Chicago Bears' Biggest Preseason Disappointments So Far
Sometimes, you have to sit back while watching these games and thank the football gods it's only preseason.
The Chicago Bears have looked like a playoff team on the rise at times but have shown some glaring mistakes that will put them on track for another 8-8 season.
We have identified five major areas of disappointment on full display during this preseason. You can imagine the man running the defense might get mentioned as well as the guys responsible for giving up great field position.
It has a Festivus feel as you click ahead to see how the Bears have disappointed so far this preseason.
Even the casual Bears fan is starting to worry about whether defensive coordinator Mel Tucker can do this job.
Tucker's defense has looked very soft and vulnerable despite having multiple personnel changes all considered to be upgrades. Tucker has implemented this defense and can no longer blame the woes on a past system that's not his or on injuries.
Sitting right there with Tucker is special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis. Inconsistent and erratic come to mind when thinking about the Bears' third phase, and it's very disappointing to see when you consider this was once a team strength.
Tucker and DeCamillis can take a lot of the blame, but their errors and inability to get the job done will fall at the feet of the head coach. Marc Trestman needs to learn what Lovie Smith never did and realize his coaches are an extension of him. He will take the fall for their mistakes.
Backup Wide Receivers
Does anybody want to step up and be the kick and punt returner on this team? How about the third receiver in place of Marquess Wilson?
The coaching staff has given guys like Eric Weems, Josh Morgan, Michael Spurlock, Chris Williams, Josh Bellamy and Armanti Edwards plenty of chances, and none has came through.
This is a very wide receiver-friendly offense. Trestman loves to throw the football and features great routes for receivers to get open.
Things got so dire that the Bears signed Santonio Holmes, who was virtually left for dead by the New York Jets. Not only has Holmes made an impression, but he's likely to make the team just after a few short weeks.
It's been a poor showing by a group of players who blew a golden chance to prove they can be the guy. Morgan will get early snaps in the regular season, but don't expect him to beat out Holmes for the long term.
This issue probably lies at the feet of general manger Phil Emery and not the players. He certainly addressed the safety position through quantity, not quality.
Only strong safety Ryan Mundy has proved to be at least a decent football player. Rookie Brock Vereen has made a minimal impact, and M.D. Jennings is just not a good football player. Adrian Wilson was on his last legs, and Danny McCray is just a guy until Chris Conte is fully ready to go, which is scary within itself.
This disaster at safety could go well into the regular season with a ton of interchangeable pieces. Mundy is cemented into his spot, but Vereen, Conte and McCray will all get a spin on the free safety wheel until one succeeds, or they all fail.
There could still be a better free safety out there for this team. Look for the Bears to work the waiver wire one more time once final cuts hit.
Middle of the Defense
The Bears are like an Oreo cookie. They have a soft middle that opposing teams just can't resist.
All preseason, the defensive line has put forth a pass rush, but it has all gone to the wayside as the Bears have been gashed in the middle of the field.
The linebackers have been terrible, and that includes veteran All-Pro Lance Briggs. Their coverage has been lazy, and Shea McClellin looks clueless out there. At 32, D.J. Williams is probably too old to be a starter in this league now, but it doesn't matter because Jon Bostic is nowhere near ready to take his spot.
Tim Jennings has struggled adjusting to his nickel spot. He seems reluctant to tackle, which can be expected coming from a veteran Pro Bowl corner who is used to playing outside.
We have already addressed the safety issue, which certainly isn't helping. The only time the Bears have looked solid in the middle was when Sherrick McManis, Demontre Hurst and Christian Jones were on the field.
We save the worst offenders on this list for last. The special teams unit has been anything but special, and it's actually been downright disgusting to look at.
A part of the blame has to go to the lack of cohesion on the unit. Guys are being shuffled in and out and nobody has been able to jell together, but we also know this isn't a new problem.
Penalties and boneheaded plays were an issue last year as well. Again, this falls at the feet of DeCamillis, who needs to do a better job of preaching discipline and getting his guys ready to play.
The drop-off between now and when former special teams coach Dave Toub was with the Bears is very apparent.
At this point, nobody can expect it to ever get back to that level, but let's just shoot for a reduced amount of penalties, a shortage of teams starting their drive at close to midfield and a guy who can return the ball to the 20-yard line without fumbling.