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Steltz helps defense bounce back

Posted by Larry Mayer on August 12, 2012 – 7:12 pm

After getting torched by big receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery in a red-zone drill Saturday, the Bears defense gained some revenge Sunday, recording five interceptions.

Safety Craig Steltz picked off two passes, while cornerbacks Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman and safety Major Wright had one interception apiece.

“Defensively, we’ve had some guys really step up,” said coach Lovie Smith. “A guy who’s having a great camp is Tim Jennings, making plays, really getting confidence in his play. And Craig Steltz. He’s been around here a long time. All he does is continue to show up and play his role.”

Steltz’s interceptions both came against backup quarterback Jason Campbell. The versatile fifth-year pro picked off one of the passes by stepping in front of a receiver in the corner of the end zone. Throughout training camp, Steltz has continued to demonstrate why he’s one of the Bears’ most valuable players.

“He’s a great special teams player,” Smith said. “When you’re a backup safety you need to be a core four-phase special teams player. He does that, but we would be comfortable playing him at the free or strong position. He’s a coach on the field, all of those things, a valuable part of our team.”

Steltz also excelled during a spirited one-on-one blocking drill that pitted blitzing defensive backs against running backs. It was the first time the Bears have conducted that drill in this year’s training camp. After beating a blocking back on multiple occasions, Steltz celebrated with his fellow defensive backs.

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