Bears defensive end Cheta Ozougwu rebounds with a sack
BY SEAN JENSEN AND MARK POTASH email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org August 25, 2012 8:40PM
Running back Matt Forte has gained 55 yards on 14 carries in two preseason games. He didn’t play in the preseason opener. | Julio Cortez~AP
Updated: September 27, 2012 11:45AM
With the first cuts due Monday, unheralded players had to command some attention in the preseason game Friday against the New York Giants.
Defensive end Cheta Ozougwu nearly did for the wrong reason.
He had a roughing-the-passer penalty in the fourth quarter but rebounded three plays later with a sack of Giants backup David Carr.
“It wasn’t on purpose,’’ Ozougwu said. ‘‘I just have to get to the ball faster and make the play before he throws the ball. We’ll see when we watch film. I might get chewed out; I might not.”
The play was interesting in that Carr was the No. 1 pick in 2002 and Ozougwu was 2011’s Mr. Irrelevant, the last player selected in the seventh round. Both were drafted by the Houston Texans.
Ozougwu has two sacks this preseason, and he thinks he has made a good impression.
“I think I did pretty decent,” he said. “Just go out there and play hard.”
Rookie Ryan Quigley, playing for injured punter Adam Podlesh, averaged 37.4 net yards on seven punts. He also had another one blocked.
‘‘Dream come true, it was awesome out there,’’ said Quigley, an undrafted free agent from Boston College. ‘‘I think back to when I was 10 years old — if you would have told me I would be doing this, I’d have said, ‘No way.’ ’’
Quigley took the blame for the blocked punt, even though it was pretty clear he had no chance when Da’Rel Scott broke through the line to smother the kick.
Running in place
Matt Forte’s 55 yards on 14 carries in two games is the lowest production by the Bears’ No. 1 running back in the preseason since 2007, when Cedric Benson gained 82 yards on 35 carries (2.3 yards per carry).
In three preseason games, Bears running backs have rushed for 158 yards on 59 carries (2.7 yards per rush) with two touchdowns, both by Michael Bush.
‘‘We’re still trying to figure that out,’’ coach Lovie Smith said. ‘‘Some nights you have to give [the opponent] credit. They have a good front four and front seven and played excellent defense. You have to stay committed to the run, which we will do.’’
While the offensive line is unsettled, Forte’s subpar production isn’t necessarily an indicator of a problem. He rushed for 81 yards on 21 carries (3.9 yards per carry) last preseason, then led NFL running backs in yards from scrimmage until he suffered a knee injury.