When Dane Sanzenbacher turned around after returning a punt 66 yards for a touchdown in the Bears' 24-14 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night at Soldier Field, he was disappointed to see a penalty flag that brought it back.
But not that disappointed. Though the return was nullified, it doesn't mean the play didn't happen.
That's the beauty of preseason football. Everything is on film, whether it counted or not.
''It was great,'' Sanzenbacher said about the punt return. ''Anything you can do to try to turn heads at this point is a positive step. You hate to see the flag on the ground when you turn around. But I can't remember the last time I returned a punt. It was probably in high school. So it was pretty cool being out there and doing it.''
The nullified punt return typified an eventful night for Sanzenbacher in the Bears' preseason finale. He muffed his first punt return, but recovered it to avoid disaster. The undrafted rookie from Ohio State also had four receptions for 50 yards and lost three yards on an end around.
''It was solid,'' Sanzenbacher said regarding his performance. ''Obviously I've yet to play a perfect game, so you can't say that. I mean anytime you play that many snaps, there's always going to be plays you can find something that you could do differently.
''But it was nice to get out there and be able to get the ball in your hands a little bit. We got a ton of opportunities and a ton of stuff on film. It was a great opportunity for everybody.''
If he hasn't made the Bears' 53-man roster, he likely has made somebody's. But it appears he's done enough to earn a spot in Chicago.
''I hope so,'' he said. ''Obviously every team is looking for something different. We've got so many great players on this team. It's going to be a tough decision for them regardless, I now that. I'm glad it's there's and not mine.''
It probably will be a surprise if Sanzenbacher doesn''t make the roster. But he wasn't expecting anything.
''I'm just grateful for the opportunities I've gotten,'' he said. ''Because as an undrafted free agent, the coaches gave me every chance in the world to make this team. It's on nobody but me, whatever happens.
''It's going to be a tough wait, obviously. And then knowing at any time in that 48 hours you could get a call and it could go either way. But it's part of the game, it's what you've been waiting for. This has been the longest interview process. It started in January, so I guess I'm glad to finally be at this point.''
The next move is the Bears'.
''There's no point in sweating it out at this point, just because you feel like you've done everything you could to try to make this team,'' Sanzenbacher said. ''There are always things you wish you can improve on. But if I could say I was sitting in this situation a month and a half ago when I walked into camp, I'd take it.'