If you’re just looking at the score, the Bears wrapped up the 2013 preseason on a sour note, falling to the Cleveland Browns 18-16 in the preseason finale. None of the starters or key backups played and it was purely backup on backup action.
Some of the key positional battles took center stage. I outlined my Top 5 to Things to Watch. I have to admit, I thought they were pretty spot on. Let’s look at those first, after the jump…
Michael Ford vs Armando Allen
It’s going to be a shame to see one of these guys go. I thought both of these guys came out with a fire under their butts and their play showed it. Ford had 9 rushes for 48 yards and added a catch for 13 yards while Allen had 10 carries for 39 yards. Ford had a nice kickoff return while Allen showed well on kick coverage.
I give the edge to Ford to make the team. He’s a little tougher to bring down and has a little more burst.
I’ve been rooting for Hardin mostly because I want GM Phil Emery to be right and hate to see another draft pick get cut. Hardin didn’t do enough to earn a spot in my eyes. He didn’t make any big plays and in fact, appeared to have a couple of missed assignments late in the game that led to Browns decisive score.
Hardin appeared to be shaken up after the last play, but no official word if he’s headed back to the IR for another redshirt season. His best chance to make the team might be to clear waivers and make the practice squad.
Onobun was wildly inconsistent in the game. He had a couple of early catches, a couple of drops, including one off his hands that went for 6 the other way, but yet showed some of the athleticism and playmaking ability the coaches have praised. His official stat line will be 4 catches for 45 yards with a long reception of 20 yards. He was also called for a holding penalty along the way.
The good news for Onobun might be that Kyle Adams played a bunch and didn’t exactly distinguish himself. Could his lack of plays – good or bad – trump Onobun’s plays? Will either make the team? I would still like to see Adams make the team, but something tells me the coaches want a project to work on and Onobun is their guy.
Jordan Palmer and Trent Edwards
Jordan Palmer started at quarterback for the Bears and actually looked like he could play a little bit. Considering he joined the team less than two weeks ago, it was a pretty impressive performance, finishing the night 11 of 17 for 111 yards and a TD. Edwards finished 10 of 17 for 135 and an interception.
Palmer may have made a case to be the third quarterback. I have long been under the Bears would only keep two QB’s and grab Blanchard for the practice squad. His injury settlement this week takes that off the table. Unless the Bears pick up a practice squad eligible QB, I think they might actually keep Palmer.
I feel like we’ve been watching the fall of JWebb Nation for some time now and Thursday night’s performance may have been the final nail in the coffin. Against a collection of backups, Webb struggled. He had a false start penalty, which we’ve learned drives Trestman crazy, and gave up at least one sack by my untrained eye.
How pathetic is it that Webb will most likely lose his roster spot to a guy who hasn’t been able to practice since August started?
I had a few more notes. Click over to the next page to see the notebook.