Hester returning to form

Rips off 54-yard punt return, stopped shy of TD

August 31, 2009, 12:53 AM

By: Jeff Dickerson

DENVER -- Not only did Devin Hester electrify the Invesco Field crowd with a 54-yard punt return, he also provided great insight on how Jay Cutler handled an emotionally charged Denver defense.

"I saw more things [that] you normally don't see as far as just in the huddle," said Hester. "We got a little rowdy, a couple players got into some altercations with some fights on the field, and he was the guy who was like, 'Hey, chill out, let's get down and put these points on the board and worry about that later.' You see a quarterback [taking control of the situation] like that, you know you got a good leader going forward."

Back to Hester's return: I couldn't pass up the opportunity to give him some grief over failing to score. How does a guy like Hester get tackled on the 4-yard line?

"I got a little rhythm; I never score in preseason games. I did that on purpose," said Hester with a grin.

Old friends

Sad to see Kyle Orton leave the game early with an injury. Orton's former teammates offered up nothing but praise for the quarterback, who appeared to injure a few fingers on his throwing hand.

"I think Kyle does a good job," said Brian Urlacher. "He throws the ball well, he leads the offense. He's a real solid quarterback, he does what he needs to do to win the game. Look at his record as a starter. It doesn't matter how you do it, it only matters if you win games."

The Broncos sure don't look like they're going to win many games, especially if Orton's injury is serious. Backup quarterback Chris Simms is also trying to recover from a high ankle sprain. That's a team that could be in real trouble.

Under pressure

The Bears didn't handle Denver's pressure very well in the early going. Was it due to the Broncos' 3-4 defensive scheme, or was Denver throwing in some new wrinkles not previously seen on tape?

"They came out and tried to do a lot of different things defensively," said Orlando Pace. "They were blitzing and those types of things. We just had to get adjusted to that. Once we did, we were able to move the ball."

It takes time for an offensive line to mesh. Having to face a bunch of different looks in the preseason should only help this group once the regular season begins.

Harris watch

A handful of times I noticed Tommie Harris aggressively attempting to fight his way through a few double-teams. Harris looked active on several snaps, although has was not officially credited with a tackle. Did the defensive tackle take a step Sunday night?

"I think he was a part of the defense in the first half that pretty much shut them down," said Lovie Smith. "You have to watch the tape to see what really went on, but I know he felt good about his play. We did too, initially."

Rarin' to go

Always a good idea to try to take the temperature of a team after the third preseason game -- since the first team isn't expected to get much work Thursday versus Cleveland. If the regular season started tomorrow, would the Bears be able to win at Lambeau Field?

"I think we're ready as a whole team," said Matt Forte. "Everybody looks good out there. If we had to play Green Bay tomorrow, I think we'd be well-prepared to go out there and play."


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