Sunday will be as close to a regular season game as the Bears will have this preseason as they enjoy the luxury of playing their all important third preseason game at noon on the road against the Tennessee Titans.
The starters are expected to play into the second quarter with rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky to see action with the first team offense to start the second half.
With all eyes on Trubisky leading up to the game, there are a few other players to keep an eye on for this game as well.
The first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft for the Bears was been seen as a favorite to be traded or to be cut, but Fuller made the most of his opportunity with the starters against the Arizona Cardinals. Fuller was aggressive and consistent in his play last Saturday as each ball that came his way was contested.
This week he should see time with the starting defense again as Prince Amukamara is still healing up from a nagging hamstring injury.
If he is able to follow up with another solid performance against the Titans this week, Fuller should be a safe bet to make the roster as a backup cornerback.
The way the Bears have used wide receiver Victor Cruz in the first two preseason games has been perplexing as he has not seen any snaps with the starting offense and last week didn’t even record a catch or be targeted. The former pro-bowler did flash in the first pre-season game against the Broncos with a touchdown and multiple catches as many wondered as to why Cruz was still on the field at the end of the game.
Cruz has the talent and experience to warrant a spot on the opening day roster with the inexperience at the wide receiver position and with the team’s inconsistency in the passing game.
When the Bears first team offense has been out on the field, they have used Meredith, White, and Wright when they have been in three wide-receiver sets.
They have used Joshua Bellamy as the fourth wide receiver with the first team as well. With Markus Wheaton still sidelined with a broken finger, it is interesting to see if they Bears will give Cruz the opportunity to take any snaps with the starter.
If Cruz sees snaps with second and third string offense, he will most likely be on the bubble heading into the last pre-season game against the Browns and may even be at risk for getting cut on cut down day.
With all the attention on the quarterback controversy, it is important to see what type of game plan offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains will put in place for Glennon and Trubisky. With this being the dress rehearsal game, Loggains will feature a regular season game plan.
Loggains was given high praise for his play calling for Mitchell Trubisky in his first game against the Broncos. In last week’s game, the play calling featured more short to intermediate passing calls as Trubisky threw the only deep pass down the sideline which was a no play due to offensive pass interference.
The play calls have been different for both quarterbacks so far in the preseason as Glennon has ran more of the Bears standard playbook to where Trubisky’s passing plays have been more bootlegs and shot gun pass plays. It will be interesting if he calls the same calls will be made for both Trubisky and Glennon against the Titans as it would be a clear indicator of Trubisky’s progression as a NFL quarterback.
Everything that has happens on Sunday will have the feel of a regular season game and it will be the last time we see the starters for the 2017 Bears before the season opener on September 10th against the Atlanta Falcons. A lot of what happens against the Titans will serve as a small pre curser to what we can expect from Bears in 2017.