Several players fighting for roster spots came up big against host Cleveland in the Bears' 28-20 win in the final preseason game Thursday night.
Linebacker Xavier Adibi, who led the Bears with 6 tackles, made several impressive plays in the first half, including a sack for minus-9 yards and another tackle for loss of minus-2. He suffered a minor injury late in the third quarter while knocking a contested ball loose from Brown wide receiver Josh Gordon but returned a few plays later.
That pass was originally broken up by rookie cornerback Greg McCoy, who's fighting an uphill battle for a roster spot. After it bounced up off Gordon's foot, McCoy, the seventh-round pick from TCU, wound up picking off the ball and returning it 15 yards for an apparent touchdown. The play was originally ruled incomplete but reversed on review, giving the Bears a 21-10 lead.
Undrafted rookie safety Jeremy Jones' interception set up the first TD and made an impression on coach Lovie Smith.
"I thought Jeremy Jones came in (and stood out)," said Bears coach Lovie Smith. "Great interception. (He) had a couple of good tackles. He showed up."
Part of the job:
Final cuts are due by 8 p.m. today, meaning 20-some players will receive pink slips -- not a pleasant chore for any coach, but one that's inevitable.
"Really, in the end, it's not that hard," Lovie Smith said. "We've gotten a chance to see the guys in every situation, a lot of video on them, so we have a good idea.
"It's hard just knowing that you have to tell some guys their dream is getting ready to end. That part is hard. But when you sign up, you know that when you start off with 90 guys, you're going to have to cut a lot of guys, and they realize that."
Getting his kicks:
Undrafted rookie punter had his second straight impressive game filling in for injured Adam Podlesh (hip), who might not be back in time for the regular-season opener at Indianapolis on Sept. 9.
Each of Quigley's first 2 punts were downed at the Browns' 6-yard line with a net average of 38.5 yards. His third also landed inside the Browns' 20, where it was fair caught at the 16. The Browns managed return yardage only on Quigley's fourth punt, but Travis Benjamin fumbled after an 18-yard return and the ball was recovered by -- Quigley.
Isn't that special:
Performance on special teams can make or break players on the bubble and linebacker Patrick Trahan and wide receiver Brittan Golden helped their cause Thursday night. Trahan blocked a punt late in the third quarter, and Golden picked it up and went 22 yards for a score, giving the Bears a 28-10 lead with 3:26 left in the third quarter.
Defensive tackle Brian Price, who has battled through pelvis, hamstring and knee injuries in the past year, suffered a head injury late in the third quarter and did not return.