The 90-man preseason roster is constantly shifting, especially at the back end. And while no one knows exactly what's going through the coaching staff's minds after the first preseason game, sometimes performance speaks for itself. So with that in mind, let's look at a few players that helped themselves or hurt their chances of sticking on the team.
Jimmy Clausen came in as the third quarterback and might well have left the night as the de facto backup quarterback. He showed some of the talent that made him a second round draft pick of the Panthers, and showed good awareness and a decent arm against the Eagles' second and third strings. As a reclamation project, so far it's showing some decent dividends, but let's see how he's used in future preseason games.
Looking at backup tight ends? Dante Rosario got lost in Zach Miller's shadow last night, but still put together a good game for his time on the field, getting the start for the suspended Martellus Bennett. Bennett isn't going anywhere, but the more tight ends that can play, the more the Bears can run multiple tight end sets. And those sets, when the Bears unleashed them last night, worked really well. Both of Miller's touchdowns were really strong catches on his part, locating the ball and adjusting quickly to snatch it out of the air. Rosario and Miller were both lined up at fullback on occasion.
And I still love watching Miller juke people.
The third wide receiver battle might have gotten a little more interesting, as Chris Williams and Josh Morgan both made some decent plays. Morgan displayed some of his after-the-catch toughness getting tough yards, and Williams showed off some of his return man speed on a deep touchdown.
In general, the running backs didn't have a good game advancing the football, but I didn't see much to complain about in pass protection and blocking. Especially Matt Forte and Ka'Deem Carey laid a couple of solid blocks.
Trevor Scott is trying to make this team. He's had a good camp so far, but it was his pressure that forced the interception for Sherrick McManis. That he's getting playing time ahead of Cornelius Washington and David Bass is a good sign for him, as well.
Michael Ola got some time with the first unit at right tackle and held his own pretty well, so if Brian de la Puente (starting at right guard yesterday) is out for any length of time, he might get an extended look as a backup offensive lineman.
On the negative side of the ledger, might as well go with the entire next right side of the offensive line. Granted, they were without Kyle Long on the first team and lost de la Puente midway through, but Joe Long had himself a miserable night, picking up two holding penalties, allowing a sack, and very nearly being used to sack Jordan Palmer himself.
Shea McClellin and Jon Bostic both struggled yesterday. There was at least one instance of McClellin reacting to an already-covered player out of the backfield, and Bostic looked out of position a couple of times. It's early, and McClellin's learning the position in full for the first time, but neither really instilled confidence, yet.
Who are some of the players you want to see more of? Who do you think helped themselves yesterday?