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Hanie Sounds Open to Playing Elsewhere in 2011

It’s starting to sound like Caleb Hanie would be open to leaving the Bears, more so after he was the almost hero in the NFC Title game vs the Packers.

Caleb Hanie wouldn’t mind being a Bear again. But he’d rather play elsewhere so he can compete for a starting job. ‘‘If I didn’t have any better options, I would love to stay,’’ Hanie said Thursday. ‘‘I love Chicago, and the organization has been good to me. But if an opportunity comes up, I wouldn’t shy away from that.’’

Undrafted out of Colorado State, Hanie was the third-string quarterback, but he entered the NFC title game after Jay Cutler was injured and veteran Todd Collins was benched. He made the game interesting, leading two touchdown drives. But he also was intercepted twice, including one that was returned by Packers defensive lineman B.J. Raji for a touchdown.

‘‘You always have that confidence in yourself, but you have to prove to yourself and everyone else that the doubt is gone,’’ he said. ‘‘I’m in my third year, and it’s when guys make that transition and compete for jobs. But if I had to stick around, if they put a tender on me, I would be fine with that.’’


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