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Trey Burton was supposed to throw on Bears' 'Oompa Loompa' play, but Super Bowl memories gave him 'crazy anxiety'

Colleen Kane, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Football

Trey Burton couldn't sleep after the Bears installed the play before the Patriots game in October.

It was called "Oompa Loompa," the same play the Bears used to tie the game against the Giants in the final seconds of regulation Sunday. And it strongly resembled the biggest play of Burton's NFL career.

Burton, a former quarterback before he converted to tight end in college, famously threw a touchdown pass to Eagles quarterback Nick Foles in their Super Bowl victory over the Patriots in February.

As Burton prepared to face the Patriots again with his new team, Bears coach Matt Nagy wanted him to attempt another touchdown pass on a play similar to the "Philly Special."

"Honestly when they put it up on the board (in practice), I got crazy anxiety," Burton said. "I was kind of freaking out a little bit, just because a ton of unbelievable memories come back to mind from the Super Bowl. ... I remember not really saying much and going out in practice and trying to do it, and I just couldn't. Physically there was some type of block that wasn't letting me do it."

Burton told Nagy the play flooded him with too many memories to make him feel comfortable running it. Nagy's response?

"No big deal."

The Bears turned to running back Tarik Cohen, who threw a touchdown pass last season, to run it instead. They didn't use the play against the Patriots, but they turned to it on Sunday with the game on the line and ball at the 1-yard line.

Burton still was a part of the play, taking the handoff from quarterback Chase Daniel and pitching it Cohen. Wide receiver Anthony Miller ran around the left side of the offensive line, cut across the end zone and was wide open for Cohen to hit with the pass.

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Offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich said Thursday that Cohen "made a spectacular play." And wide receivers coach Mike Furrey didn't mind that Miller discussed with Cohen in the huddle that the ball would go to him, even though Cohen's first read was to Daniel.

"It doesn't matter if it's a run play right now, Anthony thinks he's the first read," Furrey said. "That's what you've got to love about him. ... You'd rather have that than have to worry about trying to get somebody to have some confidence."

It worked out for the best -- for a few minutes, at least, until the Giants won in overtime.

And what was the pro's assessment of Cohen's pass?

"Great execution," Burton said.

(c)2018 Chicago Tribune

Visit the Chicago Tribune at www.chicagotribune.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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