Hanie ready if needed vs. Panthers

Caleb Hanie completed 3 of 4 passes for 36 yards on Sunday against the Giants. AP Photo/Kathy Willens

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Technically listed as the Chicago Bears' third-string quarterback, Caleb Hanie would relish the opportunity to start in Carolina if Jay Cutler is forced to miss the game with a concussion.

"No doubt, if I had to go in there and start, I'd be fine with it," Hanie said Monday. "I would be ready to go and take the opportunity and feel confident about it. "

Although Hanie played only five snaps in New York, the former undrafted free agent out of Colorado State connected on 3 of his 4 pass attempts for 36 yards, while displaying his trademark mobility out of the pocket. It's that ability to scramble -- especially with pass protection being such an issue -- that makes Hanie an interesting option in the event Cutler is out.

"I was pleased with what Caleb Hanie did stepping in making a couple of big plays and throwing a couple of good passes," Bears coach Lovie Smith said.

"I'm just going to play it by ear this week," Hanie said. "I'm just going to work and try as hard as I can in practice, study and get ready to play like I do every game. You got to get ready like you're going to be in the whole game or otherwise you come in there unprepared and look [bad] out there."

Hanie was the Bears' No. 2 quarterback last season and much of the offseason. However, a shoulder injury in the first preseason game in San Diego forced the Bears to sign veteran Todd Collins, who opened up the regular season as Cutler's primary backup. But Collins, like Cutler, struggled on Sunday night, and left the game with a stinger.