Losing the game wasn’t as important for the Chicago Bears as was evaluating key players and their performances. So what stuck out in Cleveland?
David Fales shows poise against Brown #1 defense
Putting up three points with 2nd and 3rd stringers against the #1 Browns defense is a victory by itself. In truth David Fales showed a lot of the attributes that drew him to Chicago, but his inexperience, particularly with heavy blitzing, was also evident. He must learn to deal with that.
Demontre Hurst and C.J. Wilson offer different values
It’s going to be hard for the coaching staff to make some sort of determination at corner. Demontre Hurst once again made a number of good fundamental plays, especially tackling. Meanwhile C.J. Wilson almost had his third pick of the preseason, proving his prowess in coverage. Both have a strong chance to open up a sixth corner spot.
Josh Bellamy showing valuable speed element
Speed is something offenses love to get on the field whenever they can and Josh Bellamy showcased plenty of that in Cleveland and really the entire preseason. He finds ways to get down the field and is good at locating the football. At age 25 he should be practice squad eligible and has played well enough to earn a spot.
Santonio Holmes still has that instinct and awareness
People were curious if Santonio Holmes had the same burst of speed and instinct that made him a Super Bowl MVP at one time. He answered those questions with two big plays including a nifty 32-yard catch and run for a touchdown as well as a 30-yard punt return. He should see plenty of action in the offense, and if he looks like that, the Bears are all the more dangerous.
David Bass and Austen Lane make life tough on Mel Tucker
Depth on the defensive line killed the Bears in 2013. Phil Emery appears to have solved that problem. Not only does Chicago have a strong starting rotation, but they have worthy guys fighting for a spot on the back end as well. That was clear watching veteran Austen Lane and second-year man David Bass as they were constantly active in the pass rush. In the stat column is where the tiebreaker may be as Bass pulled away with six tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. Either way, Mel Tucker has a tough decision ahead of him.
DeDe Lattimore makes late push to overtake Christian Jones
A lot of fans (and even some coaches) are enamored with the potential of rookie linebacker Christian Jones. His physical talent is off the charts but his rawness is also evident. Apparently that isn’t the only problem. Fellow rookie linebacker DeDe Lattimore picked a good time to have his best game of the preseason, notching nine tackles and showing much better instincts on the field than Jones. Sorting out that mess is going to be interesting.
Jordan Lynch is still worth a practice squad spot
It was surprising that Jordan Lynch didn’t get onto the field on offense until late in the 4th quarter. When he did he demonstrated good decisiveness in picking the holes and turning upfield but wasn’t helped by blocking much. It may be true that Chicago coaches wanted a good look at him on special teams before making any sort of determination on his value. Nothing stuck out on tape, good or bad. It’s fair to say that Lynch is good enough for the practice squad, but may find Senorise Perry hard to beat out.
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