Bears Quick Shots: Woodson, Tillman rivals for best at forcing fumbles
When Charles Woodson forced a fumble Monday against the Ravens, former Super Bowl coach turned analyst Jon Gruden said: “Nobody strips a ball like Charles Woodson.”
“I do it more than anybody,” Green Bay’s Woodson agreed on a teleconference. “Any time I’m making the tackle, it doesn’t matter the angle, I’m trying to slap at the ball. I’ve always had a knack for it. As a young player in high school, I did it. In college I did it as well.”
Woodson has forced four fumbles this year, tied for fifth in the NFL, and 22 in his 12-year career. But the best? Them’s fighting words in Chicago, home of Charles “Peanut” Tillman.
“Then they haven’t watched Peanut do it, because he’s the best,” Bears cornerback Zack Bowman said. “He does it in games. He does it in practice. He does it every day. He probably does it in his sleep.”
Tillman is tied for the NFL lead with six this year and has 21 in his career, the most in the NFL the last seven years. That includes two in a 27-20 upset in Green Bay in 2007.
“I think he got it from me,” Woodson said.
A bad coaching plan
Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. told ESPN.com that the Bengals, the probable No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs, aren’t an elite team because they don’t throw deep down field and, while they have two elite cornerbacks, they don’t have a third strong defensive back. He said teams like the Colts, Patriots and Chargers would riddle Cincinnati with three- and four-wide receiver sets.
Why is this in a Bears’ Quick Shot. Because the Bears ran on four of their first six plays in a 45-10 loss at Cincinnati. On defense, the Bengals scored on their first six drives despite only one pass play of at least 20 yards (and none of 30). The Bengals had only two weaknesses, and Chicago attacked neither. Chicago coaches make the least of their talent.
Cutler vs. the refs
Bears receivers have repeatedly been roughed up over the middle this year without drawing pass interference flags. “In the box and the slot, it’s hard for (the refs) to sometimes see that stuff,” quarterback Jay Cutler said. “That’s where a lot of the bumping happens.”
Cutler hasn’t been as understanding in the heat of the moment, often yelling at officials about non-calls. He was fined $20,000 last month for complaints against Arizona.
A Chicago reporter asked Cutler on Wednesday if coach Lovie Smith has talked to him about it. “Why, do you view it as a problem?” Cutler said after admitting Smith has told him to “let me handle it.” The reporter said it could be if he’s fined or penalized.
“You don’t pay the fine, so things should be OK,” Cutler said.
He’s right. No one likes chronic complaining — unless it’s justified, I want my leader to demand fair play.
Ogunleye’s swan song
Adewale Ogunleye probably only has four games left in his six-year Bears career. “If that’s the case, I’ve had a great time,” said Ogunleye, who will be a free agent at season’s end. “I would love to finish my career here in Chicago. It has great fans, a great city, you (media) guys are great. Honestly, man, it’s become a home and I’d love to stay.”
Matt Trowbridge’s Quick Shots on the Bears appear Fridays. He can be reached at 815-987-1383 or email@example.com.