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Wednesday, November 20, 2013
BE: Bass up for Rookie of the Week

By Michael C. Wright
ESPN.com

Let’s start this edition of Bears Essentials with rookie defensive end David Bass, who batted a Joe Flacco pass on Sunday and hauled it in for a 24-yard touchdown in the club’s win over the Baltimore Ravens.

After the game, Bass explained how he made the play.

“It’s tackle down. My initial read was to close. After that, I saw the fullback and the running back came,” Bass said. “The fullback went to the flat and the running back came to cut. I didn’t see the quarterback do a legitimate play-action [fake]. I was told to beat the cut to the outside so I could keep contain. When I saw him throw it up, I just threw my hands up.”

ESPNChicago.com’s Jeff Dickerson put together this week’s edition of Stock Watch, and he gives Bass credit for that interception return for a touchdown. Bass was nominated for Rookie of the Week, and if you’d like to vote for him, you can do that here.

Dickerson writes: “A seventh-round pick of the Raiders in 2013 out of Missouri Western State who was claimed by the Bears off waivers, Bass made the biggest play of his young professional career on Sunday, intercepting a Joe Flacco pass at the line of scrimmage and returning it 24 yards for a touchdown. Bass' pick-six changed the momentum of the game, and without it, the Bears likely don't crawl out of the 10-0 hole they dug for themselves before Sunday's lengthy weather delay. At 6-foot-4, 256 pounds, Bass isn't built like a prototypical 4-3 defensive end, but he's shown promise this season in six appearances. In addition to the interception, Bass finished the Baltimore game with four tackles and one tackle-for-loss. Expect Bass to keep himself in the mix at defensive end, especially with Shea McClellin dealing with a hamstring injury.”

- Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune follows the team’s tornado relief efforts in Coal City. Kicker Robbie Gould, linebacker Blake Costanzo, cornerbacks Zack Bowman and Sherrick McManis lent a hand along with former Bears Anthony Adams, Rashied Davis and Tom Zbikowski. Too often players receive headlines for all the wrong reasons, but it’s refreshing to see players get out and do some good in the community. They do it quite a bit more than is publicized, and deserve some credit for making a family’s day just a little brighter.

- CSNChicago.com’s John Mullin takes a look at how Stephen Paea’s turf toe injury further depletes an already shaky Bears run defense. From this vantage point, if Paea can’t play Sunday at St. Louis, you have to ask whether the run defense could get any worse than it already was.

-- Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times outlines some of the ways the Bears have overcome injuries on defense. One of the developments not given much attention is the fact defensive coordinator Mel Tucker moved from the coaches’ booth down to the field on game days to help the defense communicate more efficiently. A little-known fact about Tucker is he’s an excellent motivator and has a knack -- especially in stressful situations -- for getting more from players than they believe they’re capable of. Tucker has worked from the field instead of the booth in each of the last three games, and it has resulted in gradual improvement from Chicago’s beat-up defense.