The Chicago Bears came away victorious in their preseason over the Tennessee Titans, winning 23-17 at Soldier Field in a game that featured explosive plays from the first-string offense and splash plays from the second-team defense.
One of the stars of that second unit on the day was EDGE rusher, Terrell Lewis. Lewis recorded 2.0 sacks including a strip-sack of Titans quarterback Malik Willis.
He spoke in the locker room about what happened in the game.
Bears’ Terrell Lewis’ Stab, ‘Ghost’ Rush are Von Miller Staples
Bears’ Terrell Lewis ‘Set Up’ Titans’ Tackle
“On those plays, I could tell on some of my earlier rushes, I was getting close but not able to either get around the edge of the guy, or not trying to find out what’s my angle as far as where the QB was setting his feet at. And just trying to find the x, find where the x was at.”
It wasn’t just effort on those plays, though he surely would not have made them without it.
Lewis also gave a glimpse into the game within the game as he spoke about how he “set up” the Titans’ offensive tackle Zach Johnson for his first sack.
Bears force another turnover 😤
— NFL (@NFL) August 12, 2023
“I feel like that one I kind of set him up the play before with a stab, and leveled back, and then spun back inside. And saw how the quarterback stepped up and got away,” Lewis said. “The play after that, I knew the offensive tackle would be worried about my stab again. So I tried to work a ghost, and bend around the edge, get him to stop his feet, and got home.”
Lewis’ comments immediately bring to mind eight-time Pro Bowler Von Miller, now of the Buffalo Bills. Miller and Lewis played together in L.A. in 2021.
Miller is not the only player in the NFL to utilize the “ghost rush” but has become quite prolific with it over the years.
“The “Ghost” rush is a long arm fake meant to make blockers sit & punch early followed by a reduction in hitting surface,” wrote defensive line and pass rushing coach Aaron Day in 2020. “Great move to pair with the long arm & stab technique.”
How Von Miller ghost rushes
— Craig Roh (@craigroh) September 28, 2022
“It’s just a game within the game to keep them playing you true,” Miller said, per Henry McKenna of FOX Sports in September of 2022. “Sometimes offensive linemen, they get complacent, and they just wait for you to run into them. Or they wait for you to play long arm. And it’s just the knuckleball.”
Lewis’ play was one of eight sacks and four forced turnovers on the day for the defense.
A former third-round pick by the Rams in 2020, he has flashed often since signing to the Bears’ practice squad in December. That has continued during training camp and, on Saturday, though it didn’t officially count, he recorded one-third as many sacks as he has for his entire career.
“It felt good, man, just getting back out there competing against other guys,” Lewis said. “Being able to be full-go, finally. Being able to hit a quarterback and secure a actual sack on the quarterback. So, man, it felt fun. Being back out there with the guys.”
Terrell Lewis Appreciating the Opportunity
“I feel like all these games are big,” he said. “All these games are a opportunity for you to be able to showcase yourself, not just to the Bears. But to every team in the league. So I take these games very serious.
“This is my first time being able to get a game-like feeling going into the season. And, also…once you do make the team, God willing, you already kind of got a feel for the game going into your first real regular season game. So I feel like all these games are important.”
That’s not lip service, either. The Rams drafted Lewis during the early stages of COVID in 2020 when the NFL canceled the entire preseason.
He played one preseason game with the Rams in 2021 and none in 2022.
And Lewis could have a legitimate shot at a roster spot behind starters Yannick Ngakoue and DeMarcus Walker. Perhaps he could even jump ahead of Trevis Gipson – who also recorded a sack and had three hits on the quarterback – and second-year man Dominique Robinson.
Bears’ Terrell Lewis ‘Super Excited’ for Matchup Against Colts’ Anthony Richardson
The Bears will head to Indianapolis for a week of joint practices before a tilt against the Colts for their next matchup.
For Lewis, it’s another opportunity.
“Super excited,” he said. “I feel like, next week, going into Indy, we obviously know we going to be going against a team that obviously they’re going to be trying to see their quarterback that they got picked throw the ball, stuff like that – Anthony Richardson. So I feel like we’re going to see a lot of ops [opportunites] to rush the passer.”
Richardson went 7-for-12 for 67 yards and one interception in his preseason debut.
Buffalo with the early INT!
— NFL (@NFL) August 12, 2023
The No. 4 overall pick in this year’s draft, Richardson boasts 4.43 speed. That is a wholly different dynamic than what the Bears faced on Saturday. They do practice against Justin Fields every day, though.
“It’s] also just another opportunity to compete against other players,” Lewis said. “And get a feel for how tackles are going to play me going throughout the season.”