The Chicago Bears host the Denver Bronco’s on Thursday night August 10th at 7:00 p.m. on NFL Network.
The Chicago Bears and Denver Broncos are both in the midst of a rebuild, and the pre-season will be very important in the development of young players and finding some of the hidden undrafted gems of this year’s draft.
The focus of the pre-season is to progressively get better, and earn playing time. For some players, it is fighting for the last few roster spots on their respective teams. All teams have until August 30th to trim their roster down to 75 players. Ultimately cutting down to a 53 man roster by September 3rd.
What to watch for: Quarterback play
The Chicago Bears have Mike Glennon as the starting quarterback for Thursday’s game. Mark Sanchez will be the backup, and Mitchell Trubisky is the third quarterback on the depth chart.
This first preseason game will be used to learn the new offense for all three quarterbacks, mainly Glennon and Sanchez as the Bears are sticking with them as the starter and backup.
The Bears should have Glennon and Sanchez play situational football ie: two-minute drills, red zone plays, goal line plays, and practice on the deep ball.
The Broncos are in the same situation with young quarterbacks Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch to groom.
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What to watch for: Running Game
Jordan Howard will receive carries in the first drive or two and then should take a seat after that. The running backs to pay attention to will be the backups Tarik Cohen, Ka’Deem Carey, and Benny Cunningham.
Cohen will be used as the change of pace back, and as a pass catcher out of the backfield. Carey and Cunningham are in need of solid preseasons to prove if they are reliable as backups whether it is as running backs or on special teams. Jeremy Langford, a starter at this time last season, has been injured and isn’t expected to play. It will be important for him to get healthy soon or risk getting cut.
The Broncos have a handful of running backs to keep an eye on as well, Jamal Charles, C.J. Anderson, Devontae Booker and Steven Ridley.
What to watch for: Bears Receivers
Cameron Meredith is the Bears number one receiver and after him, the spots vary in any order. Kevin White, Victor Cruz, Kendall Wright, Daniel Braverman, Rueben Randle, Tanner Gentry, and Josh Bellamy will be the receivers to watch closely. How sharp they run their routes, breaking away from defenders, catching balls, and most important their on-field chemistry with Mike Glennon. Marcus Wheaton is another injured player who needs to get healthy and get some reps before the preseason is over.
What to watch for: Bear’s Defense
Vic Fangio’s defense has slowly but surely been filling out with players to his liking. Keep an eye on the new look secondary with Eddie Jackson, Adrian Amos, and Prince Amukamara.
The pass rush and development of Leonard Floyd will be a major player in the defense’s production with the injury to Pernell McPhee. Leonard has put on some muscle and looks to take a step towards being a feared pass rusher.