Jeremiah Ratliff pleased with second outing
BY ADAM L. JAHNS Staff Reporter December 10, 2013 10:44PM
Jeremiah Ratliff said that his first sack with the Bears felt good, but not necessarily because it came against his former team Monday night.
“That’s the way this game is,” the four-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle said. “I really don’t feel anything, to be honest with you.
“I guess it’s business. They get rid of you and someone wants you, and they’re on the schedule.
Ratliff made his first start with the Bears, who signed him last month after the Cowboys waived him while he was recovering from groin surgery. He played 44 snaps — or 80 percent of the Bears’ defensive snaps — after appearing in only 23 of 88 against the Vikings.
“I thought [Monday night] was better,” Ratliff said. “I was able to come off the ball a little bit more and use my hands a little bit more. Is there room for improvement? Absolutely. It’s been more than a year of not playing, no training camp or anything like that.”
Ratliff, whose sack was the 28th of his career, has fit in quickly.
“The scheme, the locker room, the guys, the staff, it’s just been a breath of fresh air for me,” he said. “I’m really just enjoying myself.”
Brandon Marshall filled in for Jay Cutler on the quarterback’s ESPN 1000 radio show Tuesday. Marshall said he had a premonition about what would happen Monday during pregame warmups, when he saw more Bears out in the cold than Cowboys.
“We beat Dallas [Monday] night before the game started,” Marshall said. “There was only a handful of Dallas players, and I looked around and said, ‘Man, we got these guys.’ The elements were already in their head.”
Marshall also said fans were congratulating him for his knockdown block on linebacker Sean Lee. It came on a scramble by Josh McCown.
“That was a good block — clean,” receiver Earl Bennett said. “So, NFL, don’t fine the guy. That was a great block. One thing we try to do is protect our quarterback at all costs.”
Matt on attack
Running back Matt Forte had seven catches against the Cowboys to increase his season total to 65. That surpasses his own single-season team record of 63, set in 2008.
“We ran our regular passing game out there, and Josh did a great job of hitting the open receivers,” Forte said.
This and that
The Bears’ 33 first downs Monday tied their most ever. They also had 33 on Dec. 7, 1980, against the Packers.
◆ The Cowboys-Bears game was ESPN’s highest-rated and most-viewed (based on households) “Monday Night Football” game of the season. It earned a 10.2 rating nationally, representing an average of 11,815,000 households.
Contributing: Patrick Finley