Rejoice Chicago Bears fans! Football is back.
The Bears will hit the field for the first time on Friday when they host the Philadelphia Eagles to open up the 2014 preseason. For the starters, it’s just a rehearsal to get back into football mode. But for some players, their positions and future is on the line.
Here is three things I’m looking at during tonight’s game.
The battle for the Bears number two quarterback revs up tonight as both Jordan Palmer and Jimmy Clausen will see a good amount of action. Palmer will get the first shot to show that he proves to be the quarterback as he will likely enter the game early in the first quarter.
This is a big chance for Palmer who has looked unimpressive thus far in camp. Palmer doesn’t have the arm that Cutler has and struggles to put the ball in tight zones. Meanwhile Clausen has looked impressive in camp despite being listed as the third stringer. Clausen has the better arm, but his decision-making during his NFL career has been a problem.
Then there is rookie David Fales who will take the NFL field for the first time. Fales is a long shot to win the second string position but could get himself a better chance with a solid performance tonight.
Another key position the Bears attempted to fix in the off-season will get their first action tonight. The pairings of the safeties will be interesting to look out for and could give us an indication on where Trestman is leaning towards.
During camp we have seen a nice rotation of safeties shuffle in and out. Most of them have worked with the first team during camp, leaving us with no clue on who will win the position battle.
Keep an eye on rookie Brock Vereen who is said to be the favorite for the free safety spot. An injured Chris Conte won’t play tonight, leaving his future up in the air with the team. Then there is Adrian Wilson and Ryan Mundy competing for the strong safety spot. Wilson hinted that he expects to start and play a lot for the Bears this season. He’s looked pretty good in camp, but staying healthy is the biggest issue with the veteran.
Shaun Draughn earning his role
The battle for the backup running back position has turned into a very fun one to watch.With the second string and third string jobs open the preseason will be key for all players to make an impact.
It looks like it’s Shaun Draughn’s job to lose at the moment.
Draughn has been listed as the second string back for the first preseason game, which may have surprised a few people. But to some, Draughn has had a solid camp so far and has impressed the coaches with his work ethic. A strong showing just builds up Draughn’s case to keep him at second string, for the time being.
Rookie Ka’Deem Carey hasn’t really broken out in camp so far, so the preseason is his chance to show what he can do in-game action. Going into camp many thought Carey would be the perfect supplemental back to Forte.
Then there is Michael Ford who impressed many in preseason last year. Ford earned a spot on the roster primarily as a special teams player, which could give him an edge in this years battle.
Former Northern Illinois quarterback turned running back Jordan Lynch will also see time as he is looking to find a spot on the roster.