of 49 passes in the preseason (59.2 percent) for 321 yards with 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions for an 82.1 passer rating, but he has been the inactive third quarterback for all eight regular-season games.

Mum's the word: Wide receiver Brandon Lloyd returned to full practice for the first time since suffering a sprained knee Sept. 28.

"It's been improving," Lloyd said. "It's just been going a little slower than I expected."

In Lloyd's absence, Rashied Davis, Devin Hester and Marty Booker have helped the Bears improve from 21st in passing yards to 16th, and rookie Earl Bennett has been active for four games after sitting out the first four.

Asked about Lloyd on Wednesday, Bears wide receivers coach Darryl Drake said: "You want to talk to me? Talk to me about Marty Booker. Talk to me about Rashied Davis. Talk to me about Devin Hester. Talk to me about Earl Bennett. When Brandon gets out there, then we'll talk about him."

Character counts: Center Olin Kreutz said the way Rex Grossman reacted after losing his job to Kyle Orton in the preseason and the way he's handled adversity says a lot about his character.

"He's always been a guy with a great character," Kreutz said. "He took a beating (from fans and media) when he started. He hasn't had an easy career around here. Not many guys can handle that, but he still hung in there and he comes in and does his job."

Injury update: Safety Danieal Manning returned to full practice for the first time since a hamstring injury Oct. 12.

Linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer (thumb) was limited at practice, and five players did not practice at all: wide receiver Marty Booker (rest), safety Mike Brown (calf), defensive tackle Tommie Harris (rest), quarterback Kyle Orton (ankle) and cornerback Charles Tillman (rest).