Bears ready to give Todd Collins long look

Todd Collins said he has not played in the fourth preseason game for at least a few years.

He is going to get his shot to do so on Thursday night when the Chicago Bears play the Cleveland Browns. The Bears want to get Collins up to speed and the 38-year-old veteran is expected to get a lot of work as the Bears begin sorting out who is going to be their No. 2 behind starter Jay Cutler.

Collins was signed nine days ago, a week after Caleb Hanie suffered a sprained AC joint in is throwing right shoulder. Hanie has done some light throwing in practice this week and the belief is he will be ready to go before the season opener. Hanie isn’t tested. Collins has been around for 15 seasons, and the Bears chose him because he has experience playing in a similar system to what Mike Martz is running.

Collins was given the bulk of the reps in practice on Tuesday, and if Cutler starts the game, he’ll probably play very little. Cutler started the fourth preseason game at Soldier Field last summer but that was largely to appease the fan base. He handed the ball off six times and was out of the game.

“We’re going to try to get him comfortable in a game situation again,” Martz said. “Get a little success, little hook up with the receivers and just kind of get him to play. Regardless of how many times he throws it, just kind of get him going. His knowledge of the system and having been in it for many years, it’s come back to him. The basics are really the same from what he was in. There’s a few nuances and changes but he’s remarkable, (Monday) I was really surprised, very pleased with him.”

Collins said his experience playing under Dick Vermeil in Kansas City has helped prepare him. He’s picking things up quickly.

“It’s preseason football but it’s important for me and it’s important for this team,” Collins said. “These last couple games we haven’t done exactly what we want to do. We need to go out and get some points on the board.”

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