The Cleveland Browns have been an unstoppable juggernaut this preseason, and the Bears weren’t able to end that trend. That’s okay. The Bears are building for the future and if obscenely dominant teams like the regular-season New England Patriots, or the pre-season Browns beat them, so be it. Don’t underestimate the value of what the Bears will learn from the greatness that they encountered.
Mister Biscuit proved the Bears’ coaching staff to be infinitely wise in their decision to bench him over Mike Glennon when he started the preseason game failing to complete a pass in his first three series against a 1-in-16 team’s backups and roster-bubblers.
Trubisky-apologists will be quick to point out he did not attempt a pass in those three series. These are likely the same people who incessantly criticized Dowell Loggains for not calling enough run plays. Which do you want? More run plays or Trubisky to get more pass attempts?! You can’t have it both ways!
All joking aside, Trubisky had limited opportunity in his first four series and did little to change my opinion of him. Luckily for him, my opinion of him was and remains quite high. He had four pass attempts, all of which hit his receiver in the hands.
He also elicited two defensive neutral zone infractions with count trickery. This leads me to wonder again if his delay-of-game penalty last week was really just an attempt to get defensive players off-sides with the plan all along to take the penalty and punt if nobody took the bait? Tricksy Bisky.
Due to a Connor Shaw hit that required medical evaluation, Biscuit came back into the game in the final few minutes. He handed off the ball twice with tremendous poise, taking every snap without a fumble and never causing a delay-of-game penalty.
Amazingly, he came back again in the last minute when Connor Shaw had another injury. He connected on a screen pass to Joshua Rounds, handily handled two handoffs followed by two adorable fake-runs, and finished the game with an incomplete pass to Braverman and a gentle sack.
Offensive Line Backups
The “starting” O-line did not look pretty in this game. The coaches are likely using this game to evaluate whether to keep Will Poehls, Taylor Boggs, and Tom Compton on the 53-man roster. It’s hard to tease out who is at fault when a line plays poorly, especially when you are watching live, and I don’t claim to be an expert. All I can tell is the performance for the first four drives was embarrassing, and I can’t imagine anyone made it easier for the Bears to give the roster go-ahead. Boggs had a bad penalty in the fourth quarter, so in the absence of anyone standing out, that may have upgraded him to the short cut list.
Nick Kwiatkoski continued his preseason rampage racking up a number of tackles and two sacks. Christian Jones continued to solidify his roster spot with a dominant performance and deserves extra credit for a crucial assist in one of Kwit’s sacks. Finally, UDFA Isiah Irving managed to get a sack and almost a second against Cody Kessler, then forced a sack fumble against Hogan to etch-in-stone his case for a practice squad position.
Before this game, I felt it was even odds this talented OLB-turned DE would make the roster or be released with the hope of him clearing waivers to make the practice squad. When I saw him starting, my suspicion leaned towards him making the roster. He’s certainly shown enough to deserve a practice squad spot, and if the Bears had that intention, they would likely want to offer other teams less tape on the talented developing player.
Roy Robertson-Harris didn’t score sacks or particularly impress in the pass-rush department. He did something better. He showed up against the run—an area where he had struggled previously this preseason. I wasn’t counting, but I believe he had at least two tackles for loss and several other stops where he was able to shed his block and give the run attempt a proverbial stuff.
If Roy Robertson-Harris does make the roster, it will be interesting to see if they also keep a backup nose tackle. Eddie Goldman, Akiem Hicks, Jonathan Bullard, Mitch Unrein, Jaye Howard, and Roy-rob, would make 6 defensive lineman, the number they kept last year. Could Jaye Howard be a surprise cut? Some fans want to see Unrein go but he’s a coach favorite who has played well this preseason.
Is another “pass-rush specialist” who showed up against the run tonight. I’m a bigger fan of Houston than most. In my opinion, he’s extremely valuable as a rotational OLB in passing situations. Improving his game against the run only increases that value.
I wrote the above before Houston’s injury. I don’t know why a player of his caliber was in the game in the second half of a preseason week 4. I am now feeling anger at coaching decisions, something I normally criticize other people for.
After dropping his first pass from Trubisky, Shaheen started to get comfortable and finally showed what everyone has been raving about in practice. He caught everything thrown his way afterwards, showcasing his size and ability to box-out defenders.
Played much of this game and did a respectable job separating from coverage and catching all the passes thrown his way. I would think he earned himself a roster spot assuming his injury is not terrible. Also assuming the Bears don’t trade for another receiver—personally I think Dontrelle Inman would be worth the expected price.
I don’t believe in curses. I don’t believe in bad mojo. I don’t believe Soldier Field is to blame for all of the Bears’ injuries, especially when Cameron Meredith’s ACL was torn at the Titan’s Nissan stadium. But Lamarr Houston, Deon Bush, Connor Shaw and Victor Cruz in a preseason game. #ComeOn!?!?!?!?
Daniel Braverman had an impressive punt return in what is probably his last game as a Chicago Bear. Maybe this means he gets another year on the Bears’ practice squad. If not, I hope it helps him get a job on another team’s squad. He’s a likable guy and I wish the best for him wherever he goes.
MyCole Pruitt showed off his special teams value by whining to the referees and successfully eliciting a holding penalty. I think that alone warrants a practice squad invite. His impressive tackle-shedding long run after catch in the fourth quarter may have had minimal additional effect.
Jeremy Langford had an uninspired showing, nearly guaranteeing he won’t make the final roster but also limiting the potential to get value in a trade from him. He’s a fast back who does well if he goes untouched and has dramatic splits between nickel and base coverage. I think he would be a good fit for the Giants, whose pass-first offense inspires copious amounts of nickel coverage. Maybe they will send the Bears Brandon Marshall back for him?
Rashaad Coward batted down a ball. He’s been a favorite of mine as a practice-squad nose tackle. Despite loving his last name, he retweeted my story about him and made me feel special. Still rooting for that guy.
Connor Shaw was whatevs for two and a half quarters and then got injured. That’s better than being bad and much better than being awful. Maybe he will find a job elsewhere.
Rashaad Reynolds gave up two touchdowns in botched coverage. I’m sure he’s feeling bad enough about that so I won’t say anything more.
Johnthan Banks is not looking like a man making the team either. Maybe Rashaad Reynolds can take consolation in that.
Kevin White could have used the experience from playing tonight. Not sure why he wasn’t out on the field. This seems like a great opportunity for more complaints about the Bears’ coaching staff.
Josh Bellamy has almost certainly lost his weakening grip on the last receiver spot. Deonte Thompson likely secured his with substantial playing time and a number of respectable catches.