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Bears Pre-Game – What to Watch For

The Bears are all set to take on the Broncos Thursday night at 7:30pm right here in the Windy City. The game will be broadcast live on Fox (locally) or you can tune in to Joniak on WBBM (AM 780) for the play by play.

Now I know this is just the first preseason game for the Bears but I, for one, could not be more excited. Kickoff on Thursday night finally means football season has fallen upon Chicago (que Monday Night Football theme). We can finally stop watching the Olympics and focus on a sport that America really cares about. The starters will likely only snag a series or two before you start seeing why teams can’t carry 90 man rosters all season but that is fine. At least it will give me a taste of what to expect come September 9th and I can go to sleep having sweet dreams of little Brandon Marshall touchdowns and Gabe ‘The Bear Jew’ Carimi pancaking every defensive lineman in 5 technique.

Here are a few things to watch for on Thursday night:

The Wide Receivers

Phil Emery made it a point to focus his attention this off-season on the ever disappointing wide receiving corps. Emery knew that to succeed in the NFL, you need to have an incredibly efficient passing game. The best teams in the NFL all have this trait in common (Pats, Saints, Pack). For Lovie to continually say the Bears come off the bus running is ridiculous. Tice better be making it rain early and often tomorrow night. With the likes of Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Earl Bennett there is no reason to keep running the isolation up the middle. (Notice how I left Hester out of this mix. This guy is a kick returner and nothing more. The sooner the Bears realize that, the better)

The Offensive Line

With all the attention paid to the receivers, Emery stood his ground on an already under-performing offensive line. Now I will admit that last years long-developing routes caused for some serious mayhem in the backfield but, according to Tice, 7-step drops have been omitted which should make for a smoother flow. Chicago is happily welcoming back Gabe Carimi who will be starting at Right Tackle and looks to recover from a lackluster and injury raddled rookie year. The biggest question mark can be seen on the left side where J’Marcus Webb will be slotting in at Tackle. I literally just had to stop writing there for a minute because I am trying to watch my language but this guy is a JOKE! Unfortunately, backup (and former first-round draft pick) Chris Williams doesn’t bring much more to the table. Expect this to be a massive issue for most of the season.


  • As of press time, Brian Urlacher has been sidelined for six straight practices. I highly doubt you will see him padded up for this match or any other preseason game. It makes no sense to play him if he is not close to 100%. He is going to be needed down the road in a very big way.
  • The public will get its first look at 2012 first round draft pick Shea McClellin. There has been a lot of negative press coming out of training camp about this kid and it is likely all warranted. The guy is a small, fast defensive end out of the Mountain West Conference who is a boy among men. It remains to be seen what Emery was thinking with this draft pick. Here is to hoping I eat my words later this season.
  • The revolving door of safeties opens for business on Thursday night. Everyone should play close attention to the 4th quarter as one of these undrafted rookies may be starting by Week 5. I have high hopes for Chris Conte as I saw some solid flashes from him last season. I also can’t wait for Major Wright to be washing cars next season up in Winnetka because he is too afraid to lower the shoulder and stick someone.
  • Peyton Manning will be playing his first game in a non-Colts uniform on Thursday. While Manning has stated that his neck isn’t fully healed he is still capable of picking the Bears apart in the secondary. The Bears will need to play tough at the line and create some havoc in the pass rush to force Manning into making some errors.

Check back tomorrow for any breaking news and Friday for a quick recap.

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