Chicago Bears at Indianapolis Colts: 5 Things to Watch for

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Nov 23, 2013; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions safety Adrian Amos (4) covers Nebraska Cornhuskers wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (18) during the fourth quarter at Beaver Stadium. Nebraska defeated Penn State 23-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O

How will Adrian Amos look in his first start at free safety?

Monitoring the Chicago Bears’ safety position has been a full-time job for fans over the past five years or so, as the team has endured a steady rotation of mediocre (if we’re lucky) or downright awful (I’m looking at you, Major Wright) players.

Next up in the rotation is rookie Adrian Amos, drafted in the fifth round out of Penn State, where he played cornerback and safety. The coaching staff slid Amos into the starting slot early this week, where he’ll play alongside veteran strong safety Antrel Rolle, and hopefully make enough of a mark to warrant a second start against the Bengals.

Aug 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry (14) escapes the grasp of Chicago Bears free safety Brock Vereen (45) during the first quarter of a preseason NFL football game at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Amos is getting the nod because of how poorly second-year free safety Brock Vereen looked against Miami. Vereen was beat on a couple plays, most egregiously of which was a fourth down, two-yard touchdown pass to Jarvis Landry. Vereen was late getting over and failed to turn his head around in time to see the pass.

In steps Amos, who has the added plus of starting alongside Rolle, who should be able to help shepherd Amos through his first start. He’ll likely need the help, too, as the Bears have moved from playing a solid offense (Miami) to an explosive one in the second week of the preseason. The Colts, who feature one of the best young quarterbacks in Andrew Luck and speedy receiver T.Y. Hilton, added veteran wide receiver Andre Johnson and rookie Phillip Dorsett to an offense that was already sixth in scoring last year in the NFL. It will be a tough first start for Amos.

Amos, who made a pair of tackles against Miami in the first preseason game, is better in run support and, admittedly after only one game, looked better in coverage that Vereen in the first week. If that continues, look for Amos to keep his starting streak rolling against Green Bay, when games will actually matter.

Asking Amos to shine in his time against the Colts is probably too much. What I think he can bring to the position is consistency in coverage and run support. The Bears don’t need him to star yet on defense; what they need is someone who they can rely on to make tackles in the open field, patrol against the deep ball when needed and man-up against receivers if needed. If he can do that, even if he doesn’t force turnovers or make plays worthy of Mike Brown or Mark Carrier, the Bears and fans should be satisfied.

In other words, don’t embarrass us, Adrian. We’ve taken enough of that from our safeties.

Next: Can the Defense Take the Next Step