- Michael C. Wright, ESPN Staff Writer
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CLEVELAND -- During the opening remarks of his postgame press conference Thursday night, Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith singled out undrafted rookie Jeremy Jones for his play in the club’s 28-20 win over the Cleveland Browns in the preseason finale.
With the Bears opting against playing their key contributors against the Browns, Jones received the start at safety opposite Mark LeGree, and finished with four tackles, an interception and a pass breakup.
“Defensively, Jeremy Jones, that was a great pick by him early in the game,” Smith said. “As much as anything, you just want to see the guys playing hard, their last shot to prove they belong in the NFL. We were able to get that.”
The club certainly coaxed it from Jones, a former Wayne State standout, who despite the performance still appears to be a long shot to make the final 53-man roster, which will be named Friday.
“I thought Jeremy Jones came in (and stood out),” Smith said. “Great interception; had a couple of good tackles. He showed up.”
Jones snagged his interception by cutting in front of Jordan Norwood on a pass by Colt McCoy. Jones returned the interception 13 yards to set up Chicago at the Cleveland 30. On the very next play, Bears quarterback Josh McCown fired a 30-yard scoring strike down the seam to Dane Sanzenbacher, who caught the pass one-handed.
“We talked about it before the game,” Sanzenbacher said of the catch. “Might as well do it now as it’s the last preseason game; I might not get another shot.”