Offensive Observations: Line's Performance a Confidence Booster

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Spor

We go through some of our leftover notes from Thursday night's game on the offensive side, highlighting the offensive line's performance.

The Chargers on Thursday night weren't a great team. The young defense I highlighted on Thursday was missing a fair amount of its pass-rush, with Melvin Ingram sidelined as well as Manti Te'o and Jonas Mouton in the linebacking corps.

That being said, there was plenty to be happy about on the offense.

  • The offensive line did their job. Kyle Long and Jordan Mills each played well and got plenty of game reps, but Jermon Bushrod played well and Matt Slauson on the left side quietly had himself a great game. It was only the second preseason game of the year, nothing to proclaim a Super Bowl champion on, but what's important isn't the performance itself - it's that the offensive line found a time to show flashes of what they can be capable of. They performed against a defense that they should have performed against. (Okay, maybe it is the performance itself.)
  • It should be noted the Bears showed a lot of run looks in the game, and not really a heavy pass-load, so it remains to be seen if they can show consistent pass-blocking into a game. But the pass attempts in the game, beyond the first drive of awfulness, the line was... okay. Building blocks.
  • Matt Forte, Michael Bush and Brandon Marshall look just fine. Forte in particular looked good with an offensive line that's going to rip a hole open for him to get to the end zone.
  • I do wish the Bears had gotten more snaps for some of the Marquess Wilson/Eric Weems/Terrence Tolivers of the receiving corps for evaluation purposes, because the passing game didn't give us much to see there.
  • Jordan Palmer's not making the 53-man roster unless Matt Blanchard's broken knuckle causes his hand to fall off. That being said, I don't feel like I've been shown much by Blanchard that I haven't been shown by other 3rd-string quarterbacks.
  • Fendi Onobun might have improved his blocking. I'm still not sure I want him on the 53, at least as a viable tight end - there's a reason he's the tight-end version of Devin Aromashodu. That being said, the coaching staff felt he played well against the Panthers aside from the one drop in the end zone and he's been playing special teams (he started on both punt teams on Thursday night).
  • There's a better shot for Tony Fiametta to get a roster spot than for Onobun to get more than ten receiving targets over 16 games. And as a pure fullback, I really do like Fiametta - he got a nice block in on Forte's touchdown run.
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