Bears Preseason Week 1: Position Battles (Offense)
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Position – #3 WR
Up: Chris Williams – He is the only WR on the roster with elite deep speed and he showed it on a 73-yard TD reception from Jimmy Clausen. Williams bobbled the catch but made it and didn’t slow down at all before outrunning 2 defensive backs for another 30 yards after the catch. He also caught a short 5-yard out. Impressive debut for the speedster from Canada. Williams did pull a hammy on the long TD catch and it’s unknown how long that will keep him out for. Assuming he can get back on the field soon, he is firmly in the mix for the 3rd WR job.
Up: Josh Morgan – Only had two catches in the game for 36 yards but both were impressive. Morgan caught a 7 yard slant from Palmer and carried defenders for an extra 5 yards and 1st down. On his second catch, a 24 yarder, he made a nice adjustment to a pass from Palmer. Morgan has the most experience of all the 3rd WR candidates and is only two years removed from a 48 catch, 510 yard season in 2012.
Up: Michael Spurlock – I thought Spurlock’s only shot to make the team was a return man since he has never had more than 17 catches in a season and he isn’t young (31), but Spurlock had 4 catches on 5 targets for 56 yards and a TD. His best bet to make the squad is still as a return man, but if he can provide additional value as a rotation receiver it will certainly help his cause. Spurlock also had a nifty 20-yard punt return called back due to a block in the back.
Down: Eric Weems – There has already been talk in camp about Cutler struggling to target the diminutive Weems (5’9) and it showed when Cutler threw the ball a foot or two over Weems head 20-yards down field in the 1st quarter. Weems also had a drop on a slant pass that was contested but hit him in the hands. I wasn’t impressed with Weems return ability either, but I’ll get to that more in next section.
Down: Armanti Edwards – He was targeted three times, but failed to come up with a catch. There was a miscommunication on a play with Clausen where he launched a sweet deep ball but Edwards was nowhere near it. Then Edwards made a nice adjustment on a short pass from Clausen but dropped it. Players only get so many targets to prove themselves and Edwards can’t afford to waste them.
No Change: Dale Moss, Greg Herd, Josh Bellamy – All three guys had 1 nice catch. It certainly didn’t hurt their chances, but it’s going to take more than 1 nice play a game to make the team for these three long shots.