By Wanda Wiedman // @WandaW63
The Chicago Bears had started the preseason at 0-2. Neither losses were blowouts nor were the game against the Denver Broncos. But there are some things that were revealed, exposed or just plain obvious with the Bears.
Trey Burton is the real deal. Every time he touched the ball it was a stamp of approval. There was no doubt he was worth the grab in the offseason. In the first series, Burton caught 4 receptions for 45 yards and one touchdown.
The big tight end seems to be quarterback Mitchell Trubisky’s favorite target and rightly so. Burton certainly knows his routes and determines to finish them with a completion. The way he can square his shoulders along the lines to catch a pass is textbook football.
The Bears also have a plethora of tight ends that are talented. Adam Shaheen looked great until he injured his ankle. It’s a high sprain and he should be fine. It was nice to see Ben Braunecker do more than just block. His last-minute touchdown was worth the wait.
Anthony Miller is the top receiver. So far this preseason, it has been the rookie who has displayed his talents for everyone to see. And there is no stopping him. Bennie Fowler III made an appearance that was far more productive than last week and Kevin White was making his rounds on the field with some good catches.
Tanner Gentry and Javon Wims contributed with solid catches in the second half. However, there was a brief, and I say a brief, appearance of Allen Robinson on the field just for the sake of an appearance. He had no intentions of playing until the regular season.
Kyle Long is back in top form. So many questions flowed as to whether or not Kyle Long would be able to perform his job after all the offseason surgery. Well, there is no question that Long is healthy and ready. Not only did he block-push the defender, but finished it with a pancake and a moxie stare down.
Kyle Long with the finish, the pancake, and then the staredown! ??? @Ky1eLong
Also, Chicago will be pleasantly surprised by Trey Burton in the run game. pic.twitter.com/CDIWq2b7eC
— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) August 19, 2018
To see Long command his role at right guard is what he does best and it showed against Denver. If he can stay healthy, Trubisky and the running back core have a chance.
The kicking and center positions are a problem. The Bears have struggled to find a solid kicker ever since they released Robbie Gould. But now the Bears have Cody Parkey who can get it through the uprights unless it’s over 40 yards. Kickers have one job, so practicing kicks over 40 yards should be all he does until the regular season. Bulk up, Parker!
Then there the center position controversy. Should Cody Whitehair go back to his natural position of left guard or stay at center? Rookie James Daniels should be center. Hroniss Grasu is not the answer either. But with a less than stellar performance by Eric Kush, Whitehair needs to be at left guard and swap Daniels in his place at center. For Trubisky’s sake, his ball-to-player release better be quick.
The defense still has no pass rush. The closest player the Bears have to a pass rusher is linebacker Leonard Floyd. He had potential but now suffered a fractured right hand. Will he be ready for Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers? Coach Matt Nagy seems to think so but I’m not holding my breath.
Preseason has also revealed the absence of outside linebacker Aaron Lynch who was supposed to be a big deal in offseason. He ended up being not a big deal, so it all rides on the rookies.
Roquan Smith has ended his holdout and is slated to play on Saturday against the Kansas City Chiefs. The world will finally see what he can do against the big boys. As for the defensive backs, I have yet to see anything spectacular. However, it is clear that rookie John Franklin III is not cut out to be a defensive back.
Finally, the new helmet rule makes no sense to the referee unit. Someone needs to explain it to the refs who clearly don’t get it. If the crown of the helmet is not touching any part of the body IT’S NOT A PENALTY!! There I did the work for you Refs. You’re welcome.
This rule is changing the entire scope of the game. Refs need to tell the difference between lowering the head and leading with the shoulder. ?
— Wanda Wiedman (@WandaW63) August 19, 2018
They say third times a charm so let’s see if the Bears can put up a win against the arm of Patrick Mahomes in Soldier Field.
Talk Bears Football with Wanda on Twitter // @WandaW63