Written by: John Stocco
Week one of the preseason has come and gone, and if you love overreactions, then this week is the best of the year. I’m not trying to be too cool for preseason because who likes that guy at the bar? It’s nice to see football back and it’s nice to see young players make a great first impression. The main goal during these four weeks is to not get carried away. There was once upon a time I thought Jeremy Langford was the next future star on the Bears. Now he’s not even in the NFL, and I don’t want to make that mistake ever again. Here were the highs and the lows of game one of the Bears’ preseason:
Just what we all expected: David Montgomery is exactly the type of running back every NFL team is looking for. Fluid in the backfield possesses great ball carrier vision, can break tackles just as much as he can break ankles, and is a smooth receiver. Montgomery rushed for 16 yards on three attempts and caught 30 yards on three receptions. Nothing spectacular, but it’s the way he looked and the way he ran the ball that the Bears loved about him at Iowa State. He ran and caught well last night, but next week I’d love to see Montgomery in more blocking schemes.
Roquan Smith is going to be a stud in 2019. Smith didn’t even have a training camp last year as a rookie and he still led the best defense in football in tackles. Going into his second year in the NFL, Smith looks faster, stronger, and overall a better football player. All in all, everyone on the Bears' defense looked good. When you look at the depth chart, there are only about five spots that are up for grabs on this defense. Smith is no doubt the starting linebacker, but defensive players like Roy Robertson-Harris, Isiah Irving, and Deion Bush are plug and play players that looked like they belong.
The next man up. I called Bush this moniker when HaHa Clinton-Dix was put on the PUP list because I believe he’s ready to be a starter in this league. During Thursday’s contest, he looked like he was playing for a starting spot, displaying big hits, deflecting passes, and coming up with an interception. It’s a big year for Bush because, just like Clinton-Dix, he’s a free agent at the end of the season. It was a great first night for safety out of Miami.
The kicker of the night. Fry makes a PAT (impressive for our standards), and as the Bears were lined up for a 43-yard kick, Ron Rivera iced the kicker like the NFC Championship was on the line, and Fry nailed it. Fry showed his cool composure under pressure, and it’s what the Bears needed to see.
No more fun, time to look at the cons.
He missed one kick he attempted to make from 48 yards out but still connected on a chip shot from 23 yards out. If I took a shot every time Jim Miller said Pineiro had a big leg, I’d be drunk. At this point, it’s not about the distance; it’s about needing to see kicks go in.
Punt Coverage Team
Special teams was a problem all last year, and things didn’t look any better on Thursday night. Too many times, Panthers return man Terry Godwin missed tackles and gained extra yards. The elite teams have great special teams, and the Bears need to find answers on each level of this area.
It was a disappointing night, but I don’t blame the receivers. Mitch Trubisky didn’t throw a pass, Chase Daniel kept throwing to Ryan Nall in the flat, and with all due respect, there’s a reason why Tyler Bray is Tyler Bray. I really want to see the backups air it out to receivers like Javon Wims, Riley Ridley, Emanuel Hall, and Thomas Ives.
Up next, the Bears are set to play the New York Giants next Friday night from Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. Stay right here for Chicago Bears coverage all throughout the season.