At one point Sunday, Henry Burris was caught on camera throwing a pass with his eyes closed, an expression of apparent fear in the face of the oncoming rush.
But what Burris could not see still hurt him as the Bears quarterback, thrust into his most meaningful minutes of the season after starter Chris Chandler left the game with a concussion midway through the second quarter, indeed had the longest day of his career.
Burris finished with just eight completions on 22 attempts for 50 yards, one touchdown and two fumbles in the Bears' 24-14 loss to Carolina. That he was sacked only twice for 15 yards is practically a highlight considering that he was under constant pressure.
But one can almost picture Warren Sapp frothing at the Bears game film this week in preparation of Tampa Bay coming into Champaign for the season finale Sunday night.
"This is the NFL and he's got a helmet and whoever has a helmet, we expect them to go out there and play," said offensive coordinator John Shoop of the likelihood that Burris will see his first NFL start next week.
Not that tough
As he has been all season, however, Burris was defiant that he was not intimidated Sunday, nor will he be next weekend.
"It wasn't tough at all," said Burris, in his second NFL season after four years in the Canadian Football League. "It's a situation where you have to understand your job responsibility. Being the No. 2 in this game, you've got to be ready for that type of situation, and that's something that I prepare for and I have to be ready each and every snap.
"I played against these guys in college. The only thing is now we're just a little bit older.
"It's not like I've been in this league for 10 years. If that was the case, I'd say, 'Uh-oh, hold up.' There's never any doubt. We're all men and I've played against these guys before and these caliber players, and I'm definitely up to it whenever my time comes."
The Bears' only touchdown while Burris was in the game was a 5-yard pass to Dez White, set up by a Panthers fumble and 43-yard return by Brian Urlacher to the Carolina 8-yard line.
The Bears punted 10 times and Burris, who entered the game for a third-and-9 play, was involved in eight three-and-outs plus the two fumbles in 12 offensive possessions..
"It's a learning situation obviously for a young quarterback," coach Dick Jauron said. "They're a real good defense, a stunting defense, a blitzing defense, all the things you don't like him to be presented with, but there it was."
Burris said it will benefit him having seen more than the usual spot action and garbage time to which he has become accustomed.
"It was real good because you don't have to go in just looking at nine guys dropping into coverage and maybe three guys at most rushing the past two games," he said. "It was an opportunity just to get out there and feel the different blitz looks and be able to locate and try to make sight adjustments and move around in the pocket and try to make plays and stuff.
"Things began to get a little more comfortable as the game went on. I was able to locate things a lot quicker and if nothing was there, just move around a little and make something happen."
Or at least try.
"It was tough for him to be thrown into the fire," said running back Leon Johnson. "There was going to come a day where he had his opportunity to go out and play. It just so happened we were behind, and it's tough when you have a very fast defense like that going after the quarterback. Henry is out there doing the best he can, and that's all we can ask of him."
Despite what anyone says, Burris said he sees progress.
"I'm not like I was in the preseason," Burris said. "I wasn't out there wet behind the ears, running out there with Pampers on. Getting the snaps today definitely put me a few steps ahead of where I was yesterday, so I'm going to work hard and be ready for Tampa."Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times