Chicago Sun-Times

10 observations: Bears lose to Broncos in practice game

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Even the film won't tell much about the Bears' 31-3 loss to the Denver Broncos in their preseason opener at Soldier Field on Thursday night.

With key starters out, neither team showing anything more than vanilla looks on offensive and defense; reserves playing against reserves, replacement officials and inclement weather, the game was a colossal waste of time. It was the best argument for a two-game preseason I've seen yet.

The Bears and Broncos would have gotten more out of a live scrimmage in Bourbonnais than the shadow boxing they did Thursday night. I'd pay more to watch China vs. South Korea in Olympic badminton. Charles Tillman had a better workout in the Pro Bowl.

The NFL insists on calling these "preseason" games rather than "exhibition" games, but neither would be an accurate description of Thursday night's Bears-Broncos games. It was a "practice game" at best. "Glorified scrimmage" was more like it.

Be that as it may, here are 10 observations from the Bears' "exhibition" opener:

1. Jay Cutler didn't get hurt.

2. Why are NFL teams so afraid to show ''too much too soon? How good is a game plan, a scheme or a play if the element of surprise is so critical to its success? Is it that hard to devise enough plays and wrinkles that opponents won't know what to expect?

3. The Bears have struggled for sustained success in just about every facet of their football team. But judging by their Halas Hall complex and the look of the Soldier Field turf since they apparently took control of it from the Chicago Park District after last year's ''Family Night'' debacle, the McCaskeys know their landscaping.

4. Didn't seem like a good sign that LT J'Marcus Webb played into the fourth quarter of the first preseason game. Unless you really can improve by playing against second- and third-team defensive lineman, it seemed like a punishment more than anything else.

5. The Bears' offensive line didn't distinguish itself against the Broncos, but the line was even worse in last year's opener against the Bills (two net yards on nine plays, with three sacks allowed in the first quarter) and improved enough to be competent when intact by the third preseason game.

6. One aspect of Shea McClellin's development at DE could be problematic for the Bears. They know he needs "reps" but aren't willing to take reps from Corey Wootton or Chauncey Davis to allow McClellin to play against first-team offensive linemen. By the time McClellin got in the game late in the first quarter Thursday night, he was facing the Broncos' second-team offense.

7. McClellin showed off his closing speed while sacking Caleb Hanie on his third play of the game, but it's worth noting the play was made "in space" and out of the pocket -- with McClellin looking more like a outside linebacker than a defensive end. In fact, McClellin never made contact with an offensive lineman on that play.

8. If Brian Urlacher misses any games, it's hard to believe the Bears wouldn't be better off with Lance Briggs in the middle and Geno Hayes or J.T. Thomas on the weakside. Other than his ability to "quarterback" the defense, Nick Roach doesn't seem like the best option as Urlacher's replacement. He's much better on the strong side.

9. I don't know what it is about rookie safety Brandon Hardin, but he looks like he can make an impact sooner than even the Bears might think. If he learns quickly, he'll be more than a special-teamer this season.

10. The NFL should give their regular officials the raises they deserve, but as luck would have it -- at least in the Bears-Broncos game -- the difference with the replacement officials was pretty much imperceptible if you were watching from the stands or on television.

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16 Comments

I have just one observatin and taht is the Bears SUCK! S-U-V-K that spells sukc. Good luck getting to 3-11 even whith this garbage of a team. Did Isay this would happen? Yeah I think idid predict it like I due every year. Emery needs rto be fired just like Angelo, Lovie goodbye oh ans dont even get me started on the Mcsakceys. Not only are they clueless buy the yare disgudting one percenters. The governemnt should take all there money away and give it to the poor.

Now here are my 10 observations

1 Why didn't Forte play? Is he still injured? I think so. Glad that trash got his money though because now he is not just a bust but a rich 1%er bust.

2 It's official that McCleelin is a bust. I told everyone back when taht clown Emerey darfted him. He look like a littel girl running around with those big lushious men.

3 I s Peepers injured? WEhy didnt he play?

5 I just heard from the Hubster taht Urlacker might have a more serious injury and will go on IR. Dont doubt me on that one sense I have been right way two many times.

6 I donut now whaty you were seeing but Brandin Hardon mark my words he is not a footalll player and wil be gone after this years.

7 Turf lookde liek grabage. But when does irt not. I hope those rich loosers mcacskerys like smoking there cigars with $100 dollar bills.

9 Alshon Jeffyr made easy catches against third stringers. He didn't impress me one bit. he packers corneers will shut him down without even trying this eeseeon.

8 My sources tell me Knox wont play in 2012. Not yhat it matter ssense he wasnt very good but You herd it here first.

10 hahahaha don't even get me started on Webb or the hole oline. Just dont go there I am angry enuff as it isd.

This team is a joke! I love to say it so I will...I TOLD YOU SO! haha Now my prediction of 6-10 is a stretch! That O-Line is horrendous! I hope Jays' life insurance is paid up for the sake of that new baby boy!! Creighton, where are you now? haha

I think Tice left Webb in the game until he correctly blocked someone, and by the 4th quarter, he needed to get some of the young players some time, so he pulled him. I saw the exact same issues from Webb that I saw all last year, and the year before...He is terrible, and did not get better playing against lesser competition as the game wore on.

This kid is going to get Cutler killed. Or we will have to put a tight end on the left side on every pass play to protect him.
Not exactly the offensive flexibility we were looking for this year.

Haha! Just because it's a preseason game, I wouldn't take it so lightly. I understand you are a Bears fan and are trying to make excuses. Even the Bears coaches were pissed off, their backups, replacements, even 1st team played horrible. They were without a few main starters but C'Mon Man? That game was embaressing!

Hahahaha, you know I keep hearing people say it's just a pre-season game, but at the same time they are saying it they seem all upset about the loss. Really if the Bears sit Cutler, Forte, Peppers and if Urlacher remains missing, they will end up getting their @#### kicked in every game this year. That's just the way it is, you take the top 4 players of any team off the team and it's over before it begins.

I agree on McClellins sack play. Dude looked like a LB, he literally jumped behind two defensive linemen and started bird dogging. The secondary held, Hanie got flushed, and Shea came free. Dude looks like a LB and plays like a LB. He can't hold at the point of the attack, his first step is okay at best, he plays way to high, he does not look comfortable at end. It may also be of note that the guy he spent most of the night playing against number 67, is an undrafted rookie free agent and he was a mess. My god when real starting nfl linmen get in his face it is going to be over.

What I don't get is how Lovie, Rod, and Emery think he is an end. I mean really anyone who watches him play can tell he is a LB. He looks like a LB, he is built like an Lb, he moves and plays like one. Everyone thought this before the draft, now everyone is saying it again and it's plain as day. So what the hell is he doing at end? They skipped Chandler Jones for this guy to play end, are you kidding me? What are they thinking. The move does not make sense unless they want him to be a future LB or Emery wants Lovie gone and is planning on going 3-4. Shea belongs in a 3-4 playing LB and there is no question about that.

Damn right Webb was being punished and he was being punished nationally. The dude has no feet, is not explose, and is slow as mud.

You know everyone is talking about the bears Offense being bad but the defense did not do itself any favors cause the Broncos could run and pass on it from the get go.

You don't know what you like about Hardin? Well I am not going to lie I didn't like the pick, but that has more to do with Conte being drafted the year before. But I will guess as to what you are seeing in Hardin. Outside of his size and speed, he has decent instincts, but he is more fluid that the safeties we are used to seeing on the Bears. That said he should of caught the ball. But he looks like a nice developmental player, just hope he can stay healthy.

Mark, I don't like the idea about having only 2 pre-season games. Also, I don't think last nights game was a waste of time, NFL teams need these pre-season games to evaluate their younger players and give them much needed reps, and yes you also gotta give your starters reps, but, with only 2 pre-season games, theres no way you could do all that. The 4 games gives teams enough time to evaluate their depth chart, get reps to backups who otherwise wouldn't get any, and get your starters some time to knock off some of the rust. Again, you couldn't do that with just 2 pre-season games. You think teams look sloppy right now going into the season, just think how they would look with only 2 games to prepare? Not good. I think the NFL should leave the pre-season alone.

I agree with you about Nick Roach, he's better off on the strongside. If Roach struggles in the middle, maybe give 2nd year player Dom DeCicco a look, at the very least he'd probably be better in coverage. I'd leave Lance Briggs right where he is on the weakside, he's the best in the business there. Moving Briggs would be making another position, the weakside, weaker like the middle is without Urlacher. Just an opinion GO BEARS!!

You are all morons. Its ONE preseason game. The stupidity of people amazes me. Hey Creighton...learn how to spell. I know children with more accurate spelling.

Not sure what you are talking about but if it's a bet you want you got it. I bet you the Bears beat 6-10. If the Bears go 6-10 or worse I will refer to you as god, if they do better than 6-10 you will refer to me as god.

Step up little girl lets your stones. It's a simple bet, easy to keep. You don't even know anything about the, you have zero insight and you seem to be under the belief that his game is under the guise of the regular season.

I am not sure what you expected but usual you will be wrong and I will be right. I believe you had them getting 4 wins last year. I picked them to place third in the division and called the Cutler injury. I also predicted the flaws of the offensive line before and after Cutler went down. my average of being right about this team is around 95%, being generous I would say your averave of being right is around 2%. Oh and by the way trying making a real perdiction. You pcik the record that's it and you talk about players that suck after everyone already knows they suck.

