Anthony Miller Lends a Hand to Saints with Terrible Mistake

Bears wide receiver tossed from game for doing what he said no one on the team could do—get physical after plays with Chauncey Gardner-Johnson
Publish date:

Javon Wims had egg on his face after being suspended for punching Chauncey Gardner-Johnson in

What Anthony Miller had on his was a lot worse.

After Miller had said the Bears couldn't get caught up in the trash talking and "barking" of New Orleans defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, he managed to do what Wims did two months earlier and get tossed for retaliating physically in Sunday's Bears 21-9 playoff loss to the Saints.

The worst part of it was Bears coach Matt Nagy specifically addressed the situation of mouthy players with the team during practice.

"We spent some time now on Wednesday morning as a team, we spent time literally showing and explaining a particular player's actions in games and teaching it," Nagy said, presumably speaking of Gardner-Johnson. "That's taking 10 or 15 minutes out of your day, which is precious.

"And so when you do that, I think it's a valuable lesson for our guys. We already knew going into this thing about some of that, right? What do we talk about? Every action has a reaction. And so I think it's a valuable one, especially when we're low with numbers at the wide receiver position, and the value of that (Z-receiver) position for us."

The Bears were down one receiver with "Z" receiver Darnell Mooney out with an ankle injury. Miller had two receptions early in the game taking some of the Z receiver snaps, then went up to Gardner-Johnson after one verbal exchange following a play with the Bears losing 7-3. He struck Johnson and then was ejected.

Gardner-Johnson was given a 15-yard penalty for his part in it, but Miller received the ejection along with the penalty.

"And so again it's something where our guys, we've all got to understand we've got to be stronger and we can't have that happen, and we've got to understand that," Nagy said. "That's two times that that happened, and we just can't have it."

During the week leading up to the game, Miller had been asked about Gardner-Johnson's tactics.

“We're just going to play our game," Miller said. "Guys like that do what they do, but your bark can't be louder than your bite and it's hard to bite, so I'm not worried about that."

Apparently he got a little more worried on Sunday about the bark, and the Bears passing game suffered as a result.

Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven