The Bears first preseason game is in the books after a sloppy, but entertaining 34-28 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. Some people don’t get too excited about preseason games, but personally I am so happy football is back I could have watched another 3 hours of the Bears 4th string.
I have been covering the Bears position battles all preseason and I will be updating who helped and who hurt their chances in Friday night’s game. Performing in practice is one thing, but the winners will be decided by who performs on the field during preseason games
Position: 4th-5th Defensive Ends
The top 3 spots are locked up with big money free agent acquisitions Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston, and Willie Young but there are 4-5 players competing for the remaining two DE spots. The Bears kept 5 DEs last year.
Up: Trevor Scott (#76) - With Jared Allen not playing, Scott got some extra playing time Friday and took advantage of it. He was credited with 3 tackles, but his biggest plays didn’t show up on the stats sheet. I had Scott down for 5 impact plays on defense:
1.) He stuffed Darren Sproles on a 3rd & short, which was wiped out by a Greene facemask
2.) Scott drew a hold from 1st team all-Pro LT Jason Peters and still got to Foles forcing an incomplete pass
3.) He beat Peters again and got pressure on Foles just missing a pass deflection
4.) Scott beat the LT again and pressured Foles into throwing an INT (McManus)
5.) Solid tackle on 3rd & short to force a punt
Up: David Bass – He was overmatched last year as a 7th round pick who wasn’t quite ready for NFL action. Bass got abused at times last year, but showed some flashes of talent and good instincts like the pick 6 he had vs Joe Flacco and the Ravens in week 11. Bass showed good instincts again Friday. He just missed a pass deflection, had two good QB pressures and tackled the QB just past the line of scrimmage that was as close as you can get to a sack.
Up: Cornelius Washington - Plenty of draftniks thought the Bears got a steal in the 5th round of the 2013 draft when they selected DE Cornelious Washington out of Georgia. He was projected to be a 2nd-3rd round pick due to elite athleticism (4.55 40, 39″ vert, 36 bench reps). Washington did absolutely nothing last year and was considered a long shot to make the roster, but Washington finally made some plays on Friday. He had a tackle 3 yards in the backfield on a run play and had the QB in his grasp on the last play of the game but he got rid of it before Washington could bring him down. He has more athletic talent than his competition for the backup DE job, but he will have to show some consistency to win the job. Washington has a ton of upside, so I am rooting for him to win one of the DE spots.
No Change: Austin Lane - Had a nice tackle on a 2-yard run and a nice QB pressure that would have been a sack if Lane hadn’t fallen down when Sanchez tried to avoid him. Solid performance, but pales in comparison to the rest of his competition.