Bears safety Anthony Walters enjoys a great road tip
BY MARK POTASH firstname.lastname@example.org August 25, 2012 11:56PM
Isaiah Frey, Anthony Walters, Dan DePalma
Updated: September 27, 2012 11:45AM
Safety Anthony Walters made a game-saving deflection in the Bears’ 20-17 victory Friday over the New York Giants, tipping a David Carr pass in the end zone that rookie cornerback Isaiah Frey intercepted with 1:06 left.
Even though it was the fourth quarter of a preseason game, on this team, it’s supposed to mean something.
‘‘It’s extremely exciting,’’ said Walters, an undrafted free agent from Delaware in 2011 who played four games on special teams last year. ‘‘They were in field-goal range. We could still be playing right now. So to make that kind of play in that kind of moment is great. Thanks to Frey. He played his coverage well and also made the catch.’’
But as Walters noted, he was lucky to be in the right place at the right time.
‘‘It was close,’’ Walters said. ‘‘It was a fine line between getting beat and making a play.’’
With rookie Brandon Hardin’s potentially long-term neck injury, Walters appears to have a spot on the Bears’ 53-man roster, if not the practice squad. But he’s still close enough to the bubble where every play counts — though he can’t think of it that way.
‘‘Coach Lovie [Smith] says every game, as long as they’re keeping score, we want to win,’’ said Walters, primarily a cornerback at Delaware. ‘‘So I don’t really concern myself with the 53 or the practice squad. You can’t really worry about those things because that will consume you, and that will be your focus instead of the game.’’
One facet of Walters’ game that can’t be overlooked — especially considering the state of the Bears’ safeties — is that he learns fast. Walters lamented a third-quarter play in which he was blocked by guard Selvish Capers on a 15-yard run by Da’Rel Scott. When the Giants ran the same play in the fourth quarter, Walters beat Capers to help stop Scott for a three-yard loss.
‘‘I hit [Capers] square up, and it kind of opened the lane, and they got 15 yards,’’ Walters said. ‘‘I went to the sideline, and Coach said something about it, and I was like, ‘Yeah, I’ve got to do this.’ And they ran the same play again, and I made the tackle in the backfield. So I learned from that play.’’