Monday, August 18, 2014, 1:20pm
Mulligan caught a team-high four passes for 39 yards, including a 23-yarder to the Jacksonville 2 that set up a late touchdown, helping the Bears rally for a 20-19 preseason win.
“We’ve seen it during practice,” said coach Marc Trestman. “We’ve seen his speed in practice, we’ve seen his ability to run vertically up the field and make plays, which showed up [Thursday] night and it’s showed up in practice. He’s shown good hands and good speed, besides his ability to block at his point of attack, so we’re excited about it.”
With tight end Zachary Miller suffering a season-ending foot injury against the Jaguars, Mulligan’s role could expand, but perhaps not to being considered fantasy-worthy. Dante Rosario sat out the Jacksonville game with a sore calf, leaving Mulligan, starter Martellus Bennett and Jeron Mastrud as the Bears’ only healthy tight ends. We heard rumors of the Bears using two TE sets when Miller was standing out, but it remains to be seen if they continue down that road now that he's lost for the season.
The Bears may be about to join the group of teams turning the tight end position into a true threat, which is perhaps a development of potentially major significance for a team right now finding itself without a proven threat at No. 3 wide receiver.
Besides Martellus Bennett (65 catches in 2013), veteran Zachary Miller delivered a strong statement last Friday against the Philadelphia Eagles with six receptions for 68 yards and two touchdowns. This was with Bennett still out on suspension, but the result may have been to present the Bears with a welcome opportunity.
“Zach, I think, has always been a good player,” said offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer. “But it’s a case where he has had injury problems in the past. So he never got to show it on the field. And basically now he’s just getting the ability to show it, and we’re just glad we have him while that’s happening.”
Miller got more chances to showcase his talents on Tuesday, turning in two red-zone touchdown catches against tight coverage in traffic, the story said. He worked with the No. 1 offense, ahead of Dante Rosario for at least the day, with Rosario nursing a leg injury from Monday’s practice. He does have some substantial proving to do, according to the piece, not having played in an NFL game since October 2011. He missed the final game of 2010 with a concussion, on IR for the final 12 games in 2011 and was in IR for all of 2012. He then failed to stick with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and sat out the 2013 season. What is especially notable with Miller is that he is earning the confidence of quarterbacks.
Friday, August 8, 2014, 9:53pm
Tight end Martellus Bennett remained on suspension as the Bears opened their preseason against the Philadelphia Eagles Friday night in Soldier Field. In his absence, backups Dante Rosario and Zach Miller in particular made early impressions.
Rosario caught two passes for 28 yards in the first quarter, while Miller completed a Bears scoring drive with a 10-yard catch in traffic from Jay Cutler. Matthew Mulligan, primarily a blocking tight end, also worked in on a number of snaps in the first quarter.
Thursday, March 13, 2014, 6:46pm
Friday, November 8, 2013, 6:21pm
Thursday, November 7, 2013, 6:19pm
Wednesday, November 6, 2013, 6:57pm
Monday, September 2, 2013, 11:32am
Thursday, December 6, 2012, 7:53pm
Sunday, December 2, 2012, 3:17pm
Friday, November 30, 2012, 7:41pm
Thursday, November 29, 2012, 7:36pm
Sunday, November 25, 2012, 2:50pm
Friday, November 23, 2012, 6:47pm
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