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Who? Aromashodu makes most of first career start
By Lindsey Willhite | Daily Herald Staff

Chicago Bears wide receiver Devin Aromashodu (19) celebrates his touchdown with Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) during the Sunday's Bears-Packers game at Soldier Field.

 

Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

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Published: 12/13/2009 9:07 PM

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Let's get this straight.

Fourth-year wideout Devin Aromashodu wasn't considered good enough to dress for half of the Bears' first 12 games.

Yet given the chance to make his first career start Sunday against Green Bay - usual starter Devin Hester didn't dress because of a calf injury - the Bears had enough confidence in Aromashodu to throw 12 balls his way?

Were the Bears waiting until they could pronounce his entire given name (Gbolahan Devin Aromashodu) before they felt they could call his number?

"He had 31 plays last week and he had 16 or 17 the week before that," said Bears offensive coordinator Ron Turner. "So we've gotten him on the field more each of the last few weeks."

But nothing like Sunday.

Starting with the game's first snap from scrimmage, when Jay Cutler hit him on a quick curl for 7 yards, Aromashodu made plays that dwarfed his career numbers.

The 25-year-old from Auburn entered the day with 9 career catches for 112 yards.

He delivered 8 receptions for 76 yards and his first career touchdown - a perfectly executed route against future Hall of Fame cornerback Charles Woodson.

Woodson ran stride for stride into the end zone with Aromashodu, which told Cutler to fire the ball toward his receiver's back shoulder.

Aromashodu read the same thing and reached back to snag the 10-yard touchdown strike as it sizzled over the front pylon.

"We've been working 'back shoulder' all week," Aromashodu said.

"That's something we've worked hard on in practice," Turner said. "(Jay) has worked hard on trying to make some back-shoulder throws, especially against tight press coverage."

It represented Aromashodu's first touchdown since a 2007 preseason game when he tried to stick with Indianapolis.

Prior to Sunday, his last TD that mattered came for Auburn on Oct. 29, 2005, against Mississippi.

"I was just excited and thankful," Aromashodu said.

The Bears should be excited and thankful to give Aromashodu more chances. At 6-feet-2, he's the tallest of the team's six wideouts. And while he's listed at just 201 pounds, he boasts a ridiculously chiseled physique that might be the first in history to give a negative body-fat percentage reading.

He used his strength and length to gain extra yards on more than one reception Sunday.

"He is a bigger guy," Cutler said. "And it makes it a little harder for the defensive backs with a big body like that.

"I know everything that Devin can do on the football field. We're just going to keep giving him opportunities to do it."

To a certain extent, anyway.

"When Devin (Hester) comes back, when he's healthy, he's our starter," Turner said. " 'DA' has shown that he deserves to play."