Thanks to Kyle Fuller, Bears’ defense finishes off season with one more takeaway
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ORLANDO, Fla. — Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller described his interception of Colts quarterback Andrew Luck on Sunday as though he had made it in the regular season.
‘‘Third-down route,’’ Fuller said. ‘‘Inside break.’’
But it came in the Pro Bowl.
‘‘It was cool,’’ Fuller said.
It was the coolest moment for a Bears player during a cold and rainy day at Camping World Stadium. The AFC defeated the NFC 26-7, but the best celebration still came after Fuller’s interception.
Fuller ran into the end zone after picking off a pass intended for Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster in the second quarter, even though he was ruled down.
In typical Bears fashion, safety Eddie Jackson stopped him from leaving from the end zone. It was time for another family-photo celebration. This time, it featured many of their NFC teammates, including offensive players.
‘‘It’s just something that we’ve been doing,’’ said running back Tarik Cohen, who made sure to join the photo. ‘‘It’s a habit now anytime I see one of the guys on defense make a play. I’ve got to go out there and celebrate with them.’’
Fuller did what the Bears’ defense did best this season: He took the ball away.
‘‘We tried to put a little swag on it there at the end,’’ Jackson said.
Better yet, defensive lineman Akiem Hicks pressured Luck into his errant throw.
‘‘Oh, man, I don’t remember,’’ Hicks said with a smile. ‘‘Rushing the quarterback and hitting somebody in the mouth, and Kyle got another pick this year.’’
It was an exclamation point on a fun week for the Bears, who left their mark on the Pro Bowl after their turnaround 12-4 season. Fuller, Jackson, Cohen, Hicks, left tackle Charles Leno Jr., center Cody Whitehair and quarterback Mitch Trubisky all made their Pro Bowl debuts.
‘‘What will I remember most?’’ said Trubisky, who was 5-for-9 for 34 yards and an interception. ‘‘Just spending time with my brothers, the Bears that were here. We’ve got a lot of guys here this year. And then the friends I made this week. I’ll always remember that.
‘‘And hopefully it will just carry on with me for the rest of my career and just set the foundation going forward and give me more confidence moving forward. So it was a lot of fun. I loved this experience.’’
Fuller left with a memento, too: the football from his interception.
‘‘Yeah, I’m just going to hold on to it,’’ he said.