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Receivers Morgan, Holmes get ready for preseason finale

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014 9:29 p.m. CDT
Caption
(H. Rick Bamman file photo – hbamman@shawmedia.com)
Josh Morgan grabs a pass during the Bears practice July 25 in Bourbonnais.

LAKE FOREST – It’s cliché when Josh Morgan says his focus is just about getting better every day, without thinking too much about playing for a job in the preseason finale Thursday in Cleveland.

But Morgan is no stranger to this situation, despite some more comfortable roster situations previously in his career. He has played in the preseason finale in each of the past five seasons, making 10 catches for 81 yards.

“You can’t really worry about anything else, you can’t really focus on anything else, especially the business part of football,” Morgan said after Tuesday’s practice. “You just go in there, put in your work. If you’re getting better, regardless of the business part, you did your job.”

Morgan has eight catches for a team-high 125 yards this preseason and is still competing to be the No. 3 wideout.

“Josh has done a nice job of being a physical receiver. He gets in and out of cuts well, and he’s making contested catches in practice, so it’s going to be a case of showing consistency to do that day in and day out,” offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer said. “That’s important. That’s what we need to see next.”

Santonio Holmes is a little less familiar with playing in a preseason finale. He last did it in 2010, when he had four catches for 97 yards, including a 51-yard touchdown. Normally, he would have rested, but he faced a four-game suspension to start that season and the Jets gave him the extra work.

Holmes has to continue to cram to learn the offense and prove he gets it, and is healthy enough to make an impact. As for any pressure he may have, all things considered, Holmes responded to a reporter, “I’m a former Super Bowl MVP. There’s no pressure.”

Both players know that while having to play for a job in the final preseason game isn’t ideal, it’s still football, and there’s still a competitive edge.

“It’s football, you love playing the game,” Morgan said. “Just that natural love for the game, you always have it, you just always try to go out there and perform your best.”

When asked if the new situation for Holmes was a difficult one, the veteran said, “Nothing’s difficult. You get out and you play football and you enjoy doing what you do.”

Brown, Frey waived: The Bears’ final two cuts to get the roster to 75 by Tuesday’s deadline were familiar names: offensive lineman James Brown and cornerback Isaiah Frey. Brown led the team in snaps in the preseason opener, but then didn’t even play on offense in Seattle. He spent 2013 with the Bears but was inactive for all 16 games. Frey, who injured his hamstring Aug. 5, was the nickel corner last season but had only one pass defensed while playing on almost 50 percent of the snaps and was behind Kyle Fuller, Kelvin Hayden and core special-teamer Sherrick McManis on the depth chart. Should the Bears carry six corners, Frey’s absence opens the door for players such as Demontre Hurst and C.J. Wilson.

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