Midseason Review: Chicago Bears WR Tanner Gentry

GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 19: Tanner Gentry
GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 19: Tanner Gentry /

Has Tanner Gentry met his preseason expectations so far?

With the Chicago Bears at their bye week at the halfway point, it is a great time to reflect on the first half. We will pick a group of Bears over the next two weeks and see whether or not they have met their expectations to date, and whether they can hit their expectations in the second half of the year. Today, we look at Tanner Gentry.

Preseason Expectations

Gentry was a fan favorite who was fighting for a roster in training camp. His reasonable expectations were to spend most of the year on the practice squad. By the end of the season he could make his way up to the roster, but it would likely be in a special teams role.

Through Eight Weeks

While Gentry started on the practice squad, he did not stay there long at all. Not only did Gentry make a quick jump up to the roster, he flew up the depth chart and found himself starting three games. Gentry and Tre McBride have been the outside wide receivers in the Mitchell Trubisky era.

While Gentry is already ahead of schedule in terms of when he should be seeing the field, he is now showing why he is not quite ready to see the field on the field. Gentry is still not a refined route runner. He does not sell his routes well yet, and in one-on-one situations struggles to create separation. He has been a fine run blocker and has shown a catch radius and ability to make splash plays. However, he has just three receptions for 35 yards at this point is catching 50% of his targets.

Next: Akiem Hicks review

Second half outlook

It is not time to press the panic button on Gentry. Not even close. He is an Undrafted Free Agent in his rookie season. There is plenty of room to grow for Gentry. While it will hurt the Bears on the field at times, continuing to give Gentry chances to make mistakes on the field makes sense. The Bears are a young team sitting at 3-5. They know that there is a cap to this season. Finding out what they have in their young talent is going to be the biggest win of this season, and the Bears have eight more games to learn even more about what exactly they can get out of Gentry.