Bears Notes: Morgan, Holmes prep for last preseason test

Josh Morgan grabs a pass during a Bears practice July 25 in Bourbonnais. Morgan and fellow receiver Santonio Holmes will be playing for roster spots in the Bears' final preseason game Thursday in Cleveland. (H. Rick Bamman – hbamman@shawmedia.com)

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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.” 

Marc Trestman said Holmes might also get a chance to return a kick, and throw his name into a still-wide-open competition.

“Coach [Mike] Tomlin used to always say, ‘the more you can do,’” he said. “I think at this point, that’s what’s going to be needed for this team is the more I can do for this team.”

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