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updated: 8/15/2011 11:12 PM

Nathan Enderle earns some QB reps in place of Hanie

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  • Chicago Bears quarterback Nathan Enderle (10) throws a pass under pressure from Buffalo Bills linebacker Danny Batten (57) in the second half an NFL preseason football game Saturday in Chicago.

      Chicago Bears quarterback Nathan Enderle (10) throws a pass under pressure from Buffalo Bills linebacker Danny Batten (57) in the second half an NFL preseason football game Saturday in Chicago.
    Associated Press

  • Chicago Bears quarterback Caleb Hanie (12) celebrates after scoring a touchdown with teammate Earl Bennett in the first half an NFL preseason football game Saturday against the Buffalo Bills game.

      Chicago Bears quarterback Caleb Hanie (12) celebrates after scoring a touchdown with teammate Earl Bennett in the first half an NFL preseason football game Saturday against the Buffalo Bills game.
    Associated Press

 
 

BOURBONNAIS -- Only the Bears could have a quarterback controversy at the backup position.

No. 2 quarterback Caleb Hanie, who ran for a 4-yard TD Saturday night but completed just 3 of 7 passes for 32 yards and was sacked three times, was eliminated from the practice equation Monday afternoon. There was nothing physically wrong with Hanie, who declined to talk while coming off the field after practice.

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Coach Lovie Smith tried to spin it as a chance to give rookie third-stringer Nathan Enderle extra reps -- but it was clear Hanie was being demoted, at least for a day and possibly longer.

"There was no punishment. There was no reward," Smith said. "You look at how a guy played, and that determines what type of reps he gets the following week. Nathan hasn't gotten hardly any reps in practice. He did a few things. We want to see what he can do when he gets a few more reps in practice.

"Caleb didn't play as well as I thought he did initially."

Enderle completed 7 of 10 passes for 110 yards against the Bills, but he was sacked five times and intercepted once. The fifth-round pick from Idaho said he wasn't informed before practice that he would be getting extra reps.

"I just go in when they tell me to go in," the 6-foot-4, 240-pound Enderle said. "I don't look too much into it."

Enderle led the backups into scoring range four times. But he was sacked once to knock them out of FG range and he was intercepted at the Bills' 5-yard line.

Robbie Gould booted a 45-yard field goal, but then missed from 33 yards.

"We kind of got on a roll there for a little bit," Enderle said. "We kept the drives going down the field. Kahlil (Bell) ran well, and we had a few big catches by the wideouts, so it was good for us."

Hard to please:

Henry Melton's play at the 3-technique tackle Saturday night earned some praise from defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, who isn't one to shower his players with compliments.

"He's always smiling (but) he says, 'Awww, that was OK,'" Melton said. "He says, 'Good,' and then he's like, 'No, it was OK.'"

Melton was asked if he's reached the point that he hears Marinelli's voice in his sleep.

"Oh yeah, I have nightmares about him," the third-year player said. "No, he's a good coach. We're just all out there cheering for each other, trying to get better."

Melton hasn't told his coach about the nightmares.

"I'm not going to tell him that," he said, "because he'll love it too much."

Injury updates:

Defensive end Corey Wootton suffered torn cartilage in his knee on the opening kickoff Saturday and will have surgery today. He is expected to miss 3-4 weeks.

Cornerback Zack Bowman, who suffered a concussion early in the third quarter after a collision over the middle, did not practice Monday.

"It was a bang-bang play," Bowman said. "I just laid on the ground for a second and got stable. That's when (trainer) Tim (Bream) and all the doctors ran out. I was fine. For about 15 seconds I was kind of out of it."

Wide receiver Earl Bennett also did not practice Monday after banging his head on the ground in Saturday night's game.

Defensive tackle Anthony Adams (calf) remained out of practice, as did rookie linebacker J.T. Thomas (hip) and first-year linebacker Chris Johnson (calf).

Quiet man:

Marion Barber usually lets his play do his talking, but he made an exception Monday after practice and spoke with the Bears media for the first time.

"I'm just here to play football," said Barber, who pounded the Bills for 45 yards on 7 carries in his Bears debut. "One thing you'll realize about me is I'll be ready all the time."

There was a brief transition time for Barber to absorb the offense, but he seems like an ideal fit for a team looking for more production in short-yardage situations and a complement to starter Matt Forte. Barber is best known for his physical, punishing style.

"That's all I've been doing my whole career," he said. It's not going to stop now."

Follow Bob's Bears reports via Twitter @Bob LeGere and check out our Bear Essentials blog at dailyherald.com.

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