Marcus Hamilton was hoping that his chance opportunity to make his NFL debut on Sunday at Soldier Field would land him a regular gig.
Little did he know it would be with the Bears.
They claimed him off waivers Tuesday afternoon, making room for him by releasing wide receiver Mark Bradley. The move gives you an indication of how general manager Jerry Angelo feels about Hamilton because it's not like they have a pressing need for cornerbacks, especially with fifth-round draft pick Zack Bowman on the practice squad.
Hamilton served as the nickel back as rookie Elbert Mack was suspended for the game and first-round pick Aqib Talib was out with a pulled hamstring. He was on the field for about 20 snaps, by his estimation, and was credited with two pass breakups on third down and one tackle. Tampa was trying to move him back to its practice squad before the Bears made a move for him.
"I didn't know if that game was going to help me get a job, but that was my goal,'' Hamilton said. "I wanted to put some tape out there so people would take notice.
"I wasn't sure how long they planned on bringing me up for but like I said I knew it was going to be a chance to put some stuff on tape and see what happens. That's the business end of the game and I understand that. That it could be for only one game was one of my thought processes. [Tampa Bay] had to do what it had to do and I am truly thankful for the opportunity they gave me. I felt good about what I was able to do during the game. There are some things I would like to be able to correct if I could, but I felt I did what I was supposed to do."
Hamilton was a seventh-round pick from Virginia in 2007. He spent last season on the Bucs' practice squad. The Bears were reportedly interested in Hamilton before the draft. He led the ACC in interceptions in 2005 and was third in 2006 but was bypassed by the NFL Scouting Combine.
The Bears have a potential need for a backup nickel back, but the 5-11, 188-pound Hamilton projects more as an outside cornerback. He's a smart player who was coached by his father Greg at Centreville (Va.) High on the same team Washington Redskins pro scout Donnie Warren worked as an assistant coach.
*** The Bears still have an open spot on their practice squad created by the promotion of linebacker Joey LaRocque last week.
*** Of course, the release of Bradley makes Kyle Orton the only draft pick from the Bears' 2005 class still with the team. Carolina strong safety Chris Harris is the only other member of the class with a team right now. Linebacker Rod Wilson is working his way back from a broken arm suffered in preseason and is not with a team.
*** Defensive tackle Ian Scott has joined his third team since leaving the Bears. He signed with San Diego, no doubt at the recommendation of former defensive coordinator Ron Rivera.
Scott was in training camp with Carolina and spent time with Philadelphia last season.