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The Infantry: Recapping Bears rookie performances from Week 1 of the preseason

In the first edition of The Infantry, we take a look at how some of the Chicago Bears’ rookies did in the first preseason game of the year.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Chicago Bears
Mitch Trubisky had a lights-out performance in his first career game with the Chicago Bears.
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Two days ago, people were praising Houston Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson for his performance against the Carolina Panthers. National pundits everywhere praised him, and some even called him the best quarterback in this year's draft class.

Then Mitch Trubisky stepped onto the field.

The first quarter of their first preseason game of the year was a disaster for the Chicago Bears. Pricey free agent signee Mike Glennon threw a pick-six in just his second pass with the team. Two possessions later, center Cody Whitehair made a bad snap which caused a turnover. Although there were a few bright spots - like Leonard Floyd's sack - it was a rough quarter for the Bears.

Mark Sanchez stepped in for most of the second quarter, and was below average at best. He didn't throw any interceptions, but he only completed one of his four pass attempts. Once Trubisky entered the game, though, everything changed.

The No. 2 overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft led the Bears in a two-minute drill which resulted in a two-yard touchdown pass to Victor Cruz.

Trubisky maintained his hot streak throughout the second half: he completed all of his first 10 passes. Although the Bears ended up losing to the Denver Broncos 24-17, he looked like a pro. He finished the game having gone 18-for-25, with 166 passing yards, one touchdowns and a 103.1 passer rating. He also picked up some yards on the ground, racking up 38 rushing yards on three attempts.

In his first career game, Trubisky showed athleticism, poise, accuracy and an ability to read the defense. This 13-yard pass to Tanner Gentry was a perfect example of all of those things.

Most of his passes were right on the money. He proved to be a challenge for defenders to bring down. He also impressed on designed bootleg plays, and he didn't really make any bad decisions. That's the best you can hope for out of a rookie quarterback.

Now that we've finished enamoring over Trubisky, let's take a look at how some of the other rookies did on Thursday.

Despite only playing in the first quarter and part of the second, running back Tarik Cohen carried his impressive training camp play into the preseason. He ran for 39 yards on seven attempts, which adds up to a 5.6 yards-per-carry average. The fourth-round pick displayed elusiveness and vision in the small (no pun intended) amount of playing time he had.

Fellow fourth-round pick Eddie Jackson had a decent outing, as well. He broke up a pass, displaying dangerous closing speed in the process. He also had a vicious tackle near the line of scrimmage, which you can see here.

The former Alabama safety also had 13 punt return yards on two return attempts. While those numbers aren’t all that impressive, you can bet that he’ll make sure to improve on that throughout the rest of the preseason.

Tight end Adam Shaheen didn’t have as big of a debut as some would’ve hoped; he only had one reception for three yards. Training camp standout Tanner Gentry also disappointed, racking up 13 yards on his sole catch. Considering the amount of hype the new weapons had been receiving throughout the offseason, it’s surprising that they didn’t have bigger days. However, their roles in the offense may increase over time.

Undrafted running back Josh Rounds led the team in carries with 11, but he failed to capitalize on it. He only had 20 yards on the ground, despite having a 10-yard gain on the first play of the fourth quarter. His roster spot is anything but secure, so he will need to improve off of his performance if he wants to stay with the team.

Fifth-round pick Jordan Morgan didn’t really do anything of note in the first week. He wasn’t bad, but he didn’t stand out, either. He did have one penalty on the last play of the game, but it was declined since Trubisky’s last-second pass was incomplete.

Undrafted linebackers Hendrick Ekpe, Isaiah Irving and Alex Scearce finished the game up with two tackles, one tackle and one tackles, respectfully. They will likely be fighting for a spot on the practice squad, so they will likely look to build off of these numbers in the coming weeks.

That’s it for the first ever edition of The Infantry. Tune in next week for the latest Chicago Bears rookie updates.