Instead, the best receiving day of his career in terms of yardage was wasted Sunday in the Bears' 20-16 opening-day loss to the Detroit Lions. And in the process David Terrell proved he still might have some maturing to do by committing a penalty. The issue has plagued him through three-plus NFL seasons.
``I am going to try to talk to David about all the good plays he made today,'' Bears coach Lovie Smith said. ``A lot of guys made some bad plays and bad mistakes in the game. Things we do wrong, we try to correct and we talk to him about that, but we're not going to kick him off the team or any other player.''
Terrell had five catches for a career-best 126 yards, including receptions of 30 and 27 yards on consecutive plays during the Bears' second possession that set up Thomas Jones' 2-yard touchdown run.
However, he got called for offensive pass interference on the Bears' first play from scrimmage of the season.
Worse, Terrell drew a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the third quarter for taunting when he completed a 35-yard pass play on second-and-10 from the Bears' 14 to the 49, then tossed the ball along the sidelines in the direction of Detroit punter Nick Harris.
``On that penalty, I had my eyes closed and I was running, was running down the sidelines,'' Terrell said. ``I was running down the sidelines. I wasn't running at one of their players, didn't mean to hit their guy with the ball. I just dropped the ball. I didn't throw the ball at him.
``I was right there on the sidelines; I was tossing the ball down. I kept running back inbounds and I came back out and I see the flag.''
Terrell couldn't believe it when he saw the penalty flag. He thought it was typical of oversensitive officiating, and cited penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct on Olin Kreutz and Charles Tillman as examples.
``The refs called nit-picky fouls all day,'' he said of ref Larry Nemmers' crew.
Terrell doubts his emotional style of play tends to catch officials' eyes.
``I don't set myself up for nothing -- they call what they are supposed to call,'' he said. ``They call what they're seeing. If they call a personal foul, that's what it is. I came back to the sidelines and tell my coach what happens and that's what it is.''
Terrell's emotional play doesn't bother teammates a bit.
``He's an emotional player,'' safety Mike Brown said. ``I don't think you can take that emotion away from him. That's something that's going to diminish his play.
``You've just got to try to tell him to calm him down. Some of the calls there were ticky-tack calls out there. They're going to call it. David is an emotional guy and that's how he plays. I wouldn't want to take that away from him.''