Up and Running

The Bears dropped their final preseason game 24-22 to the Dolphins. Dick Jauron was aggressive throughout the game going for it on fourth and one on two different occasions and then attempting a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter.

Dave Wannstedt pulled out all the stops against his old team. On the opening kickoff Miami went for a surprise onside kick and recovered at their 43-yard line.

A 22-yard completion from starting quarterback Jay Fiedler to receiver Oronde Gadsden setup the Dolphins first score. A 34-yard field goal by placekicker Olindo Mare put Miami up 3-0 less than four minutes into the contest.

Chicago's ground game carried the offense for the majority of the game as the team compiled 207 yards rushing, but it was the passing attack that got the Bears on the board. On their first play from scrimmage Jim Miller faked a handoff to Anthony Thomas and threw a deep ball over the middle, which Dez White hauled in and sprinted the length of the field for an 80-yard touchdown.

"It doesn't get any better than that," said White on his second touchdown catch of the preseason. "It was a perfect call on the first play by coach (John) Shoop."

The play was the Bears longest of the preseason. It was also Miller's only pass attempt on the night. He finished the exhibition season completing 16-25 passes for 198 yards and two touchdowns.

The remainder of the half was dominated by the home team as Chicago gained 120 yards on their remaining thirty plays.

On the ensuing drive Ray Lucas was inserted at quarterback and was greeted by DE Bryan Robinson, who took down the QB for an eight-yard loss that lead to a Miami punt.

Chicago looked to continue their momentum from the first series, but Miller was hit from behind by DE Adewale Ogunleye causing a fumble, which Dolphin LB Derrick Rogers recovered at the Bears 19.

Miller left the game with an ankle sprain, but the injury is considered minor.

"My cleat got stuck in the ground and I got twisted around," Miller said about the play he was hurt on. "It's fine it's just a light sprain and I'll be ready to go next week."

A personal foul penalty on the scramble for the fumble set the Dolphins back to the Bears' 34. However, it took Miami just four plays to get into the endzone on a 15-yard run by RB Travis Minor.

Miami extended its lead to ten points on their next possession. Lucas' scrambling ability highlighted a 12-play 80-yard drive. His feet bought him enough time to find open receivers as he went 6-8 for 62 yards on the drive including a nine-yard TD pass to James McKnight.

A ten-play drive led by Chris Chandler stalled inside the Dolphins five-yard line and resulted in no points. After an eight-yard scramble by Chandler the offense failed to get the necessary two yards for a first down on the following two plays. Jauron decided to go for it on 4th and one from the three-yard line. But, Leon Johnson was stopped at the line of scrimmage and the Bears turned the ball over on downs.

The Bears turned to the ground game in the second half. Rookie Adrian Peterson carried the ball eight times for 55 yards on an 11-play 80-yards drive. The running back cut the Miami lead to 17-14 with a two-yard score, which was the Bears first rushing score of the preseason.

Peterson likely locked up a roster spot with his performance against Miami. On 12 rushing attempts he gained 65 yards for an average of 5.4 yards per carry.

However, the Dolphins answered the Bears score on the ensuing possession. Obafemi Ayanbadejo's eight-yard run gave Miami a 24-14 lead heading into the last period.

Chicago kept the ball on the ground this time giving the bulk of the carries to undrafted free agent Eric McCoo. The rookie running back rushed nine times for 32 yards including a one-yard score on 4th and goal.

McCoo is a long shot to make the team, but definitely helped his cause rushing 12 times for 57 yards on the night.

"I was just going out there to play as hard as I can and show that I belong on the football team," McCoo said.

The rookie realizes he may not make the team, but remains positive.

"It's a business. We have a couple days off and I hope I get to come to work on Monday."

Ken Mastrole, who is competing for the third quarterback job went 4-8 on the night for 40 yards, completed passes of 10-yards to TE Dustin Lyman and 13-yards to Kenny Christian to help move the team in scoring range.

Jauron stuck with his no overtime in the preseason rule and went for the two-point conversion, which the Bears converted on a Mastrole to Edell Shepherd completion.

The 13-play drive cut the Dolphins lead to 24-22 with less then nine minutes left in the game.

The Bears had one final chance to win the game, but a final drive was stopped when WR Jamin Elliot dropped a Burris pass that would have given Chicago a fresh set of downs.

Mastrole and Burris both played better than the Jacksonville game. However, neither emerged as a clear-cut number three QB meaning the coaching staff has to make the final decision.

Burris, who went 3-8 for 27 yards, said he was able to focus and anticipate the flow of game better in the preseason finale.

"I felt I did some good things tonight," Burris said. "I moved the chains, but I felt I could have hit a few other passes."

Bear Report Top Stories