The Chicago Bears have announced the tentative schedule for the coming Preseason games, though some specific dates and times have yet to be determined.
The Bears will play their first exhibition game the second week of August against the Kansas City Chiefs. The exhibition season includes games on Thursday night so the date for the may fall anywhere between August 7-11. The second exhibition game will take place against the Seattle Seahawks in Qwest Field on the weekend of August 14th through the 18th.
The Bears are able to say for certain that the third exhibition game will be played against the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday, August 21st. The game has been picked to be nationally televised on Fox and will obviously air in prime time. The reason why the NFL would decide to display the Bears and 49ers to a national audience is completely beyond me. Apparently watching dueling quarterbacks struggle to live up to their expectations will have the nation sitting at the edge of their seats.
The final exhibition game will be played against the Cleveland Browns in Cleveland on August 28th or 29th. It will be the fifth year in a row the Bears have finished the preseason against the Browns.
The schedule offers a good bench mark game to start out against a struggling Chiefs club and then give them a real test when they travel to Seattle. The difference in playmaking ability from the first to the second game will be a key element for players trying to make the team. Any hopefuls that can shine against Kansas City will have to show a repeat performance in the adverse conditions of Qwest Field. The third game in a prime time slot with a national spotlight will offer a good final challenge. Typically the third game of the exhibition season uses starters for the first couple series, plays second stringers for a quarter, and allow third stringers and below to play it out for the second half. Any player making it that far will have to show that they can handle a little spotlight and knowing friends are watching. The final game against the Browns will offer a good match up to get the starters ready for the season. It will be a partically good tune up for the secondary, which will have to take on Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn for a significant part of the game. By this time we will have a good picture if the Bears have resolved their issues at the safety position and if Charles Tillman, Nathan Vasher, and Mike Brown have fully recovered from their injuries.