Bears can count on safety Craig Steltz
BY JOE COWLEY email@example.com August 24, 2012 11:40PM
With Chris Conte and Brandon Hardin out, safety Craig Steltz (20), putting a hit on Giants running back David Wilson, played a solid game Friday. | Elsa~Getty Images
Updated: September 26, 2012 6:11AM
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — J’Marcus Webb might not have officially won the starting left-tackle job Friday, but he didn’t lose it, either.
Webb would like to hear from the coaching staff that a decision has finally been made, putting an end to the camplong battle between him and Chris Williams.
Not that Webb would admit to that right away after the 20-17 victory over the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. As a matter of fact, he was doing his best to downplay the situation by discussing his day away from the football field.
“I got a good nap in, and I’m feeling pretty good now,’’ Webb said. “I have to look at the film, and in addition to the chicken, the shrimp and the pasta [I ate], it really made it a good night.
“Man, that pasta was ... nah, I’m kidding. I would like some resolution, but you know, that’s not up to me. I feel like I keep working hard and playing the way I’m playing, and everything will work out on its own.’’
Webb called it a good night, but he might have been underestimating it a bit. The first unit didn’t allow a sack.
The only bad play Webb will see on film came on a handoff to Matt Forte in which he allowed Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora to step around him and drop Forte for a two-yard loss.
“[No sacks] was definitely a good sign,’’ Webb said. “You definitely want to move the ball up and down the field, work as a unit that feels good and strong, and then come out with the win.
“I think we did a solid job, but just got to look at the film. Can’t give you anymore than that right now.’’
But barring something unforeseen, Webb seems to have that spot locked up.
Until late in the first half, undrafted rookie free agent Ryan Quigley from Boston College had been making life without starting punter Adam Podlesh (hip flexor) a little easier to handle.
He belted a 46-yard punt on his first attempt, kicked the next one 42 yards for a fair catch and nailed a 50- yarder on his third try. But just before the half, Quigley had a punt blocked by Da’Rel Scott, which led to a Giants touchdown.
In Quigley’s defense, the blocking was far from stellar, but it was coach Lovie Smith’s biggest fear heading into the game.
“You want to see a guy in a game situation as much as anything,’’ Smith said of Quigley. “For him, he’s got a strong leg. We’re hoping it’s a great opportunity.’’
Quigley ended up with seven punts, averaging 43.6 yards.
Receiver Alshon Jeffery had become a very reliable target throughout training camp and the first two preseason games, but he had an awful-looking drop in the first quarter that would’ve put the Bears at the Giants’ 3-yard line.
Jeffery redeemed himself with a catch of a tipped ball that he turned into a first down, but it was his only reception.