Press credentials: Bears WR Allen Robinson excelled by beating Lions off line
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One sure sign that Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson was healthy Sunday: He regularly beat the Lions’ press coverage on his way to six catches and two touchdowns.
Robinson, who sat out the previous two games with a groin injury, totaled 133 receiving yards in the Bears’ 34-22 win at Soldier Field — his most receiving yards since the second-to-last game of the 2016 regular season, when he caught nine balls for 147 yards as a member of the Jaguars.
“Allen has a really good feel and a good knack of beating press,” coach Matt Nagy said Monday. “And you saw a couple guys that got up and tried to jam him and press him. And he’s been that way. Even in Jacksonville, that’s one of the things that stood out to me is, when you pressed him, he’s good at beating those releases. He did that [Sunday].”
At 6-3, 211 pounds, Robinson gave quarterback Mitch Trubisky a sizable receiver to throw to.
“He got open,” Nagy said. “He’s a big target. So when big targets get open, you put it on their body. And then he made some plays after the catch.”
Why the flag?
Nagy thinks he knows why rookie receiver Anthony Miller was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for spinning the ball on the ground after catching a third-down pass in the fourth quarter. An official told Nagy the ball caromed toward the feet of a Lions defender, which amounted to taunting.
“When you slow-motion and look at it, when he spun it, he spun it straight down — and it bounced off his knee and went to the opponent,” Nagy said.
Miller was penalized 15 yards. Nagy, smiling, called it a teaching moment — like an earlier penalty Miller received for batting the ball forward and out of bounds on an onside kick.
“You teach him the why,” Nagy said. “You teach him, ‘Hey, listen, this is what can happen — just don’t spin the football, or get better at doing it.’ ”
Guard rotation over?
Bryan Witzmann played all 57 snaps at right guard Sunday, ending the series-by-series rotation with Eric Kush that lasted all of one game. Witzmann and Kush shared snaps against the Bills after Kyle Long was put on injured reserve with an injured right foot.
“That was a choice that both [offensive line coach] Harry [Hiestand] and I discussed, and we just felt comfortable with him,” Nagy said.
Witzmann started 13 games for Nagy’s Chiefs last year before signing with the Bears last month.
“With Witz being new and coming here, we wanted to give him a good opportunity of seeing what he could do, and we thought he did a good job,” Nagy said. “So we’ll just continue to keep a close eye on that and evaluate that each week.”