3. Running Game
The Bears did not run the ball all that much last week, especially when Jay Cutler was out there, but it’s not because running plays weren’t called. Jay was checking out of running plays and completing short passes instead. The Bears need to see what they can do in the running game, so don’t be surprised if coach Trestman handcuffs Jay and forces some of those run plays just so they can evaluate those plays.
Armando Allen isn’t expected to play, so watch for the competition to heat up for that third running back spot. Michael Ford had a decent game last week, but the Bears brought in Curtis Brinkley to compete for that spot.
2. Pass Catchers
Besides Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery at the wide receiver spots and Martellus Bennett at tight end, the backup pass catcher spots are wide open. Earl Bennett is sidelined with a concussion for the second straight week, which is a bit deal since he was expected to fill the slot receiver role. Who will step into that spot if Bennett’s concussion is serious? Joe Anderson, Eric Weems and Marquess Wilson are all battling for one of those few spots.
For the tight ends, Fendi Onobun appeared to be a front runner for the second tight end position, but a poor performance in the Panthers game should open up some opportunities for guys like Leonard Pope, Steve Maneri, Gabe Miller and Kyle Adams.
1. The Rookies
I can’t remember the last time there was such a buzz around a Bears rookie class. Front and center for me will be the rookie right side of the offensive line. J’Marcus Webb has been demoted and Jordan Mills will be getting reps with the first team alongside fellow rookie Kyle Long. The pair took the most snaps of any Bears last week, so watch for their playing time and see if J’Webb gets any reps.
Jon Bostic made a great debut, but like most rookies, he was a little inconsistent. Watch to see if a week under his belt helps his confidence. Also keep an eye on linebacker Khaseem Greene and Cornelius Washington on the defensive side of the ball. Keep a close eye on Special Teams, where rookies like Marquess Wilson must make an impact to stick around as backups.
Most importantly, let’s get through this one injury-free, although a win in Trestman’s home debut would be nice.
What will you be watching? Which players need to have a strong showing to stick on the roster? Let’s see your comments. It’s really easy to sign in with your Facebook, Twitter or Google accounts. DO IT!