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Bears’ Adrian Wilson a big hit at safety

Adrian Wilsplayed his first game Friday since last August when he injured his Achilles tendon. | JessicKoscielniak/Sun-Times

Adrian Wilson played his first game Friday since last August, when he injured his Achilles tendon. | Jessica Koscielniak/Sun-Times

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Adam Jahns’ three and out from Bears-Eagles

1. Shea Mac can move

In his first game at linebacker, Shea McClellin made two tackles in 29 snaps. His open-field speed and range stood out, but at times he ran himself out of potential plays. His success might be a matter of experience. “It was a start,” he said. “I just need to get better from here.”

2. Williams’ afterburners

Chris Williams might be the fast, stretch-the-field option the Bears need. The 5-8, 175-pound receiver/returner turned on the jets for a 73-yard touchdown catch past two Eagles defenders. Even more impressive is that he beat them despite tweaking his hamstring before making the catch.

3. Lynch the bulldozer

Running back Jordan Lynch didn’t play until late, but his bruising 12-yard run on third-and-five was a highlight for the local star. Lynch showed solid burst and strength, lowering his shoulder into Eagles safety Davon Morgan and leaving him wobbly. “I was amped up,” Lynch said. “I should have stayed in bounds.”

Updated: September 11, 2014 6:51AM

Bears safety Adrian Wilson was entering attack mode and didn’t want to leave the field. He was just starting to feel like his old self when he made a tackle that was reminiscent of his old, hard-hitting ways.

In the third quarter of the Bears’ preseason victory against the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday, Wilson lowered his right shoulder into Jordan Matthews, who was running a route across the middle of the field. The impact sent the rookie receiver flying back a few yards for a crowd-pleasing takedown.

It might have been an exhibition game, but that type of play — a show of brute force — is exactly what the Bears are looking for at safety after seeing very little of it last season. The Bears only can hope it’s a sign of things to come for the veteran.

“I felt good in the third quarter,” Wilson said. “The third quarter definitely felt better than it did in the second quarter. Just to get back out there, man, it really felt good.”

Friday marked Wilson’s first game since last August, when he suffered an Achilles tendon injury in the preseason finale with the New England Patriots. Wilson felt better with every snap, and the Eagles’ no-huddle offense provided him with ample opportunities.

“To be out there playing again, I was nervous just to get back out there and play with the guys and see the formations and get lined up,” said Wilson, who was on for 31 plays against the Eagles. “With that quick tempo, that’s a tough team to go against for your first time coming back in a year, so it felt good.

“[The coaches] wanted to take me out at the end of the second quarter, but I wanted to stay in going into the third, just so I can get some reps and just so I get myself back out there playing again.”

Wilson is the wild card of the secondary. The 34-year-old is a low-risk, high-reward investment. It’s still unknown if the Bears have a five-time Pro Bowl player who is returning to form or an over-30 safety who will never be the same after his injury.

Wilson was credited with three tackles and a pass breakup Friday.

“Everybody can build off it, not only myself,” Wilson said. “There’s going to be a lot of things we need to correct.”

Wilson worked with the starters for three consecutive practices before Friday, so it was surprising to see Danny McCray (free) start next to Ryan Mundy (strong). But defensive coordinator Mel Tucker and secondary coach Jon Hoke have been experimenting with different combinations since the start of training camp, and that won’t end. Chris Conte’s return from shoulder surgery — coach Marc Trestman said he’s “very close” — will deepen the competition.

“It’s just continuing to learn the defense, and that’s really [what] I’m looking for, and being productive in preseason games — obviously that matters,” Wilson said. “You have to have good practices, but you have to have good preseason games as well.”


Twitter: @adamjahns

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