Six quick thoughts before heading to the airport:
1. The first-team defense did play some good football this preseason. It happened between the second possession against Kansas City and the start of the San Francisco game. What's transpired since, I'm not sure how you characterize it. It hasn't been a missed assignment here and a missed assignment there, offenses have gone straight through the defense and running backs have been picking up 10 yards at a time. That's the concern.
2. Wide receiver Brandon Rideau made a nice showing that should help him get a serious look from the Bears (and other teams if he is released). But there is no way the Bears keep seven wideouts, I don't think. That means he has to win a job over Marty Booker or Mark Bradley.
3. Saw Erik Kramer at halftime and asked him about Caleb Hanie.
``What's not to like?'' Kramer responded.
Agreed. But I'm not convinced he has a spot on the 53-man roster yet either. I think the Bears have been aiming toward two all along. They do want t keep Hanie around though. The only way to make certain he stays is giving him a job on the 53.
``He'll be playing football somewhere,'' quipped Kyle Orton.
4. John St. Clair had a rough stretch on the offense's opening possession with two false starts and then a missed block that led to a hit on Kyle Orton and an interception. Orton didn't blame the hit but said he felt he made the right decision with his throw. His intended target Brandon Lloyd had beaten his man. What I'm wondering is if Fred Miller was watching the game. Decision day is just about here for the veteran.
5. If you ever thought four preseason games was one or two too many, last night validated it. The Browns didn't dress 14 players for the game. Some of them were injured. Some of them they wanted to dress as the Bears did with a few players like Tommie Harris and Mike Brown. Cleveland got nailed with some injuries in this game. It seemed like three times a quarter the PA announcer read the name of a new player, a new injury and said the guy was out for the game. The push for more regular-season games and fewer preseason contests is really gaining momentum.
6. Sounds like there is some good news that will come out of Charles Tillman's press conference today at Children's Memorial Hospital. Tillman has had to miss time the last few months for some real challenging family issues and word is things are looking up for him.
We'll try to check in with some more stuff later on. Final cuts come down Saturday at 5 p.m. although some teams, the Bears included, might wait until after that to announce their moves.