Monday, September 13, 2010
Bears' use of Wright bodes well for rookie
By Jeff Dickerson
Major Wright, left, with Danieal Manning on Sunday, made a solid debut for the Bears against the Lions.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Major Wright got his first taste of playing free safety in the NFL.
It won't be his last.
After subbing in for starter Chris Harris on a few series, it was interesting to observe Wright on the field for the all-important final Detroit drive of the game. It bodes well for Wright that the the coaching staff trusted a rookie in such a crucial situation.
"The plan was to get him in [the game] about the third series," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "Some positions on our football team we rotate players. We went in to the game thinking safety would be one. We thought all three of those players [Wright, Harris, Danieal Manning] could play winning football for us. Still feel the same way about them."
At the minimum, Wright will rotate again with Harris on Sunday in Dallas. But it's only a matter of time before the rookie third-round pick earns a permanent spot in the starting lineup.
Smith pointed to the Bears' 463 total yards on offense as evidence the offensive line performed well against the Lions.
Targeted by quarterback Jay Cutler seven times Sunday, Bears' second-year wide receiver Johnny Knox came away with only three receptions. On at least one of the misfires, it looked like Cutler and Knox were not on the same page."We felt good coming into the game, communication-wise," Knox said. "On that one play, it's just another play we have to execute. It's something that can be fixed easily.
"I'm not back there seeing what [Cutler] is seeing, because he is seeing a lot of different things. It's just something that when I was going through my progressions and my route, and I guess he saw something different. But it's something that can be fixed."
Bears linebacker Nick Roach hurt his right hamstring while covering a kickoff Sunday and will continue to be evaluated, according to Smith.Smith refused to provide any details on the mysterious illness that forced linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer out of the Lions game early. Smith would not confirm whether this is the same illness that allegedly forced Hillenmeyer to skip the trip to Cleveland for the Bears final preseason game. Hillenmeyer's absence is noteworthy considering the veteran has played through a variety of injuries throughout his NFL career, but was forced to miss time due to a concussion in recent years.