The Bears kick off their preseason tonight at 7:00pm CT against the defnding Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos. Well, not really. The team that takes the field tonight for the Broncos will most likely look very little like the team that defeated the Panthers way back in February. Besides the free agent loses and players not participating for precautionary reasons there’s the fact that it’s the first preseason game which means starters play very little, if at all.
In one way this is good for the Bears because they would have very little chance of winning against a full-strength Denver team, so the game may very well be competitive. Except it’s not like the Bears are going to be fielding a full team either. Bears starters will play very few snaps and with a rash of injuries thus far at camp numerous players will probably be held out altogether. Not that it matters very much because the first preseason game means very little. And is usually bad.
The Bears had numerous questions coming into the year. Even more have popped up, or been highlighted, during camp. How good will the revamped offensive line look this year, especially now that Hroniss Grasu is out for the year? With Matt Forte gone what will the backfield look like and how good can they be? Kevin White is finally back from injury. Can he be a legitimate #2 WR? Can Alshon Jeffrey stay healthy and be a legitimate #1 WR? With numerous free agent additions, will the front 7 be better and more dynamic this season? Can the inexperienced secondary take a step forward after being bad for most of last year?
It’s exciting seeing how all these things play out. How do these questions get answered? Do the answers portend an improved Bears team or one still mired in mediocrity? Right now there are more questions than answers when it comes to this team. However, one thing I do know is that none of these questions will be answered tonight due to the things mentioned right off the top. It’s the first preseason game and is thereby most meaningless. Yes, some young guys may play well and increase their chances of sticking around for preseason games 3 and 4, maybe even beyond. But if they play well now all it really means is they have a chance to stick around the bottom of the roster or the practice squad. While roster depth is a serious concern for the Bears what should be more concerning is the numerous questions regarding the top of the Bears roster, which again, will not be answered tonight.
I’m not saying don’t watch. I’ll be watching. Just don’t put too much stock in the outcome or individual performances. Simply enjoy the return of football, even if it is bad. And enjoy some of the previews below: