By Wanda Wiedman // @WandaW63
It is no secret how some people feel about preseason games. Some would prefer that they disappear all together. Others believe they should be shortened to just two games to assess the players on the field.
Either way, the Chicago Bears came to play at Soldier Field Thursday night against the Cleveland Browns – sort of. The Bears have been pretty successful in defeating the Browns during preseason, almost treating it as a gimmie. But not last night.
The loss turned football fans and sports writers into fiery dragons. But was head coach John Fox really to blame for the loss and rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky‘s garbage time sack? Or did the offensive line fall asleep at the wheel? Well, let’s check all the evidence to be sure.
Those in the football world know that the last preseason game of the year is basically to weed out the not-ready-for-NFL-Primetime-players. The premise is to keep the ones that stand out, came to play and give the backup and third string quarterbacks an opportunity for more reps.
Watching the safeties and cornerbacks were my initial reason in watching this last game. Since the Bears have struggled in the back end, it was important for someone to emerge as a serious contender. Neither B.W. Webb or Rashaad Reynolds helped by taking part in blown coverages that lead to two touchdowns for the Browns.
Then there is the offense and this is where it gets dicey. Victor Cruz tried his best, but was just not showing the eliteness of the player that he used to be. Undrafted rookie Tanner Gentry out played him and proved that he could be that special slot receiver or make an impact on Special Teams.
Either way, this kid has done everything to make the roster. The disappointment has come from rookie tight end Adam Shaheen, who has not wowed anyone yet. He has dropped several balls and just needs to get the jitters out and have fun. And just in case you thought I forgot about the whole Trubisky/Fox end of game brain fart, it will now be addressed.
Fox expected those linemen, who were supposed to be fighting for a roster spot either in Chicago or elsewhere, to be on their top game. It’s what they were auditioning for. It is Trubisky and the coaching staff who refuse to treat them as such because they have to get out there no matter what and make a play. What if this was a regular season game? Will all hell break loose on social media because he got sacked? Shame on the O-line for letting it happen in the first place!
Chicago Tribune reporter Dan Wiederer spoke to ESPN analyst Jon Gruden in regards to Trubisky playing in the last preseason game. Here is what he said:
“You know what? We’re going to call off all the practices pretty soon. We may as well call off everything. Look, these guys have to play. They have to go out and develop. Otherwise, you can’t get a feel for the position. You can only have so many walk-throughs. I go and watch these training camp practices and I feel bad for some of these young linemen and young quarterbacks who are walking through routes and talking through plays. This man (Trubisky) needs to go out there and play. You have to live in your hopes, not in your fears. Good for Chicago.”
Let that sink in..NOT IN YOUR FEARS. That is why Trubisky was out there in garbage time. Neither Trubisky nor the coaching staff was afraid for him, because they had no intention of treating him like a porcelain doll. Trubisky said it himself, that he was only thinking about how he could make a play. He wanted so badly to put points on the board, even if it was in garbage time. It is why we love this kid!!
He wants to win games every time he steps on that field, so it was no surprise that when his number was called he didn’t hesitate. Who knows why backup quarterback Mark Sanchez was not dressed and prepared to play? The Bears are keeping that all hush-hush. But as for Fox putting Trubisky out on the field, did he really have an option? Seriously,
Sanchez was in street clothes! As for Mike Glennon, he is the starter and no starters were on the field, so that answers the other question looming in the air. The job of the coaching staff is to put the rookie in every situation possible because if he is called up mid-season, he is going to have to duck and cover.
The Bears end the preseason 2-2, but in a few weeks, all 32 teams will be 0-0 and that’s where it really matters. If Glennon tanks by week three, then I’m all in on the Biscuit train. The Bears have to have a winning season for the sake of everyone involved, including the fans.
Let’s make it a season to remember and BEARDOWN!