The second preseason game feels more meaningful because the starters tend to see more time on the field. Don’t be fooled. It isn’t. There is still only one truly definable goal for every NFL franchise as they suit up this week: stay healthy. But there are certainly some things to take a look at (and subsequently overreact to) when it comes to these 2012 Chicago Bears.
- The Ghost of Quarterbacks Past continue and Saturday night it will be Rex Grossman in the role of Jacob Marley. (Yes, this is an 1843 pop culture reference.) I like Grossman and always believed both he and Kyle Orton would have long careers in the NFL as backups. It seems that is going to be the case. I hope the Soldier Field faithful treat him well. (And I think it’d be utterly surreal to see Kelvin Hayden pick off one of his passes down the right sideline.)
- We all need to face the possibility of Brian Urlacher not starting against the Indianapolis Colts on September 9th so it will be interesting to see how the starting linebacking corps shakes out. Seems a sure thing we’ll see Roach in the middle and Briggs on the weak side but my question: can blog-favorite J.T. Thomas supplant Geno Hayes as the front-runner on the strong side?
- Hey! Guys! Left tackle! This is the only position I will be legitimately evaluating Saturday night. J’Marcus Webb is the only player on the Bears roster that needs a solid effort against the Redskins. He needs a clean sheet. He needs to show toughness. If he doesn’t the howls from fans and media will only grow louder and Mike Tice will be forced to select Chris Williams as the lesser of two evils.
- I’d like to see Shea McClellin and Julius Peppers play at the same time but I can wait till next month for that. I don’t see any reason for Peppers to play more than a series or two.
- Also on that “series or two” plan should be Lance Briggs. This team can survive losing Urlacher for a week or two during the regular season. They can’t survive without Urlacher AND Briggs. Be careful.
- Watch the tight end position for depth purposes. It seems unlikely that Kellen Davis, Matt Spaeth, Kyle Adams and Evan Rodriguez will all make the final 53-man roster but stranger things have happened. (If they do there is no chance Tyler Clutts is kept at fullback.)
- I’m assuming the defensive line rotation of this roster will be: Peppers, McClellin, Wootton, Paea, Toeaina, Melton, Idonije. Last year the Bears had 10 defensive linemen on the 53. That leaves three spots. Chauncey Davis? Nate Collins? Brian Price? John McCargo? Somebody else’s roster cut? For all the talk of the aging Bears defense, Lovie Smith is sure relying on youth when it comes to his front line.
- I’d like to see Alshon Jeffery catch one pass from Jay Cutler.
Yeah I just wrote a lot. But honestly, outside the play of the two left tackles, I don’t care what happens on the field. As long as all the pertinent players walk off it.