CLEVELAND --- If nothing else, Todd Collins gave the Bears peace of mind Thursday night.
With Jay Cutler watching from the sideline, Collins started and looked like the solid backup the Bears expected him to be when he was signed on Aug. 23. He completed 10 of 15 passes for 139 yards and threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Greg Olsen against the Browns in the team's final preseason scrimmage.
It was the kind of performance general manager Jerry Angelo expected from the 16-year veteran who was brought in when Caleb Hanie injured his shoulder.
The desire to get Collins extended playing time in his only preseason appearance was a factor in Cutler not playing. Angelo said the decision was a difficult one because of the offense's struggles this preseason, especially in last week's loss to the Cardinals.
"You could look at it from a couple perspectives," Angelo said. "Obviously, with the performance we had last week it makes sense [to say] 'Why not end on a feel-good in the preseason when you have the chance?' On the other side of it, we got Todd late in the process and he still needs playing time. Injuries happen. You want to get him up to speed as well. You could go either way with it. This is the way we chose to go and hopefully it's the best thing for us now and in the immediate future."
The Bears carried two quarterbacks last year, but Angelo said he will keep three this season, which means rookie Dan LeFevour will land on the practice squad if he's not claimed by another team.
"Our dynamic is different this year, in part because Caleb did get an injury," Angelo said. "We had to adjust our plan. We're still sound. We'll have to do something with the roster a little bit that we didn't think we'd have to do coming in."