Jeffery not placing the blame on refs

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Jeffery not placing the blame on refs

Alshon Jeffery said it over and over again after Sundays loss, how this is a physical game and he has to play accordingly.

Unfortunately on Sunday, Jeffery got penalized over and over for that physical play.

Jeffery was whistled for three offensive pass interferences, including one in the end zone, in the Chicago Bears 21-13 loss to the Green Bay Packers. It was a tough day for the rookie wide receiver, who was the Bears second-round pick (13th overall) in the 2012 NFL Draft. But Jeffery didnt think there was anything technically wrong with how he played.

I have to play physical. Thats the way the game is played, right? he said. My mindset going into the game is make the plays receivers making plays and stepping up. We knew they were going to try to be physical. We just tried to come and make plays.

At least one of those was questionable. And Jeffery got away with one early in the game when he grabbed Sam Shields by the facemask. But as far as the calls on him, Jeffery wasnt going to blame the officials.

Im going to have to go back and check the film and see, he said. Im not going to put it all on their side.

Packers cornerback Shields agreed with all of them.

It was perfect. It's hard to get them called. We got them and they gave us some good time to get off the field, he said.

Teammate Tramon Williams agreed.

Its unheard of, but its correct, he said. Hopefully we get more refs to do that.

Coach Lovie Smith said hes never seen three in a game before.

When you look at our history, we havent gotten a lot of them. So all of them were really big plays, he said. Normally you get a call that goes your way, but we had a lot of opportunities and thats how the officials saw it.

Two were very big. The first nullified a 1-yard touchdown pass. The second, with the Bears trailing 21-13, nixed a potential 36-yard reception with less than three minutes remaining in the game.

Quarterback Jay Cutler wasnt getting into the what-waswasnt-a-penalty discussion.

I dont think anyone wants to get fined, first of all. Secondly, thats not what lost us the game, he said.

But a few minutes later, Cutler was asked if veteran receivers can get away with more than young guys like Jeffery.

Bump and run and press they let him play early on and then started calling it later. I dont know for what reason. Alshons a big receiver and whenever he bumps a guy the guys going to move, Cutler said. Im at a loss for this question. Youre baiting me into things and Im not going to fall for it.

Jeffery had a tough day. He plays a physical game, and hes not planning on changing that anytime soon.

Thats the way the game is played, he said.

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Austin O'Connor

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Four years, four state championships. 

That's what St. Rita senior wrestler Austin O'Connor accomplished over the past four years, becoming the 15th wrestler in IHSA history to do so. The Mustangs' grappler went undefeated this season and finished his IHSA career with a record of 181-4. 

O'Connor is planning on continuing his time on the mat at the University of North Carolina next season. Learn more about O'Connor in the video above. 

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In the latest installment of In the Gym at EFT, performance specialist Kerry Neal teaches some valuable techniques to improve an athlete's vertical jump. 

Former Western Michigan Linebacker Grant DePalma gives an assist by demonstrating the drills. An athlete's vertical is an important tool and can be the difference during evaluation.

Learn some valuable tips above and be on the lookout for the next edition of In the Gym at EFT.