Throughout the off-season the Bears pressed cornerback Tim Jennings to step up his play heading into the 2012 season. Jennings responded throughout OTAs and training camp making plays throughout practice, while earning the praise of secondary coach John Hoke.
Jennings followed up his strong offseason with a dynamic opening game against the Indianapolis Colts. You don't need to watch the All-22 coaches tape to know that Jennings had a big game today.
In total Jennings racked up two interceptions and four pass breakups in the Bears' 41-21 victory of the Colts.
Add in Jennings' four tackles with a couple of plays in run support and you have an all-around great game for the third year Bears player.
Both of Jennings' picks were awesome plays, the first he played the role of wide receiver when he lept up to pick off a pass over the shoulder. The second interception on the day to seal the victory was a leaping grab at the highest point of the ball as he blanketed the receiver.
Despite Jennings' smallish 5-foot-8 frame he played like a much taller CB today making high jumps in coverage that belied his overall effort.
After Charles Tillman went down with a lower leg injury, Jennings stepped up his game. He played fast, physical and with a high level of confidence in a game that the pass rush was average in support of the coverage.
The hope is Charles Tillman's injury isn't very serious, but if it is fans can be confident in Jennings' ability. The combination of Jennings' play with a solid opening effort from Kelvin Hayden bodes well for the Bears' secondary moving forward.