Ten initial reactions from Thursday night's preseason opener vs. Kansas City before turning in:
1. The development with first-round pick Chris Williams is unfortunate. The team is preaching optimism right now and plans to keep a space for him on the 53-man roster. That's all well and good, but this is the same group of people who were saying Williams would be out a week with back spasms. There is no way of telling how his recovery will go and what effects, if any, it will have on his career longterm.
It turns out where there was smoke there was fire with draft day reports that medical concerns about Williams had him falling on some draft boards. This was the draft to find a left tackle and this situation just keeps getting more confusing.
2. Quarterback play might have been uninspiring as Kyle Orton and Rex Grossman could not manage a drive longer than 37 yards, but the team that gets off the bus running did just that. Garrett Wolfe's 64 yards on seven carries led a 175-yard effort. Rookie Matt Forte got his feet wet with 10 touches and did a few nice things.
3. Was that really Brodie Croyle leading the Chiefs straight through the Bears' defense to open the game? Sure, the defense buckled down afterward but it had five opportunities to get off the field and Croyle and the Chiefs converted five third downs. That was more alarming than the inability of the first offense or the hybrid first offense with Grossman in the second quarter to get a touchdown.
4. Nice to see rookie seventh-round pick Kirk Barton get some work at right tackle with some of the first team players in the second quarter. Sure, he doesn't have any experience but the Bears need to see what they have in-house before exploring free-agent options. You just don't find tackles looking for work in the second week of August without baggage, a couple suitcases full.
5. Looked like the starting defensive line got some decent pressure up front. But again, this is the Chiefs the Bears were going against. At least Kansas City has admitted its offense is in a rebuilding phase.
6. The makeshift offensive lines did something right. The only sacks of the night came when Orton fumbled on his own and Grossman tripped on a teammate. The pass blocking was pretty solid but it looked like the Chiefs played it pretty vanilla without a ton of blitzing. I'll have to take a look at the tape to get a better idea on the number of pressures Kansas City brought, but Herm Edwards and Lovie Smith are good friends and they might have had a friendly agreement entering this one on blitzing. Still, solid pass blocking for the most part.
7. Rookie wide receiver Earl Bennett looked like the player we saw in May and June when he dropped that pass from Caleb Hanie in the two-minute drill. Not the player we've seen in Bourbonnais. That juggling drop by Marcus Monk didn't help him either. Looked like he saw a defender coming.
8. So after Hanie led scoring drives on his first two possessions, how long will it take for a movement to begin? Here's hoping he makes more of his opportunity than the great Ken Mastrole did with some scoring drives in garbage time.
9. Strong safety Kevin Payne got into the game early and racked up some tackles. Looked like he may have been a little out of position on a few plays in the passing game. He's still inexperienced and the team remains pretty high on him. His development in the preseason is worth keeping a close eye on.
10. Not sure anything will materialize beyond the phone call the Bears made to Fred Miller's agent. He indicated he's talking to some other teams but with his kids in school in the north suburbs his first choice is to stay here. He'll have to catch the game on TiVo. Miller was playing softball during the game and cranked out three home runs he reported by text message. Years of passing on linemen on the first day of the draft has caught up with the club, that's for sure.
10A. How about Grossman after the game when asked about his performance?
"When I did play ... it was all right."
Interpret that one as you wish.
We'll check in during the day with some more stuff.