Six Bears that got it done and three that didn’t
By JOE COWLEY firstname.lastname@example.org August 30, 2012 10:12PM
Jeremy Jones, Montario Hardesty
Updated: October 1, 2012 6:08PM
CLEVELAND — Lovie Smith wasn’t looking to be a destroyer of dreams this week. If anything, the Bears head coach was just trying to be realistic.
Asked if he had ever seen players on the bubble win spots because of what they did in that final preseason game, Smith replied very matter-of-factly, “Not very often. But I think we’ve seen a lot of guys who have performed well, and they confirmed what we were thinking in that last game.’’
That’s one way to look at Thursday night’s final exhibition game against the Browns: A night of confirmation.
Those who got it done
◆ Dane Sanzenbacher, WR — The second-year wide receiver out of Ohio State was already likely locked into a spot when the Bears announced they had released Rashied Davis earlier this week, but Sanzenbacher all but cemented a spot with a nifty one-handed grab for a touchdown in the first quarter.
◆ Xavier Adibi, LB — The athletic linebacker was around the ball all night, including a tackle for a loss and a sack in the first quarter, and then busting up a tipped pass in the third that allowed Greg McCoy to snag the ball out of the air and return the pick for a touchdown.
◆ Jeremy Jones, S — The undrafted free agent rookie had one of the better interceptions of the preseason for the Bears, stepping in front of a Colt McCoy pass. Jones also had some key tackles, putting a nice showing on tape.
◆ Lorenzo Booker and Armando Allen, RBs — Both were fed the ball all night long, not only in the running game, but the passing game. Both answered the bell. Booker (15 carries, 81 yards) was more dynamic running the ball, while Allen (16-for-83) had an 11-yard touchdown catch and also a strip on a Cleveland punt return.
◆ Cheta Ozougwu, DE — The defensive end continued putting pressure on Corey Wootton, picking up his third sack of the preseason in the win over the Browns.
Those who fell short
◆ J.T. Thomas, LB — The Bears had been talking about a better push up front all week, and the only push Thomas showed was getting pushed backwards most of the night. Throw in a few missed tackles on key plays for the Browns, and not the kind of night Thomas needed.
◆ Ricky Henry, G — Henry played like there were other places he would rather be. Will likely be accommodated.
◆ Isaiah Frey, CB — Frey was impressive early on in camp with his aggressiveness, but has looked tentative the last two games.