Well the Bears seemed to have picked up in 2016 where they left off in January.
The good news is that it was the first preseason game and there is still time for the team to get better before the season starts and the game’s count.
Time they will need after losing the preseason opener 22-0 to the Broncos Thursday.
Let’s look at some of the things that were learned about the team last night.
- Bears offensive line is still a work in progress
The offensive line has had fans wringing their hands for months with paper-thin depth and inexperience. Then Hroniss Grasu went down for the season and panic started to set in. Last night, between the starters and back ups, the Bears allowed seven sacks. There were also a fair share of penalties but those aren’t as concerning because it’s the first live-game action the guys have seen in months.
Seven sacks though, plus some poor snaps from the second-string center Cody Whitehair do not bode well for a unit already seen as a weakness.
2. Tackling might still be an issue
The tackling was bad, again. This has been an ongoing issue for the Bears for a few seasons and it would be reasonable to think that the offseason upgrades would help erase it but it reared its ugly head again last night.
The Bears allowed Cody Latimer (pictured) to break two tackles on a 21-yard reception and there were a few other plays where the first defender there missed or didn’t finish. Yes it’s early, but the team should be able to bring guys down at this point in the summer.
3. Training staff did not get much more work
Cornelius Washington aside, the Bears came out of the game relatively unscathed.
Washington left the game twice and was carted off the second time, Ka’Deem Carey entered concussion protocol and rookie safety DeAndre Houston-Carson was announced to have a neck injury after the game. Ideally none of these will be season-enders but all-in-all these were not the the worst things that could happen.
Washington might be fighting for his roster life and any injury is bad but all things considered, the health of the team was a huge win.
4. Deiondre Hall, Leonard Floyd might be able to play
Overall there wasn’t much learned about the rookies last night. Whitehair was OK at guard and bad at center. However, the rookie fourth-round pick out of Northern Iowa, Deiondre Hall, really put himself on the radar of fans and analysts with a strong debut. He broke up back-to-back passes in the endzone, both when he wasn’t tracking the ball. Hall did his work against back ups and his technique (see: not looking for the ball) needs work but all-in-all it wasn’t a bad showing for the DB.
First-round pick Leonard Floyd did all right too. He didn’t get a sack but Jim Miller highlighted several of his various pass-rush moves and noted he needs to get stronger. Ideally these things will come together for Floyd of the next year and he was won’t keep spin-moving himself into more blockers, but there was promise and that’s the best anyone can expect from a first preseason game.
5. Halftime dogs are the real MVPs
As a bonus and since the game was so bad for the beloved, enjoy this dog getting more yards in 20 seconds than the Bears had all game. Good frisbee dog, good.