Seahawks present special test

As the

Bears prepare to face one of the

NFL’s top special-teams units, special teams coach Dave Toub’s

players are coming off one of the best games under his

distinguished tenure.

Toub, whose unit was ranked No. 1 by the Dallas Morning News in

2006 and 2007, saw his charges play a key role in the

Bears’ 23-6 victory over the

Carolina Panthers last Sunday.

”Overall, pretty much all phases, we were happy with the

results,” Toub said.

Devin Hester and Danieal Manning didn’t score, but their

combined return average was the second best under Toub. On six

returns, Manning and Hester averaged 33.5 yards, second only to a

Dec. 11, 2006 performance when Hester returned two kickoffs for

touchdowns against the St. Louis Rams.

Would Toub rather have a score or a well-rounded performance

like Sunday’s?

”There really isn’t a preference — those are both good days,”

Toub said. ”The days I want to stay away from are the days where

you’re not getting anything and having a hard time getting the ball

past the 20.”


Bears will have their hands full

against the Seattle Seahawks, who lead the league, allowing an

average starting point of 21.4 yards on kickoffs.

Manning is fifth in the NFL, averaging 29.8 yards per kickoff,

but he hasn’t run one back for a touchdown since 2008.

Seahawks kickoff returner Leon Washington has scored twice, and

he’s averaging a league-best 40.4 yards per return. Former Notre

Dame receiver Golden Tate is second in the NFL with an average of

18.0 yards per punt return.


Cornerback Charles Tillman (calf) returned to practice after

sitting out Wednesday. But linebacker Lance Briggs (ankle), guard

Roberto Garza (knee) and safety Major Wright (hamstring) did not

practice. Linebacker Brian Urlacher fully participated after being

limited by a groin injury Wednesday.


Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli was asked about Israel

Idonije’s production at defensive end: ”It’s his job. It’s part of

his responsibility to pass rush. If he’s not, he’s not doing his