"Alex Brown is a lifetime friend," coach Lovie Smith said. "I was planning on pulling for him 15 games this season. (But) we like our guys we have right now. There's great competition with the guys we have on the roster right now."
--After Thursday night's final preseason game, Soldier Field's notoriously inadequate playing surface will be re-sodded in time for the Bears' season opener on Sept. 11 against the Falcons.
Quarterback Jay Cutler is quite excited to play on the new surface.
"I'm sure it's going to be pristine," he said, smirking.
DRAFT PICKS TO STICK
Rd. 1/29, OT Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin - Was installed as the starting ORT almost immediately and is a physical force in the run game, and coaches are happy with his work ethic and attitude, but his pass protection needs refinement and improvement.
Round 6/195, LB J.T. Thomas, West Virginia - Got significant playing time with the ones and twos in training camp because of the Bears' lack of depth and injuries to others. Will be asked to play a big role on special teams.
BY THE NUMBERS: 14 - NFL-record combined kick-return touchdowns by Devin Hester, including three last season. He reached that mark in just 76 games and 291 chances; Brian Mitchell, who is second with 13 kick-return TD's, played in 223 games and had 1,070 chances.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It was the first preseason game that I thought all five front guys played well enough for us to have a chance to win the game offensively." --OL coach Mike Tice after the third preseason game, a 14-13 loss to the Titans.
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