Ready to go

Manning on the mend, looks to pressure Roethlisberger

September 17, 2009, 6:37 PM

By: Jeff Dickerson

Even though Danieal Manning was limited in Thursday's practice, the versatile defender looks to be on the mend.

Manning injured his back on a late-game collision with Lance Briggs in the Green Bay loss, but appears on track to play against the Steelers.

Manning should be a central figure this weekend, and will be counted on to slow down Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh passing attack.

"Ben has a knack for staying alive," said Manning. "He has a big arm and plays the game well. You just have to stay disciplined [facing Roethlisberger] and trust in the front line. I feel like we're going to get our pressure on Ben. We can't give him a chance to pump [fake] like he does, because he holds that ball for a very long time."

Manning's grade versus the Packers -- 97. A big reason why the coaching staff envisions a bigger role for the defensive back.

• New starting cornerback Zack Bowman will have a full plate Sunday trying to defend Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes -- a tough way to make your first career NFL start.

"It'll be a good challenge for us," said Bowman. "That's a very physical group, a big group, good group of guys. We just have to go out there and play ball."

Ward learned to play his ball from current Bears receivers coach Daryl Drake. The two worked together at Georgia from 1994-96.

• Because healthy bodies are at a premium, newly acquired cornerback DeAngelo Smith could make an impact on special teams.

"Initially coming in, that may be his role," said head coach Lovie Smith. "We evaluated him coming out of college, [defensive backs coach] Jon Hoke even went and worked him out. I don't know a whole lot about what he's done in the NFL, but all of the traits and things like that are what we're looking for."

To make room for Smith, the Bears said good-bye to Trumaine McBride, who upon clearing waivers will be placed on injured reserve.

"Trumaine McBride has been a good football player for us, but we do need some numbers," said the head coach.


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