Receivers all smiles in Bears’ lopsided win
By SEAN JENSEN AND MARK POTASH firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com September 11, 2011 10:56PM
Updated: November 9, 2011 3:30PM
Maybe it was the season-opening win. Or maybe they were being politically correct.
But Bears receivers Johnny Knox and Roy Williams, who were vying for a starting spot, both were content after Sunday’s game.
Williams caught four of four passes for 55 yards, while Knox caught three of four passes for 60 yards. They each also contributed with downfield blocks on big screen plays. Knox helped spring Matt Forte on his 56-yard touchdown; Williams did the same on Devin Hester’s 53-yard gain to the Falcons’ 1 that set up Matt Spaeth’s one-yard touchdown catch.
“The biggest thing is, we got this win, and we both contributed, and we got opportunities to help us get this win,” Knox said.
But Knox, of course, noted that he still wants to start.
“Since I’ve started before, I do want to start. Who doesn’t want to start?” he said. “But in the end, anyone can make plays in this offense.
“I’m all in.”
Williams said his debut with the Bears was a “good start.”
“I just want to be consistent. It’s not about catching balls, and all that. I want to be a dominant run blocker, and spring some runners,” he said. “But I think I played OK.”
Williams didn’t finish the game because of a groin injury. But he didn’t indicate how serious the injury was.
“Get some treatment,” he said, “and see what happens.”
Spencer spells Louis
The $3 million the Bears spent on a backup center already has come in handy.
After starting right guard Lance Louis suffered an ankle injury in the second quarter, newcomer Chris Spencer stepped in.
‘‘It’s not easy at all — especially after not taking any of the reps,’’ center Roberto Garza said. ‘‘He took maybe a couple of reps [at guard] here and there. For our offensive scheme and learning what to do [on the fly], he did a great job of doing everything that was asked of him.’’
Louis said his right ankle ‘‘got rolled’’ on a play and his foot was in a boot after the game. But he didn’t think the injury was serious.
Bits and pieces
Adam Podlesh’s 57-yard punt in the second quarter was the longest for the Bears since 2009. Podlesh had a 46.3-yard net average on six punts. Brad Maynard’s net average in 2010 was 35.2 yards.
◆ Jay Cutler’s 107.8 rating was his sixth 100-plus rating in the last nine games he’s finished.
◆ Rookie defensive tackle Stephen Paea was the first second-round pick to be inactive in the opener of his rookie season since defensive end Pat Riley in 1995.
◆ Robbie Gould kicked field goals of 41, 23 and 26 yards. He’s 48 of 48 inside of 30 yards for his career. Five of Gould’s seven kickoffs were touchbacks.
◆ Corey Graham (two), Brian Iwuh and rookie Will Venable had special-teams tackles. Graham and rookie Dom DeCicco had assists. The Falcons’ long punt return was eight yards; their long kickoff return was 20.