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Bears rookie linebacker Jon Bostic makes most of debut

Bears linebacker JBostic intercepts pass thrown by Panthers’ Cam Newton. | Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Bears linebacker Jon Bostic intercepts a pass thrown by the Panthers’ Cam Newton. | Grant Halverson/Getty Images

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Updated: September 11, 2013 6:15AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It took rookie linebacker Jon Bostic less than a quarter to look like he’ll fit right in with the Bears’ defense Friday.

After getting burned on a Carolina touchdown pass earlier in his NFL debut, Bostic responded quickly when he intercepted a Cam Newton pass intended for Greg Olsen and returned it 51 yards for a touchdown in the Bears’ 24-17 loss to the Panthers on Friday night at Bank of America Stadium.

‘‘It was big — definitely a great moment for me,’’ Bostic said. ‘‘But there was a lot of stuff I saw from the get-go that I have to clean up. I wasn’t perfect in any aspect. I know I’ve got a lot of stuff to work on.’’

Bostic’s touchdown came on a third-and-two pass from the Carolina 47 with 6:21 left in the first quarter and the Bears trailing 7-0.

‘‘I was spying the quarterback on that play,’’ Bostic said. ‘‘I was reading Cam’s front shoulder. I was getting [ready] to break to a wider route that I thought he’d be looking at. But he came back. Once that [pass] route came behind me, it kind of just dropped my shoulder back inside and the ball pretty much came right to me. But really it was the blocking that kind of got me there. Everybody was pitching in, getting down the sideline, making blocks to get me there.’’

Moments earlier, Bostic was beaten by LaFell on a pick route for a three-yard touchdown from Newton.

‘‘That’s another play. I could have helped out,’’ Bostic said. ‘‘They ran a pick route. I was a spy on that play and I could have taken over that man. But it’s the first preseason game and I’ve got a lot of stuff I’ve got to learn.’’

But Bostic clearly is learning quickly. He can’t wait for more.

‘‘I was real hesitant at first,’’ he said. ‘‘I was seeing everything, but I just wasn’t going. As the game [progressed], I started to relax a little more. I wish i could [have played more], but they wanted to make sure everybody had even repts. I’ve just got to get back to work and get ready for the next [game].’’


Twitter: @MarkPotash

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