Dud of the Week: Dante Wesley

The first-team defense once again gave up an awful lot of yards between the 20's, but this time, they were not able to dig in their heels and keep the Cardinals out of the end zone. The Bears committed an inexcusable 13 penalties, and reserve cornerback Dante Wesley was whistled for at least two of them. He earns the dubious honor of being named the Bear Report Dud of the Week.

Dante Wesley was brought in as a free agent from the Carolina Panthers to be a reserve cornerback and contribute on special teams. He had been one of the pleasant surprises so far in training camp with his solid play, but he definitely took a step back on Friday night. Wesley was flagged for pass interference twice on third down to keep Arizona drives alive, earning the Bear Report Dud of the Week for his poor effort.

With All Pro Nathan Vasher out of the lineup as a precautionary measure, nickelback Ricky Manning Jr. got the start opposite Charles Tillman while Wesley saw plenty of action as the third corner. Not only did two-time NFL MVP Kurt Warner pick apart the Bears secondary to the tune of 8-for-11 and 73 yards, rookie Matt Leinart came on in relief and looked like the second coming of Kenny Stabler, going 15-of-21 for 144 yards. Both Warner and Leinart threw a touchdown pass, and neither was intercepted.

The defensive backs were supposed to be a deep and talented bunch for the Bears, but with safety Mike Brown once again out of the lineup to nurse a sore Achilles', the unit looks lost without their leader back there. Wesley was simply over-aggressive and gave the Cardinals a couple of gift first downs. Those are the mistakes that keep drives alive and give opponents more bullets to fire, and the it cost the Bears dearly in a disappointing 23-16 loss.

JC


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