Chicago Bears First Game: What Fans Hope to See
The Chicago Bears’ first game of 2017 ushers in the beginning of the Mike Glennon era, but there are many keys to this game a watchful fan will be hoping to see.
The four week preseason starts this week. Mike Glennon will lead the Bears offense onto the Soldier Field turf and finally face an opponent not wearing the wishbone “C” on their helmets. While it will be important to see the offense perform well, there are several other players to watch when the Bears preseason kicks off at 7:05 CDT, Thursday evening.
Many fans would love the see Glennon play the entire first half, but starters rarely play in game one. Make no mistake, this is Glennon’s team, at least this year, and to date he has shown the leadership qualities expected from a starting quarterback. He impressed at the team’s dress rehearsal at Soldier Field on Saturday and another good showing against Denver will be key to the confidence of the offense.
What to look for when the Bears have the ball
Mitch Trubisky will make his pro debut. While he will not be the starter in the near future, he is whom Adam Pace is betting his GM future on. A good showing, while not imperative, would be a good site to see. Trubisky has had some brilliant flashes in camp, but limiting mistakes, starting with getting away from the center cleanly what fans hope to see.
Watching the Bears trio of tight ends; incumbent Zach Miller, free agent Dion Sims and rookie Adam Shaheen headline the position. However the “other” athletes at the position: Ben Braunecker and Dan Brown will also see playing time. This could be the best group at this position the Bears have seen in decades.
One of the biggest question marks on offense is the group of wide receivers. Have the Bears found something in other teams cast offs like Victor Cruz and Marcus Wheaton? Are Kevin White and Cam Meredith legitimate NFL starting receivers? Is Tanner Gentry making this team as an undrafted rookie? Probably more than anything we see Thursday night, production from this unit is not optional if the Bears hope to compete in 2017.
Tarik Cohen will see his first pro action and looks to continue his impressive camp. The Human Joystick has quickly become a fan favorite at Bourbonnais.
When the Bears are on defense
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A strong defense starts up front. When the Bears first depth chart was unveiled recently, there were some surprises. Mitch Unrein is currently one starting DE, with Jonathan Bullard and free agent Jaye Howard as second string. The most critical aspect of the DL, however, is staying healthy. There is a plethora of talent on the line.
The biggest story of the night will be the defensive backfield. GM Ryan Pace brought in free agents Prince Amukamara and Marcus Cooper at Cornerback. Another verteran free agent, Quintin Demps, joins 3rd year starter Adrian Amos at safety.
A great pass rush can make a DB’s life much easier just as that secondary can help the front seven’s pass rush lead to sacks with excellent coverage. The Bears coaches are hoping to see more sacks and more turnovers this season.
Pace’s 3rd draft class has been impressive
According to Adam Hoge at WGN Radio, he has been very impressed with the rookies:
In 7 years of going to Bourbonnais, this is the most impressed I’ve been with a rookie draft class. #10BearsThings: https://t.co/sAYMaH0KXL
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) August 9, 2017
Next: 53 man roster prediction
The final score doesn’t matter in the preseason, but this game matters for a team coming off a disappointing 3-13 season in 2016. Winning can be habit-forming. It all starts Thursday night at Soldier Field.