Football season is officially underway, and the Bears played their first preseason game against the Denver Broncos on Thursday night. Some players flashed major potential and got us excited for the future. Others not so much. So let’s get right into the good and the bad and the awesome from Thursday’s game and look ahead to week two of the preseason.
Needs Improvement: Mike Glennon
Glennon was already on thin ice thanks to the looming presence of Mitchell Trubisky. Then not even a minute into the game the Bears starter threw a pick-six interception. Not exactly what you want from the guy you paid $45 million to be your starting quarterback. Things could seemingly only go up from there but Glennon finished his night a miserable 2-8 for 20 yards. His passer rating a desolate zero.
The Bears continue to verbally support Glennon and back him as the starter, but after his miserable performance against the Broncos the 27-year-old will already be feeling the heat. He’s guaranteed $18 million this year but if this continues Glennon may miss out on the starting gig he’s been looking for since Jameis Winston (another rookie) came and snatched his job in Tampa Bay.
The Future is Bright
On the other side of the quarterback coin, Mitchell Trubisky was phenomenal in just over one half of work. Trubisky, whom the Bears drafted second overall and is seen as the franchise’s future, guided the Bears on their only scoring drives and finished 18-25 with 166 yards and a touchdown. His quarterback rating was 103.
While Trubisky was working against Denver’s third and fourth line guys, it’s also important to remember that he was working with his offense’s backups too. Despite this Trubisky moved well in the pocket, ran when he needed to, and showed the arm strength that Glennon lacks. Of course we shouldn’t crown Trubisky King in the North after one half of play in one preseason game but it sure was exciting to watch.
If Trubisky keeps this up it’s feasible to think that Ryan Pace may have guaranteed Glennon $18 million just to be a backup.
Other Stand Outs:
Leonard Floyd, OLB: Floyd had a great rookie year, posting 7 sacks in just 12 games. Floyd’s potential shined in his rookie year and the Bears are excited about his future as a cornerstone of the defense. When he was drafted out of Georgia the though was that Floyd had all the skills but he just needed to put on some size. Reportedly 20 pounds heavier this season, Floyd is ready to be the captain of the defense and it shows. In the game against the Broncos Floyd wasted no time recording his first sack on Denver’s first drive. Fully healthy, Floyd will be the Bears spark this year.
Victor Cruz WR: Cruz recorded just three catches for 11 yards, but one was for a touchdown and Trubisky looked for him throughout the game. Cruz is coming off a couple injury-laden seasons and is looking for career revival in Chicago. If he continues to show good chemistry with Trubisky throughout the preseason Pace will be hard-pressed to cut the veteran.
Tarik Cohen, RB: Training camp reports were glowing about Tarik Cohen, the Bears fourth round pick out of North Carolina A&T, and he showed us why in Thursday’s game. Cohen ran with elite burst and conviction. “The Human Joystick” as he was called in college, Cohen bounced around making defenders miss and looks like the perfect complement to star bulldozer Jordan Howard.
What to watch for in game 2:
Will Adam Shaheen be more involved?
Shaheen was present for the Bears first preseason contest but only recorded one catch for three yards. Granted none of the tight ends were very involved against Denver, but after hearing so much about the second round pick during camp and coming out of the draft it was a little disappointing to not hear his name more. It’ll be interesting to see if offensive coordinator Dowell Logains attempts to work the Ashland product in more next week.
Round Two of the Quarterback Battle
Glennon is going to have all eyes on him in his second game, will he crumble under the pressure or are the jitters gone? Conversely, can Trubisky keep up his hot start or was Thursday’s performance just a flash in the pan? Following Denver’s smothering defense with Tyrann Mathieu and the Arizona Cardinals will be a good, albeit tough, test for both quarterbacks.
The Bears defense did a good job against Trevor Siemian and the Broncos, but the former Northwestern quarterback is hardly a star and the Bears will face a tougher test next week against the Arizona Cardinals and David Johnson. The secondary is still looking for continuity, with rotations at cornerback and safety still being hashed out.