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Bears vs. Browns: Notes, Scribbles, and Things Jotted Down

The fourth preseason game is in the books, which means cutdown day is right around the corner. Did anyone help themselves avoid the dreaded visit from the Turk? We're going over our notes from last night's game.

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  • Demontre Hurst started off with a bit of a rough day allowing Josh Gordon free when he trailed the underneath route, but came back strong with a good interception against Brian Hoyer.
  • Marquess Wilson's only taking snaps at special teams this game - I'd say for sure he's on the roster.
  • Armando Allen picks up 18 yards on a draw with a hole you could literally drive a Mack truck through. I don't mean figuratively. I mean literally, a hole the size of a full truck.
  • Marc Trestman kind of looked like he was reading a newspaper. Just sayin'.
  • False start by J'Marcus Webb. Ding.
  • Fendi Onobun actually caught a pass for four yards. And followed it up with a holding penalty later on in the first quarter, and a second holding penalty in the middle of the second quarter. But the breaking news here is he caught a pass!
  • Robbie Gould's still really good, y'all.
  • Josh Gordon's likewise really good. The Bears dropped Hurst into the cover-3 look, and Gordon caught the ball in front of him and still ran for quite a few yards deep into Bears territory.
  • If either of the ends get penetration, Zach Minter could have forced a sack or two. Pretty good here in the early going.
  • You know, for as good as we think Michael Ford's been, he's only had a 3.4 YPC entering the game. Just a thought. But catching the ball and making contact two yards shy of the first and fighting for that first down (and getting it) is pretty impressive.
  • Joe Anderson's catch on a very well-placed ball and run for a 3rd and 6 doesn't seem so impressive on its own, but he can still play, and Jordan Palmer actually hasn't looked horrible - like a serviceable third-stringer. Part of me thinks he could be better with a better offensive line (like the first unit?), as his throws have looked pretty consistent, if not cannon-shots like Jay Cutler's arm. Either that or the bottom of the roster receivers might be deeper than we first thought.
  • On the touchdown to Joe Anderson - Palmer's got a little zip on the ball to Anderson's back shoulder, and Anderson still has to go up and get it with a defensive back on him. Really well executed.
  • Fendi caught a second four-yard pass on third and ten!
  • Anthony Walters is a hitter - he's making the team anyway, but he always catches me by surprise. Brandon Hardin hasn't exactly made himself known, though.
  • Kellen Davis caught a pass you guys! ... Okay, he's a former Bears tight end, doesn't that count?
  • So Sherrick McManis can make a couple plays at defensive back too, bumping a receiver just as the ball came into his hands.
  • Okay, Davis got called for illegal formation, the world is back on its axis.
  • I don't think Josh Lenz is long for the team, folks. Just a hunch. At least not as a returner.
  • Ford dropped a checkdown pass. He's gone from Hall of Famer to busted out of the league forever.
  • Fendi Onobun and Cory Brandon... Thankfully, Brandon's not starting at left tackle. Onobun's just not a professional tight end. Athleticism that doesn't make plays, or blocks.
  • Demontre Hurst added a corner blitz to force an intentional grounding penalty. He's really made some strides.
  • Trent Edwards is getting the start in the second half - he's got a pretty strong act to live up to. And Josh Lenz comes in for some receiver snaps.
  • I think Onobun had a catch, finally, that the coaches have only seen in practice - displaying some nice run-after-catch speed. Too bad he can't do that consistently, as I think his roster spot's done. I don't think anyone's ever denied he actually has tools - good speed, good size - but those hands are horrific. After another couple drops on Thursday plus the deflection pick-six he allowed, it just isn't justifiable.
  • Or maybe we finally have a quarterback in play that gives Onobun a ball he can softly catch.
  • Josh Lenz makes a nice down-the-field deep catch. The Bears are missing a speedster in their receiving corps... If he sticks, that's his role, and it's one that he could actually fill. That's a long hill to climb, though.
  • I like some of these shotgun-draw looks the Bears have been running, both with Ford and Allen.
