By Wanda Wiedman // @WandaW63
It’s been a long preseason in my opinion. But for the players fighting to make the 53-man roster, it was a chance to leave it all on the field. Outside of Bears fans begging for General Manager Ryan Pace to pull the trigger on Khalil Mack, the Chicago Bears have some hard decisions to make.
Last night’s game against the Buffalo Bills was exciting and heartbreaking at the same time. Though the Bears gave up 24 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, there is plenty of content in the win and loss columns.
Win/Lose: Bears backup Daniel is the true backup, Bray not so much.
There is no question that the starting quarterback is Mitchell Trubisky. Yet, there was a concern as to the abilities of veteran Chase Daniel and rookie Tyler Bray as to whether they could step in if Trubisky is injured.
Fear not everyone, both Daniel and Bray are capable of commanding the offense if the unthinkable happens. However, Daniel is the true backup as he completed 67% of his passes, threw for 516 yards and five touchdown passes. Bray completed 61%, with 652 yards and only one touchdown pass.
Win/Lose: Kyle Long is back, but the left guard position is still questionable.
Right guard Kyle Long looked good in the preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs. His pancake-style move on linebacker Todd Davis was beautiful. His added stare down was an indication that he was back. But the battle for the LG position was tight behind Eric Kush and rookie James Daniels.
After last night’s game, it looks as though Kush might have edged through with Daniels a close second. As long as they do their job in protecting the line, Trubisky has a chance to make plays.
Win/Lose: Cody Parkey can kick past 40 yards but is inconsistent.
The kicker has one job and Parkey seems to struggle with distance. In last night’s game against the Bills, Parkey kicked a 47-yard field goal. Then, when he had the chance to put them three points ahead, he misses a 39-yard kick.
However, he is the current leader in completed kicks in preseason according to The Football Database. Special teams coach Chris Tabor needs to help Parkey fine-tune his kicks, especially the 50+yard attempts. Make it happen, Tabor!
Win/Lose: Bears have a strong linebacker core, including two linebackers who haven’t taken a snap.
During preseason rookies Joel Iyiegbuniwe, Kylie Fitts, and Kasim Edebali have done everything possible to make a solid claim on roster spots. Though it is uncertain how long Edebali will be out due to a leg whip that took him out of the game last night. John Timu was flying all over the field as well as Isaiah Irving.
Win/Lose: Bears have a load of weapons and Ryan Nall needs to be one of them.
For the first time in a long time, the Bears have a basket full of targets in the air and on the ground. The Bears will have to keep six wide receivers on the roster that includes, Allen Robinson, Kevin White, Taylor Gabriel, Anthony Miller and Javon Wims. If Coach Matt Nagy was being honest in production from the beginning, then Benny Fowler III did not pass muster with all the drops in the preseason.
On the ground: Running backs Jordan Howard, Tarik Cohen, Benny Cunningham and, in my opinion, Ryan Nall will be the ball carriers. Nall has the ability of a three-down back and the versatility to bring back the illusive FB/HB/RB position. Despite the effort that RB Taquan Mizzell put on the field, Nall surpassed him in his knack for breaking tackles.
This is going to be a tough decision for the coaches and at the end of the day, they have to pick the best of the best to have a winning season. The Bears are right there. They just need to put the pieces together and execute with precision and moxie.
Talk Bears football with Wanda // @WandaW63