Strong Start

Bears defensive back Mike Green, the incumbent starter at strong safety with the departure of Tony Parrish to the San Francisco 49ers, started at that position for the first time this preseason against Jacksonville after filling in for the injured Mike Brown at free safety the first two games. Green recorded the Bears' only interception of the evening and finished the game with four tackles and two passes defended.

Head coach Dick Jauron and defensive coordinator Greg Blache both have high praise for the 6 foot, 190 pounder.

"I really think Mike Green's a terrific player," Jauron said. "I have a lot of confidence in this young guy.

"He's a playmaker regardless of the situation. Like on special teams, you'll see him in on a tackle. And in our sub package last year, he'd be in on the play. I really like him as a football player. He's as hard a worker as I think there is and really wants to get better all the time."

"This guy's special," Blache said. "We said it all along. We knew we had a good football player. We just needed to get him on the field more. The guy started at strong, he started at free; he makes plays. He just shows up."

The absence of Brown during the preseason has allowed Green to progress as a leader.

"To go back there and play with the rookies has helped me out a whole lot. It's helped me be more vocal, so that has helped me. Normally when Mike Brown's in he takes charge, he sets the defense up and everybody plays off him. But, they gave me that opportunity to go out there and take charge and be a leader."

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