Notebook: A Safety Switch?

LANDOVER, Md. - The safety position will be one to watch the next week at Halas Hall as the Bears went to Todd Johnson teamed with Mike Brown in the second half Sunday while benching Mike Green.

Green didn't call it a benching. He made it seem like a preseason experiment.

"We just went a different way the second half,'' he said. "We used different scenarios during the week and sometimes Todd or Mike Brown or Chris (Harris) we just switch around just in case somebody gets hurt or something. We just decided to go with that.''

The "experimenting'' occurred after Green had been flagged for a 36-yard pass interference penalty after he ran into Redskins receiver Santana Moss. The penalty set up the Redskins' first field goal.

"The ball was kind of underthrown and I didn't get my hand around,'' Green said. "I stopped to come back for the ball and we kind of hit each other a little.''

The Bears made a switch which backfired a bit.

Veteran wide receiver Bobby Wade spent the game inactive while Carl Ford was active ahead of him at that spot and Bernard Berrian drew punt return duties over Wade and Rashied Davis.

"We thought we had better receivers going into the game today for us,'' Bears coach Lovie Smith said tersely when asked about the move.

Berrian hadn't been considered one of the top two punt returners since the Bears' third preseason game with the Colts.

On two punt returns, Berrian averaged minus-three yards. He and Ford were involved in a near disaster in the first quarter when they had a poor exchange on an attempted reverse punt return but Ford recovered it.

Wade has been one of the Bears' most effective third-down receivers the last two years.

Special teams ace Brendon Ayanbadejo had an inauspicious preseason debut with the Bears after coming via trade to the team with a holding penalty on a return.

However, his regular season debut was better. He knocked a ball loose from Antonio Brown on a kick return to start the second half and Joe Odom's recovery at the 23 set up the team's only TD.

"We're always trying to cause turnovers and set our offense up in scoring position,'' Odom said. "It's better than just playing good, solid special teams. If you make the big plays happen, it makes it so much easier for the offense.''

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