NASHVILLE Bears special teams players are holding each other down and fighting among themselves.
Exactly the kinds of things their coaches want.
First there was defensive end Corey Wootton, picking up a Tennessee Titans blocked by former Northwestern teammate Sherrick McManis, and charging five yards into the end zone for the first Chicago touchdown in Sundays 51-20 rout of the Tennessee Titans.
It was Woottons first touchdown since high school and he was ready to dust off some moves with a touchdown dance. But something someone -- was holding him down.
I was trying to get a dance but Anthony Walters jumped on my back so I carried him for about 10 yards in the end zone, so I wasnt able to get one, Wootton said, laughing.
I told him we should celebrate as a team, Walters claimed.
Woottons last score came on an intercepted pass in high school. That one he had to tote that one 40 yards to score so this one was easier, Wooton said. It was a heck of a play by Sherrick so a little bit of a Northwestern connection there.
Players said coordinator Dave Toub and staff had scouted Tennessee protections perfectly and when the Titans showed this look, the Bears attacked.
And they attacked particularly against what was one of the better kick returners in the AFC. So confident were the Bears that they were talking trash to the Titans, hoping to goad them into trying to run kicks back.
Tennessee kick returner Darius Reynaud was averaging 25.8 yards per runback, which the Bears took as a special challenge. Usually a touchback and forced starting position at the 20 is a good thing. The Bears wanted Reynaud to try them.
He did seven returns, modest 20.7 yards average, none longer than 32 yards.
We knew he likes to bring the ball out from wherever so we had a plan for that, Walters said, adding that it fueled what is becoming a standard competition within the coverage team.
We try to beat each other to the tackles. We have lane integrity but we argue about who had this tackle or that one. You should hear us in the film room.