CLEVELAND — The last time Santonio Holmes played in a preseason finale, it was 2010 and he was facing a four-game suspension, so he needed the extra work.
This year, he was the most notable veteran who actually did dress for the Bears in their XX-XX WIN/LOSS OVER/TO THE BROWNS on Thursday, and the wide receiver instilled some confidence that he is worth a roster spot to start the 2014 season.
Holmes made a catch in the second quarter, coming left to right, then spun on a dime and ran to the end zone for a 32-yard touchdown.
Holmes then got a crack at returning a punt, something he hasn’t done in a regular-season game since 2010, and he showed off his agility on a 30-yard return. That was the end of Holmes’ night – the Bears saw what they needed to see.
“You see the explosion in him,” Trestman said about Holmes. “He caught a short throw, turned and ran, separated from the defense. That’s a good sign."
On the defensive side of the ball, David Bass notched his second sack of the preseason, and would have shared another with fellow roster-spot-competitor Austen Lane if it weren’t for a penalty.
Rookie QB gets chance: David Fales completed 11 of 17 passes for 129 yards and the touchdown to Holmes in the first half, solid stats, but he was pressured often by the Browns’ first-team defense and took a 13-yard sack.
Bears and Bills, a study in contrast: The Bears and their Week 1 opponent, the Bills, took different approaches to the final preseason game Thursday.
In Cleveland, the Bears did not dress 36 players, including starters on both sides of the ball, some backups many thought were on the roster bubble and a few injured players.
In Buffalo, the Bills opened with their first-team offense in a 23-0 loss. Rookie sensation Sammy Watkins left with a rib injury and former Bear Jordan Palmer struggled, throwing three interceptions.
The Bears took the same approach to last year’s preseason game, when 38 players did not play, and although the defense and special teams have struggled this preseason, the team felt comfortable with its evaluation of most of the roster and did not want to risk injury.
Quick hits: S Chris Conte, who suffered a concussion in Seattle last week, was present at the game and did some individual work before the game, which is a good sign. … OT Jordan Mills did not play, even though he returned to practice last week. While no starters played, Mills will enter Week 1 without playing a preseason snap because of a foot injury. … TE Dante Rosario, OT Michael Ola and S Brock Vereen suited up in case of injury but did not play. LB Khaseem Greene played only on special teams.