The third preseason game, the What We Thought They Were game as it’s affectionately known in these parts, is a solid opportunity to try some things out. John Fox and company know who is going to be on their final 53 (with possibly 1 or 2 exceptions due to nagging injuries) and know who their starters and starting rotation will be.
One of the things they know is that Jeremy Langford is going to be the starter and if he stays healthy will be given every opportunity to be an every down back. But Langford has a foot knock and there’s no godly reason he should see the practice or game field again until after Labor Day.
Jacquizz Rodgers and Ka’Deem Carey? We know what they are. John Fox knows what they are. Both can be valuable offensive pieces but neither is going to set the league on fire.
Jordan Howard runs differently. He runs tougher. Hits the hole quicker. Looks more difficult to bring down. But he’s been looking that way against guys who will never play an important down in the NFL.
What if the Bears dropped him in with the ones Thursday night and he ran through the Kansas City Chiefs?
What if Howard changes the summer headlines from “poor first outing” and “banged up” to “a star emerges”?
What if the Bears have the power back they thought Cedric Benson would be?
Maybe the most important question is what, if anything, does the team gain by drafting a running back and not giving him an opportunity to run behind the starting offensive line? This is no longer a league where teams have the luxury of waiting patiently for young players to develop. Capitalizing on talent during the rookie contract is the key to affordable football success.
Howard isn’t a rookie waiting for his chance to shine. Howard is buried on the depth chart behind three guys. He’s playing the lounge.
Why not give him an opportunity to prove he belongs in the showroom?