Urlacher says defensive players have to be more careful
(MCT) — When it comes to tackling, Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher is mindful of the rules of engagement.
“You’ve got to think about it now with all of the rules against us,” Urlacher said Thursday at Halas Hall.
Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh drove Jay Cutler into the ground on a sack Monday night and bruised the quarterback’s ribs, a hit the NFL deemed legal.
“It was obviously a legal hit; Jay said it was legal,” Urlacher said. “He didn’t get fined. It was a tough play; he landed awkward on the ball. But you have to think about (how to tackle an opponent) now. I’m not as big as Suh, first of all, so I don’t have a chance to do that to most people. But when you are running full speed trying to hit somebody, you have to be careful. We’re definitely mindful of that.”
Unhappy returns: Devin Hester had a rough night in the return game against the Lions with just 5 yards on one punt return. He had two fair catches, including one that drew the ire of special teams coach Dave Toub.
“He’s just got to be a little bit more aggressive,” Toub said. “If he decides to return that last one instead of fair-catching it, it’s a touchdown. I think everybody knows it. He looked right over at the sideline. He knows.”
Coach’s decision: Defensive back Zack Bowman made a big splash in his first game back since re-signing with the Bears. Bowman played 78 percent of the snaps on special teams, recovered a fumble and had two tackles.
But Bowman might find it hard to keep his rhythm going with Sherrick McManis back from a hip injury. Bowman and McManis play the same positions on special teams, and Toub implied coach Lovie Smith would have to decide between the two, with six active cornerbacks unlikely Sunday against the Panthers.
“It’s an opportunity to play,” Bowman said. “If it’s here, it’s here. If it’s not, at least you get to put that stuff on tape so other teams can see you.”
Extra points: Cutler had full participation in practice Thursday, three days after bruising his ribs against the Lions. Receiver Alshon Jeffery (fractured hand) and tight end Brody Eldridge (illness) did not practice. ... Wide receiver Earl Bennett, as a repeat offender, was fined $10,500 for wearing orange cleats Monday night, according to ESPN Chicago. Fellow receiver Brandon Marshall also wore orange cleats Monday and was fined an undisclosed amount, according to a source. ... Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson was limited by a hip injury while fellow defensive ends Antwan Applewhite (thigh) and Thomas Keiser (elbow) were sidelined.