Green Avoids Yellow (Flag) on Clinching Play

LANDOVER, Md. _ Mike Green has been playing regularly in the Bears' nickel defense as the nickel back for only five weeks, but knows the difference between a penalty and a good play. A penalty is when the flag gets thrown by officials. A good play occurs when the official doesn't throw the flag.

  On fourth-and-one from the Bears' 3, Green made a good play by reaching out and grabbing Rod Gardener's jersey in the end zone as he broke away toward the pass. No penalty flag, no completion, and the Bears came away with a 20-15 victory.

   ``I got him a little bit,'' Green admitted, every tooth in his head showing on a wide, sly smile. ``But it wasn't a call. It was just a good play.''

    Redskins quarterback Tony Banks had found a bulls'-eye on Green during Washington's 61-yard drive to the 3 that started with 3:23 to play.

    ``It did seem like that,'' Green admitted. ``I don't know if it was their game plan or not. But coming down the stretch they went to the tight end. They tried to, and I was on him. I stepped up and made the plays and that's what counts.''

    Three times on the drive penalty situations cropped up involving Green, and the second-year Bear wound up winning the flag dual.

    On first down from the 36, Banks threw for tight end Zero Flemeister and Green appeared to interfere on an incomplete pass. Officials did not throw a flag.

    On third-and-three at the Bears' 12, Banks threw incomplete for Flemister again with Green in what appeared to be good coverage. This time Green got flagged.

    Makeup call, he thought.     ``I think it was,'' Green said. ``They (Washington) felt like the officials missed the first one. Then, on the second one he (Flemeister) came and bull-rushed me. He pushed me off. So I put my hands down own him a little and got right off of him and they called it on me.''

     Green, who earlier in the fourth quarter had a sack to force a Redskins punt, enjoyed the victory by getting away with the slight hold on the fourth-down pass.

    It wasn't Green's final contribution. After the Bears took an intentional safety, they knew that with 20 seconds left the Redskins' only hope for a win was a trick play on the ensuing free kick. Green was on the kick coverage team and when Bobbie Howard forced a fumble on a lateral play by the Redskins, Green fell on it to end the contest.

   ``We talked about it in the huddle before the kick that we had to watch the trickery,'' Green said. ``Bobbie made the big play. All I had to do was fall on it.

   ``All I was doing on the kick was mirroring the ball and not letting it get outside me.''

    Green was a big part of the Bears' change in defensive philosophy as the game went along. When quarterback Tony Banks started connecting on longer passes, the Bears began blitzing. Green had another hurry while blitzing. Besides his sack, he forced Banks to step up into another sack.

   ``We felt that if we made him have to throw the ball, they'd have trouble beating us,'' defensive coordinator Greg Blache said. ``Then, when he showed he was capable of doing it if we gave him time, then that was that -- we're going to come after you and we're going to make you get rid of the football right now.''

   Rosevelt Colvin, Keith Traylor and Phillip Daniels also had second-half sacks of Banks. Despite getting one, Green would just as soon leave that to defensive linemen from now on.

    ``Now I see what the defensive linemen go through when they get a sack, but I think I get more excited breaking up a pass,'' Green said. ``Hopefully I'll get my hands on one and pick it off. That would be the best.''

    Or it would at least be as good as getting his hands on someone's jersey in the end zone and getting away with it.

  All game long Redskins cornerback Champ  Bailey battled Bears receiver Marty Booker, but Booker made perhaps his biggest play without making a catch.

   On third-and-five from the Bears' 27 with 46 seconds left in the third quarter, Bailey got flagged for holding Booker. The first down let the Bears continue the drive to Urlacher's TD catch.

   ``They did a pretty good job of holding all day, I thought,'' Bears quarterback Jim Miller said. ``We wanted to throw the ball downfield more because they do that cover-seven. A couple times we felt we didn't get the calls. It's going to happen in the National Football League. At that time we got a call and it should have been called.''

    ``I thought if  I got a little physical with him, he'd try to shut it down a little bit -- do some holding or I'd get some PI (pass interference) opportunities,'' Booker said. ``He held me on it, but he made a great play the next time on a deep ball.''

   Special teams coverage man Larry Whigham suffered a hamstring strain.

   Bears safety Tony Parrish was knocked unconscious briefly on a helmet-to-helmet hit with Michael Westbrook.

   When revived after being knocked out, Parrish went to the sidelines and came back into the game later.

   To see if Parrish was alert, Bears trainers asked what day it was.    ``I knew Christmas is coming up on Tuesday,'' he said. ``I'm not sure of the days.''

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