Jobs Homes Autos For Sale

Bears' Aromashodu not one for self-promotion
By Bob LeGere | Daily Herald Staff
print story
email story
Published: 12/30/2009 12:00 AM

Send To:





Devin Aromashodu obviously has a long way to go before he's in the same class as some of the NFL's top wide receivers, a position that seems to attract prima donnas.

The Bears' de facto go-to guy doesn't talk smack, he doesn't pout, he doesn't preen, and he doesn't posture.

But he did have go-to guy numbers Monday night against Minnesota: 7 catches for 150 yards. And he made his biggest plays at the most critical times.

On the first play of overtime, he came back to get a 33-yard pass from Jay Cutler on what was designed as a go route. That set up Robbie Gould's narrow miss on a 45-yard field-goal attempt.

A few minutes later Aromashodu streaked past Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield to haul in Cutler's 39-yard, game-winning touchdown pass.

Aromashodu walked the walk, but he declined to talk the talk. When he was jokingly asked if he had become the Bears' No. 1 receiver, he demurred.

"No, no. I don't have any say-so in that," said the 6-foot-2, 201-pound third-year player from Auburn. "I want to play. That's all I know. I want to be part of this team, and I'm going to do everything I can to play."

In just three weeks as a starter, Aromashodu has 17 catches for 236 yards (13.9-yard average) and 2 touchdowns. He was inactive for six of the first 12 games and barely touched the field in the other six, catching 2 passes for 16 yards.

What kind of numbers might he have posted had he been a starter for the first 12 games?

"I don't really think about that because I wasn't (a starter), so you never know what could've happened," Aromashodu said. "I could have gone out there and not done as well.

"The Lord worked everything out for it to be the way it is, and I'm just happy that everything worked out in the end. I got the opportunity to come out and play."

The 25-year-old Aromashodu didn't get more than a handful of snaps until Devin Hester suffered a calf injury Dec. 6 against St. Louis that has kept him inactive for the past three games.

It appears that even after Hester returns, whether it's for Sunday's season finale, or next year, Aromashodu will remain a major part of the mix. But could he remain in the starting lineup?

"You have to say, 'yes' to that, by his play," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "He's been outstanding. We have a number of guys that have shown us throughout the course that they can be the starter and be the guy that can take over a game. He definitely did that (Monday) night."

Cutler figured that out almost immediately. Way back in training camp, he was a one-man publicity team for the Miami Dolphins' 2006 seventh-round pick.

"He's a big body with a lot of speed," Cutler said. "He's still learning. On that first play in overtime he was able to slam on the brakes, and I was able to hit him.

"It's little things like that, learning when to adjust and when not to adjust, when we can and can't run past somebody in this league."

The game-winner was a play on which Cutler decides to run or throw based on the defense he sees. If the Vikings were in Cover-2 (both safeties deep), it would have been a run, but Aromashodu was 1-on-1 with Winfield.

"Jay did a really nice job of reading it," offensive coordinator Ron Turner said, "because they did a nice job of disguising it."

Aromashodu said he believed as long as he had only one man to beat, it didn't matter who it was.

"Whether it was (Cedric) Griffin or whoever was covering me, I knew that if we made the right read, it didn't really matter who was covering," he said. "And we were able to make the right reads all night. Cutler had a great game."

So did Aromashodu.