- Jeff Dickerson, ESPN Staff Writer
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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ. -- Bears head coach Lovie Smith singled out the performance of rookie punter Ryan Quigley as one of the highlights to come out of Saturday night's third preseason game against the New York Giants.
Starting in place of injured veteran Adam Podlesh (hip flexor), Quigley displayed an impressive leg the entire evening, punting the ball seven times for an average of 43.6 yards per kick and a long of 50 yards.
"Ryan Quigley did a good job punting the football," Smith said. "He's done that for us in practice. I like seeing a guy with a great opportunity in front of him (who) steps up to the plate, and he did that. I was really pleased with what he was able to do tonight."
Quigley, who is Boston College's career punting leader with 283 attempts for 11,418 yards, is auditioning to open the season as the Bears No. 1 punter in the event Podlesh's strained hip flexor forces him to miss any regular season games. Quigley should get another opportunity to impress the Bears' coaching staff in the preseason finale next Thursday at Cleveland.
"After the first two punts I felt comfortable and ready to go," Quigley said. "When Pat (Mannelly) is putting the snaps right in your hip every time and with the coverage that we have, I'm comfortable back there to put the ball where it needs to be. It was a good night."