Try actually talking about, football, I have not seen you show any insight into the team at all. You just hate on them, which is fine, but give me the reason you hate them. And just that Lovie sucks or McClellin sucks. Why do they suck, which is something you don't seem to be able to do. Now take me and Joe F, we could sit here and do play by play break down of the game.

Crack is a terrible drug.

Creighton...your post is a joke, right?

1) Forte isn't injured. Like Cutler he got held out b/c of Lovie's decision.
2) You declare McClellin is a bust...after one meaningless preseason game?
3) Peepers? PEPPERS didn't play because it was Lovie's decision.
4) You skipped this number...so not only can you not spell, you also can't count.
5) Urlacher will be back soon and will definitely play in 2012.
6) Hardin will be a heck of a player. He hadn't played in a game since 2010 and was a bit tentative out there but he'll be fine.
7) The turf was a huge improvement over last year.
9) (9 comes after 8 BTW) Jeffery will be a great player for a long time.
8) (8 goes before 9 BTW) Who are your "sources", the voices in your head?
10) I at least agree with you that Webb sucks. He did better this year though than last so that's at least somewhat encouraging. But he needs to be put on a bus out of town and to never set foot in Illinois again.

Sorry buddy but that is not me. Don't know who it is and don't really care. But the guy that wrote that is just joking around. You should be able to tell that by looking at it.

Kevin they are never going to move Briggs, it's not even a concern. Te Bears know what Briggs does well and while he knows the defense as well as Lch he is not close to having his coverage ability. To replace Lach in middle you need an exceptional coverage LB to defend the middle seam. Nobody has ever done it better than Urlalcher in this defense, in fact nobody has even been close to it. He is the only reason the defense is still viable the way Smith runs it. Imagine how space the safeties would have to cover without Urlacher. Considering how deep they play it would be next to impossible. The guy that allows them to defend that deep is Brian. Without it him the safeties are pulled in and teams can go over the top, plus TE's and receivers will really kill you on slants without him.

People talk about the pass rush but without Urlacher in the middle it won't matter because teams will just go back to the classic cover 2 beater with slants. I don't know how they are going to find another Brian after he retires, best coverage LB I have ever seen. You will notice that even with the addition of Peppers, the defense has only been as good as Brian has. In his prime it was top 3, now days with his age it's top 14. The 3 tech, the ends, none of it matters without him and his coverage abilities. The defense just will not work without a guy like him in the middle.

I think you kids are making too much out of a preseason game, peppers, urlacher, cutler, forte, none of them played because the preseason doesnt matter, if this kind of game is happening in week 9 then you can open your mouths and talk until then keep them shut because you 2, creighton and suckchitown obviously do not know football at all to be running your mouths and making predictions based on what our 2nd and 3rd teams did against theirs. and for christ's sake creighton learn how to spell i feel like i was reading retarded third graders essay. like i said preseason doesnt matter, I am a die hard bears fan and I didnt watch the game and am not worrying in the slightest about the regular season, because I understand how the NFL works unlike these two retards thinking the season is already over because of a preseason loss....haha you 2 kids are jokes

By watching Breaking Bad, I also learned Meth is pretty awful, too!

Nope, it was the crack talking. Then it was the meth talking. Soon I plan on moving on to Cocaine, then LSD and fianlly Heroine. It's a five step program. I would not have been addicted but then Sean told me about this show Breaking Bad. And I became addicted and now I write posts that I don't remember writing. Damn you Brian Cranston why must you make Meth and drugs look so intresting. It's all Sean's fault, thanks Sean. Now I gotta go get my fix.

Don't believe those posts guys it's the devil talking, he got them devil drugs in me. Makes me say things I don't want to and I don't even remember doing it.

I have mixed emotions about not playing starters in pre-season games. Certainly the coaches need to look at the newcomers in game situations, but starters need to get in there butting heads as well. P. Manning obviously adjusted to the Bronco offense and made the Bear D. look pretty pathetic at times, actually most of the time. I am less optimistic about this season than I was before that fiasco against Denver. Let's hope the Bears shape up a quantum jump in the next game. They act mostly like a team in total disarray.

Way too much comment for a totally meaningless game in Preseason.

Next week will be a little better and then week three we may see what the Bears have for a half or more in that game.

It is preseason and nothing more.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Potash published on August 10, 2012 11:13 AM.

What not to look for in Bears' preseason opener was the previous entry in this blog.

Bears rookie Brandon Hardin learns quickly in NFL debut is the next entry in this blog.

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