  • Ya know, if the Browns were ever interested in improving their receivers, I heard the Bears have one in the market. They could use one.
  • I know most of the offensive line focus was on J'Marcus Webb (one word for his performance: bad), but Cory Brandon didn't show much of anything either.
  • Mel Tucker loves his blitzes; at least more than Lovie and Rod ran. J.T. Thomas picked up a sack on an interior blitz, and Hurst's been getting a few of those calls that he's capitalized on. It's certainly going to be a more active defense. Whether that translates to better, well, remains to be seen.
  • Jim Miller called Thomas' spot safe after his sack, and I have to say... It's only if they keep seven. I could see that, but I could also see if they kept six to bring in an extra TE, HB or DB.
  • Edwards was sacked to start the fourth quarter. I counted seven Browns in the backfield. Not exactly quick to get rid of the ball, but a seven-man rush is still going to create problems for a backup offensive line. Edwards hasn't been bad given how the offensive line's been in the second half, but you can see why he didn't stick in Buffalo. He's got a better arm and holds the ball a little longer than Jordan Palmer.
  • Sherrick McManis did a nice job of walling off David Nelson to pick up a sideline interception. That's nine on the preseason for the Bears, which, I don't know if that's just backups picking off backups that deserve to be backups (backups!), if that's pure depth showing off, or if it's continued defensive insistence on turnovers and preaching ball skills showing off. A little from column A, B, and C. Those DBs are going to be a hard cut, and really, get down to six cornerbacks. Charles Tillman, Tim Jennings, Isaiah Frey, McManis, Zackary Bowman, and I suppose that could be a Demontre Hurst roster spot I see. C.J. Wilson hasn't quite played as well as Hurst, though he did have a great breakup of the two-point conversion that would have given the Browns the lead.
  • I looked up and saw a game of Twister. What was that all about?
  • Something kind of interesting Jay Cutler mentioned in his sideline interview, that there was a trust issue at the start of Marc Trestman's tenure between he and Jay, and Jay mentioned it was smoothing out and getting "better and better each day." I suppose it's to be expected with a new coach coming in, and it's good to see the two get used to each other. Maybe it was Trestman's hesitation to declare Cutler a franchise quarterback earlier in the year, or maybe Cutler was just bothered by Trestman's Canadian Weirdness (A fantastic band name) and his "growing the football." Jokes aside, you can tell Cutler's more comfortable.
  • I keep forgetting Tom Nelson exists. Which is a shame, because Tom Nelson can play a little football. If there's a fifth safety, Nelson might have kicked Brandon Hardin out the door.
  • Cornelius Washington's most noteworthy contribution was a boot to blow to the head.
  • See, Cleveland, this is why you don't try two two-point conversions - if they'd've kicked two extra points, they'd have the lead at the 6:30 mark of the fourth instead of later in the game. (/meaningless shot)
  • Well, Harvey Unga's annual visit to training camp is over. I still think he just wanders in next year when another team tells him to report to training camp and he just goes to Bourbonnais out of habit.
  • Have to admit, Jerry Franklin minorly impressed me. Not necessarily worth a roster spot, but I do think he brings something to the bottom of a team's roster.
  • See guys, the Bears should never have let Spencer Lanning get away!
  • I gave Cory Brandon a rough ride for not being an NFL tackle, but it sucks seeing Trent Edwards being tackled into the back of his knee.
  • Terrence Toliver made some decent plays in the hurry-up stretch to get to the two-minute warning. I wouldn't roster him unless Bennett's out (even then, not sure), but some team might need a workable 5 or 6.
  • Man, Robbie Gould couldn't straighten one out from 57 yards out for the lead in a preseason game, cut him immediately and sign the kicker version of Jarron Gilbert that the Lions cut.

There's not a lot else to really mention from this one. Players may have helped their stock, players may have hurt their stock, players may be playing for spots on teams that haven't even contacted them yet... Today and Saturday are going to be weird days for the bottom of the roster. That being said, we're finally here, folks.