Fuller’s Pro Bowl pick is picture perfect

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ORLANDO – Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller picked up in Sunday’s Pro Bowl where he left off during the regular season, recording an interception in the NFC’s 26-7 loss.

Fuller picked off Colts quarterback Andrew Luck’s pass over the middle intended for Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster in the second quarter. Bears defensive tackle Akiem Hicks pressured Luck on the play.

Fuller tied for the NFL lead in 2018 with a career-high seven interceptions.

“He’s good at it, right?” Hicks said. “He’s a good DB, and I didn’t expect anything less from him.”

Fuller became the first Bears player with an interception in the Pro Bowl since cornerback Nathan Vasher at the end of the 2005 season.

Although he was ruled down by contact, Fuller raced to the end zone. Bears running back Tarik Cohen, who sprinted from the sideline, was the first to greet him. Several other NFC players joined the celebration, posing for a “group photo."

“I told him, ‘Let’s take a picture, keep the tradition going that we’ve been doing for the Bears,’” said safety Eddie Jackson. “We tried to put a little swag on it there at the end.”

“It’s just something that we’ve been doing, so it’s a habit now,” Cohen said. “Anytime I see one of the guys on defense make a play, I’ve got to go out there and celebrate with them.”

Making friends: The seven Bears who participated in the Pro Bowl spent the week in Orlando getting to know players from other teams throughout the NFL.

“One of the coolest guys I got to meet was [Chiefs running back] Tyreek Hill,” Hicks said. “We didn’t actually practice together, but he said he enjoyed my game and I know I enjoy his game because I throw three touchdowns every time I play Madden with him.”

Jackson hit it off with Ravens safety Eric Weddle, who has been selected to six Pro Bowls in 12 NFL seasons.

“I’ve watched him play for a long time,” Jackson said. “Just to see he really noticed me and knows my game and things like that, and how well we connected, you would think I’ve known him my whole life. We exchanged numbers and will probably do some training in the offseason.” 

Staying together: The Bears’ two Pro Bowl offensive linemen, left tackle Charles Leno Jr. and center Cody Whitehair, were thrilled with Saturday’s news that right tackle Bobby Massie had signed a four-year contract extension to remain in Chicago.

“I’m excited,” Leno said. “They’re keeping our line together. I love what they’re doing. We’re trying to keep our core together. I’m just happy we got a guy back in the room.”

The Bears now have 21 of their 22 regular starters under contract, including all 11 on offense. Safety Adrian Amos is the only first-teamer who is due to become a free agent when the new league year begins in March.

“Anytime you can keep the five [offensive linemen] intact, we know how important it is to have all five guys out there,” Whitehair said. “Continuity is a big thing on the offensive line, so anytime you can keep us all together is always a good thing.”

Worth the wait: All seven Bears who played in Sunday’s game were first-time Pro Bowlers. Hicks waited the longest to receive his initial invitation, which came in his seventh NFL season.

“I enjoyed myself a bunch,” Hicks said. “As far as meaning for me, this is one of the biggest accolades I’ve ever achieved. Being recognized as one of the most elite players at my position in the league and owning it, it’s awesome.”

From arrivals through postgame interviews, view gameday photos of the seven Bears players that participated in the 2019 Pro Bowl in Orlando, Fl.

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