The game against the Raiders this past Saturday night wasn’t pretty by any means. There were problems in all three phases of the game for the Bears and this game showed a lot of problems that the team needs to fix.
Starting out the game way that they did, not being able to keep the Raiders from converting third down opportunities as well as not being able to protect their quarterback proved to many that the Bears have a long way to go in terms of being an improved team. They still suffer from the same problems that they had during regular season last year and can’t seem to figure out what it’s going to take to fix it.
The offensive line has been less than stellar so far this preseason and is turning out to be the team’s biggest weakness. While most other teams in the NFL have offensive lines that have worked together significantly in the past and have been in their positions for a while, the Bears are starting out with players that haven’t played together for an extended period of time and are learning new positions. This spells doom for the regular season.
Yes, there is bound to be a learning curve but you would think that by the second preseason game the Bears would have been able to overcome some of those things and at the least play better than they did. Instead of moving forward they regressed.
The third preseason game is coming up and this is generally the game where the starters will play three-quarters of a game and see a lot of action. This means that quarterback Jay Cutler will be spending a lot of time on the field and after last week’s five-sack half, things could get ugly. The Bears have to do something to protect him or else his season may get cut short by an injury.
Keeping Cutler protected should be the Bears No. 1 priority.
Brian Urlacher left the game early after straining his calf but he has told the press that his injury is no big deal. We will see if this affects him any further this season. He didn’t practice this Monday in order to rest his calf.
The Bears signed quarterback Todd Collins to act as their backup to Cutler. After whiffing on him last week (reportedly over a signing bonus) the Bears signed him to a one year deal on Monday. This most likely means that Collins will become the second string backup to Cutler with both Caleb Hanie and Dan LeFevour will battle it out for the third string spot.
To make room for Collins, the Bears waived (injured) wide receiver Eric Peterman.
After injuring his finger against the Chargers, safety Major Wright has returned to practice although he can’t participate in live full contact drills.
Here is a full list of players that didn’t practice or had limited practice this past Monday:
Linebacker Nick Roach (out), wide receiver Earl Bennett (hamstring), safeties Craig Steltz (ankle), and Josh Bullocks (quad) all sat out. Quarterback Caleb Hanie (shoulder) and offensive guard Lance Louis were also out. Defensive tackle Tommie Harris practiced lightly after suffering a knee contusion on Saturday night.