It was interesting to survey the action after practice this afternoon at Halas Hall. There was a ton of individual work taking place, from offensive linemen running springs to Devin Hester catching punts, Caleb Hanie working on his footwork and Mark Anderson doing a little extra conditioning. That was just some of it. Most of the roster stayed on the field for an extra 20 minutes or more doing various drills.
*** Tight end Desmond Clark and guard Terrence Metcalf both returned to practice for the first time. Clark suffered a sprained right knee in the second preseason game at Seattle and was wearing a brace. Metcalf had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee a month ago and was also wearing a brace. Both were limited in their work. Anderson also practiced for the first time since fracturing his right thumb at Seattle. He had both hands heavily taped and said he's been able to keep his conditioning up during his time off.
*** The irony of Kyle Orton being voted by teammates as one of the two offensive captains was not lost on those in attendance. Orton takes the role wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad held the last few seasons. You know, the wide receiver who wasn't shy about sharing his feelings about his quarterbacks. Center Olin Kreutz is the other offensive captain. Linebacker Brian Urlacher and safety Mike Brown have the distinction on defense. Long snapper Pat Mannelly is back to being a captain. He held the role for several seasons before it was given to Brendon Ayanbadejo last year.
*** Count Brandon Rideau among the most surprised the wide receiver cleared waivers on Sunday. He figured once the Bears let him go that he would be headed elsewhere.
"I really did think someone was going to claim me," he said. "I thought I proved enough. It's hard. Everybody is trying to cut their rosters down so picking up a guy is tough.
*** Tight end Fontel Mines passed on opportunities with Baltimore and New Orleans to return to the Bears practice squad.
*** Players are off Tuesday, their normal off day.