PRO CAREER: Enters third season with Bears after setting franchise single-season record in net punting average (40.4) in 2011 while his 39.4 net punting avg in 2012 ranks 2nd in team annals... Helped the Bears punt unit allow a franchise-low 3.4 yards per return in 2012... Came to Chicago after spending 4 seasons in Jacksonville (2007-10)... Has appeared in 91 NFL contests compiling 42.7 gross punting average (17,053 yards on 399 punts) and 38.7 net… Landed 130 punts insidethe-20… Established Jaguars team record with 39.2-yard net average in 2010… Also serves as holder for placekicks for Bears and Jaguars.
CAREER TRANSACTIONS: Entered NFL as a fourth-round pick (101st overall) by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2007 NFL Draft... Signed 4-year contract with the Jaguars… Signed 5-year contract with Chicago (7/30/11). SIGNED through 2015
2012 SEASON: Played in 16 games for fifth straight season after suffering a hip injury in the preseason... Helped the punt coverage unit set the franchise record for PR yards allowing a league-low 3.4 ypr... Had a gross punting average of 42.0 and a net average of 39.4 on 81 punts for 3,399 yards... 34 punts inside the 20 was good enough for 4th in the NFL and a career high... Ran in a fake extra point for a 2-point conversion week 12 vs MIN. GAMES PLAYED-STARTED: 16-0
PREVIOUS SEASONS: 2011 - Set Bears franchise record with 40.4 net punting average after setting career highs in punts (89), yards (3,903) and gross average (43.9)... Finished 6th in NFL in net punting... Landed 21 punts inside the 20 with just 4 touchbacks... Forced 27 fair catches, tied for 3rd most in the NFL... Helped Bears coverage unit to allow just 5.4 yards per return, 2nd in the NFL... Served as Bears holder for placekicks... Appeared in all 16 contests for fourth time in career and third-straight season. 2010 - Punted 57 times for career-best 43.8-yard gross average in Jacksonville… Broke team record with 39.2-yard net average which tied for fourth in league… Allowed NFL-low 19 punt returns, fewest in team history… Had career-high 26 punts downed inside the 20 and just seven touchbacks. 2009 - Played in all 16 games registering 41.9-gross average and a 38.3-yard net average on career-high 72 punts… Landed 23 punts inside-the-20 and had 5 touchbacks… 38.3-yard net average ranked fourth in franchise history. 2008 - Played in 11 games before suffering a knee injury on 11/23 vs. MIN that forced him to miss final five contests… Recorded 43.2-yard gross average and a 36.6-yard net average on 46 punts… Had 12 punts downed inside the 20 and had 5 touchbacks… Added 4 special teams tackles. 2007 - Played in all 16 games and both postseason games as a rookie… Had 54 punts for 41.6-yard gross average and 36.9-yard net average… Landed 14 punts inside the 20 and with 2 touchbacks… Had a career-long punt of 76 yards at TB (10/28)… Had 5 punts for a 41.6-yard net average in the postseason.
COLLEGE: In four seasons at Maryland (2003-06), was only four-time all-ACC selection in school history… Ranked fourth in school annals with 216 punts and second with 9,314 yards… 43.1 average was second best in school history and ninth best in ACC history… Had 83 career punts downed inside the 20 (38 pct.), including 35 inside the 10… Recorded career net yard average of 38.4… Did not have a punt blocked in his career… Recipient of the team’s Terrapin Club Award, given to the player that gave the greatest career contribution to football… Semifinalist for Draddy Award, honoring the top studentathlete in the nation… Graduated with a degree in marketing.
The Bears on Friday signed veteran quarterback Mark Sanchez to a one-year contract. Sanchez has started 72 games over eight seasons.
We asked Bears fans via Twitter who they think has been the team’s best offseason addition via free agency. Check out some of the responses we received.
The Bears on Thursday re-signed receiver/kick returner Deonte Thompson to a one-year contract. Thompson appeared in all 16 games with six starts for the Bears last season.
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Catch all the action on the Bears' sideline in their Week 15 match-up against Green Bay.
Tom Thayer and Larry Mayer break down Matt Spaeth's diving TD catch, and Podlesh's 2 point conversion after a 1yd TD run by Bush.