Steltz continues to impress in camp
August, 13, 2012
By Jerff Dickerson | ESPNChicago.com
AP Photo/Jeffrey PhelpsCraig Steltz is showing his ability to get to the quarterback in training camp.BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- In a practice full of memorable plays by the defense, one of the highlights of Sunday's session had to be the move Craig Stetlz put on Michael Bush during a one-on-one blitz drill between the defensive backs and running backs.
With Bush barreling down on Steltz, the fifth-year safety faked a move left, then came back right, and ran untouched past the big tailback en route to the quarterback.
"It was instinct, I guess, just get out of the way," Steltz said after practice. "Make a move and get to the quarterback. We've been working on that, trying to improve our [blitz] whether we blitz once, twice, three times a game ... just trying to improve what we do."
Stetlz appears to be in the midst of perhaps his best training camps since he arrived in Chicago as a 2008 fourth-round draft choice out of LSU. On the heels of a strong showing three days ago against Denver, Steltz intercepted three passes on Sunday during both seven-on-seven and full-team drills. At the moment, Steltz is firmly entrenched as the Bears' No. 2 strong safety behind Major Wright, but he was productive last year when he made five starts and posted career highs in tackles (48), sacks (1.0), forced fumbles (2) and tackles for a loss (3). Steltz also has 37 career special teams tackles over his first four years with the Bears.
"He's been around here a long time," coach Lovie Smith said. "All he does is continue to show up and play his role. A lot of value he brings to our team. Great special teams player. When you're the backup safety, you need to be a core four-phase special teams player. He does that. But we would feel comfortable playing him at the free or the strong position. He's a coach on the field, all of those things. A valuable part of our team."