I have a been a bears fan from birth and i am one of probably only 5 fans who enjoy watching pre-season games. I enjoy it because you get to see the team really come together and to get a chance to watch some of the young guys on your team play and see if they can be play makers down the line. So, yes i watched all of the bears 1st preseason game. Here are some random impressions from the first game:
1. Culter and most of the skill position players on offense didnt play more than 1 drive but in that drive they moved the ball down field for a FG. They all seemed to be on the same page and they got to the line of scrimmage quickly and there was no confusion as to the plays. With Martz's new highly complex offense this is more than i would have hoped for. For such a small sample size, it has the bears' offense trending upward.
2. The WRs - All offseason Martz has been saying that the Bears have maybe the most talented group of WRs he has ever had. I may start believing him after saturday night. Johnny Knox looked pretty much uncoverable with 2 catches for 51 yards and Devin Aromashodu looked to picked up where he left off at the end of last season and he wasnt even playing with the #1 offense. I dont think there will be any question that Knox will emerge as the bears #1 WR this year.
3. Major Wright - The kid can play. He made 7 tackles and was consistently around the ball and play. The fact that he was says some not great things about the defensive performance (not good to have the ball get to your safety/last line of defense) but he looks like a player. He also looks like he wants to hit people which is exactly the type of safety that bears fans have been craving since Mike Brown's departure. His apparently scheduled to have surgery on a finger injury he sustained in the game but still should be ready to play come the regular season. http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2010/08/bears-keeping-major-lid-on-wrights-finger-injury.html Whether or not, he starts Bears fans will quickly notice when wright is on the field in a good way.
1. The offensive line - The starters actually played most of the first half together and it was a mixed bag of results. The pass protection was pretty good and this was against a 3-4 defense which they hadnt game planned for. The run block was just terrible. The entire game the bears had 21 rushes for 48 yards. I dont care what game it is, your line has to be able to run block better than that. The bears are suppose to still be a running team but we all know that really isnt the truth with Cutler and Martz now. But, they still need to be able to run the ball effectively. This game only did nothing to quiet my fears and those of many bears fans that they didnt improve the O-line enough in the offseason.
2. Still no pass rush. The bears didnt have much of push from the front 4 at all. I thought Peppers was suppose to cure this. In a sideline interview, Peppers said that the chargers were throwing the ball too quickly for there to have been a pass rush. Geez, somehow that type of excuse out of a guy you are paying $18 million a year doesnt reassure me. Without more pass rush this year, the bears will be toast and i will be the only one watching in december. lets hope this trends upward quickly.
3. The lack of depth. The bears dont have a lot of quality depth except for at the LB and WR positions and it shows in pre-season games. Now most NFL teams dont necessary have starters in their 2nd units but usually they have some quality backups. The bears dont. There is a huge drop off at OT, QB, CB, S and DE for the bears and it shows. This just means that they will have to avoid significant injuries to keep playoff hopes alive.
There you go, my impressions from the 1st preseason game and i got through the whole article without even ripping on Frank "I suck hard" Omiyale or Mark "I have to hope the OT jumps because thats the only contribution i can make" Anderson. Check back for more bears updates soon.