Gilmore the Forgotten Man

A total of 22 games had come and gone since Bears tight end John Gilmore caught a pass.

When he ended the drought against Tampa, it was for the Bears' only touchdown and his first career touchdown. Gilmore's 1-yard TD catch on a play-action toss from Kyle Orton gave the Bears a 7-0 lead in the first quarter and came on a play that wasn't even in their playbook.

"(Tight ends coach) Rob Boras and (line coach) Harry Hiestand really do a very good job of evaluating and studying and understanding what teams do defensively," Bears offensive coordinator Ron Turner said. "That was a play that we actually put in this week. We've got similar type plays, but from that exact look we put it in this week.

"Those guys (Boras and Hiestand) saw something and we put it in. We told those (players) last night in the meeting this will be the first pass that we call. I said I'm not sure it's going to be the first call on the goal line, but it's going to be the first pass that we call. First and goal, we felt like it was a good time to call it."

"It was a play-action type pass," Gilmore said. "They stepped up and bit on the run fake and we just hit it in the back of the end zone."

"That was the easiest play all day," Orton said.

Live to Fight Another Day
Bears offensive coordinator Ron Turner wasn't about to complain over an intentional grounding call in the late fourth quarter, which ultimately forced the Bears to punt and give the Bucs a chance to try for the tie.

"It was probably a pretty good call," he said.

Orton threw downfield on a pass that was supposed to go to Muhsin Muhammad but he was nowhere to be found. Because Orton was under pressure and in the pocket, the flag came out.

"There was some confusion leaving the huddle," Turner said. "Moose said he didn't hear what the (play) call was -- it was so loud. He said he didn't hear the call.

"Kyle was trying to signal to him. We were out of whack on that pretty much from the beginning. What I told (Orton afterward) was if you get in that situation, take a timeout."

Comprehensive Exam
Orton has played only 11 games, but thinks he knows a good defense when he sees one. He saw one Sunday.

"This is the best defense that we played," Orton said. "They're the most athletic defense, the fastest defense that I've seen. They did a good job of mixing it up."

Orton was held to14-of-28 for 134 yards and no completions to wide receivers longer than 14 yards.

"I don't think they surprised me at all," he said. "It's just with the speed and athleticism it's the first team I've seen like that."

No Do Over Needed
The Bucs' coach wasn't second-guessing himself about deciding to punt in the second quarter from the Bears' 31 instead of trying for a Matt Bryant field goal of 48 or 49 yards.

Gruden thought the wind was blowing too strong in Bryant's face and didn't take into account the hamstring Bryant pulled on the game's opening kickoff.

"To be honest with you, the penalty in missing a field goal is severe in a game like this," he said. "You give them the ball close to midfield or the 40-yard line."

Besides, Gruden thought he made the right decision because the Bucs nearly downed the ball at the Bears' on the punt, but a touchback was ruled.

"And we almost make a play there, down the ball inside the 5," Gruden said, then calling to mind Bryant's miss later – the only one he's had this year from less than 46 yards -- he said "Once again, we're inches away from making a play that ultimately cost us."


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