Bears Game Day: Sort Of...
Tonight the Bears open up their set of four preseason games in Buffalo against the Bills. No I am not there this evening but am as excited as anyone about the fact that preseason football is here for us. It sounds funny to say but I really am excited about this, I know we won't see the offense or defense play to their full capabilities but there is something about seeing the all white road uniforms again and the Bears not just hitting each other that excites me.
So what is there to watch for tonight? The Bears will have a pretty vanilla offense by our normal standards, don't expect anything out of the norm to be shown. The starters will play roughly one quarter according to Lovie Smith from earlier in the week, I wouldn't be surprised if that's even stretching it just a hair.
The biggest thing to make sure of tonight is to get out of Buffalo without any injuries. I understand that any team has to stay healthy if they have any real dreams of advancing to the Super Bowl but for the Bears it will be especially key this year as they aren't as deep as most teams that are truly contenders at this point.
Position battles are also going to play a key in the game tonight. The second and third wide receivers are yet to be decided with Earl Bennett, Brandon Rideau, Rashied Davis, and Devin Aromashodu all being in some kind of contention for that second starters spot. This is where you will see this position battle be decided, if players are out of position on routes not only will they get a talking to from the coaching staff and their quarterback, their chances of starting will also get brought down.
The other battle that will especially catch my eye this evening is the strong-side (Sam) linebacker. We have seen what Hunter Hillenmeyer can do in the past but he has been pushed away for the most part from the position, instead being a backup to Brian Urlacher at Mac this year. Pisa Tinoisamoa, Nick Roach, and Jamar Williams are all listed as contenders for the position. Williams was having a good but not great camp from all reports, while Tinoisamoa hasn't been quite the player he was advertised to be.
I don't want to just throw predicitions around left and right but I don't see how Tino doesn't win this job come the end of the preseason. I feel that he has the highest ceiling and is also the lowest risk to really mess anything up considerably there. Now if he reaches that ceiling is a whole other question but the fact that he has the highest potential makes me at least want to see him be the starter come week one. With that said, if he stumbles in the preseason then my opinion can be changed.
Other thoughts before I go to the workplace:
Buffalo has an awful offensive line. I really would like to see the Bears defensive line against a more talented offensive group. However, if the d-line of the Bears struggles to get pressure early on in tonight's game it could very easily be a sign of bad things to come for the rest of the defense.
Caleb Hanie is listed as the second string quarterback which means he will likely get to play the second and third quarters for the Bears. Remember all those calls for him to get a chance to start from a lot of Bears fans last August? Take a look when he gets reps not only tonight but all preseason and please realize why that never took place.
Don't get me wrong, I like Kyle Orton as a person but he continues to make sure that Josh McDaniels doesn't have a job in Denver for long after he threw three interceptions in the first half last night for the Broncos against San Francisco. Anything else that the Bears may be able to raid from Denver?
Enjoy week one of the preseason my friends, I'll let you know my thoughts after the game!
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