If you're fed up with the Rex Grossman vs. Kyle Orton quarterback debate, consider what the Kansas City Chiefs will offer up in tonight's preseason opener at Soldier Field.
Brodie Croyle and Tyler Thigpen, who will be working as the No. 2 quarterback for the Chiefs. Thigpen has managed to work his way past Damon Huard to become the backup to Croyle and a possible successor if Croyle stumbles. Kansas City's offense was even worse than the Bears' last season, producing just 23 touchdowns and only six rushing scores.
Chiefs coach Herm Edwards is approaching things much like Lovie Smith. Kansas City has an abundance of young players it needs to take a look at and Edwards plans to play many starters a little longer than you would typically see in a first preseason game. This could mean we see first-team players from both sides playing well into the second quarter. The Bears are expected to leave most of the offensive starters in longer than usual as they sort through the position battles on that side of the ball.
Who you will not see are first-round draft picks Glenn Dorsey and Branden Albert. Dorsey, the prized defensive tackle, is out with a minor knee injury. Albert, selected one spot after the Bears drafted Chris Williams, will not play with a foot injury. Veteran linebacker Donnie Edwards (hamstring) is another notable starter who will sit.
*** Here is one matchup to watch: Kansas City has moved young defensive end Tamba Hali from the left to right side with the hope he can replace the departed Jared Allen. Hali had 7 1/2 sacks last season and it will be good to watch him vs. left tackle John St. Clair. Keep an eye on that matchup.
*** There is a crowded field of wide receivers for the Bears and it will be interesting to see who steps forward as playmakers.
*** One other ares worth watching is the reserve safeties. It was such a rough spot in 2007 after injuries struck and there really isn't any experience to speak of after Mike Brown and Brandon McGowan. Expect Kevin Payne and rookie Craig Steltz to get extensive playing time. The key for young safeties is to be able to start reacting instinctively and not thinking. Development here is really essential.