Players made statements on both sides of the ball as the Bears won their preseason opener 34-28 over Philadelphia Friday night. The offense continued to look among the NFL's elite and the defense looked improved against the Eagles first team offense. The game gave opportunities for many players to make a statement Friday night.
Starters, backups and players battling for a position on the team all looked impressive Friday night. Here is a look at the five most impressive.
Zach Miller Tight End
Often confused with Seahawks and former Raiders tight end Zach Miller, the new Bear made a statement Friday night. He has not played in a regular season NFL game since 2011. In three NFL seasons, Miller has 45 catches for 470 yards and four touchdowns.
Marcellus Bennett's suspension gave Miller and Dante Rosario a chance to play more snaps that they would have with Bennett in the game. Miller caught six passes for 68 yards and scored two touchdowns. His first came from Jay Cutler and second from Jordan Palmer. This shows his ability to be able to get open and work with different Quarterbacks.
Asked about Miller on the radio broadcast, Jay Cutler said
" Got a good feel for Zach [Miller] and obviously the first-team guys, I know them the best. Having Zach in there, I was perfectly comfortable with him."
The Bears Quarterbacks
All of the Bears Quarterbacks looked comfortable running the offense. Cutler, Jordan Palmer and Jimmy Clausen all through touchdown passes and rookie David Fales also impressed. The Bears finished 29-44 for 399 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions.
Fales connected on a 41 yard completion to josh Bellamy on his first NFL throw and later led a 16 play, 73 yard drive over 7:50 to give the Eagles the ball with 1;50 left down six to try and win the game.
Clausen also hit on a big play with a 73 yard touchdown pass to Canadian import Chris Willams. According to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, Clausen audibled out of a running play on the play.
Chris Williams Wide Receiver
Like Miller, Williams is not the former Bears offensive line bust. Williams was on New Orleans Roster last season but did not play. He had a major impact in Canada. In three seasons in the CFL he had over 3,000 All-Purpose yards and 17 receiving touchdowns. He had six return touchdowns in the 2010 season, setting a CFL record.
It's not clear why the Bears didn't use him on returns last night. With Devin Hester gone to Atlanta, the Bears returnmen seem to be in flux.
Williams showed explosiveness and breakaway speed on the 73 yard touchdown.
Phil Emery made defense the priority in free agency and the draft this offseason. Upgrading the safety position is paramount to the Bears improving a woeful 2013 defense. Wilson was a five time pro-bowler with Arizona before missing the 2013 season with New England.
Against Philadelphia he had three tackles, a pass defense and a big hit in the second half. The Bears have a plethora of candidates for the two safety spots. If Wilson returns to anything close to the way he played in Arizona, it would be a big coup for the Bears defense.
With Marquess Wilson gone for 2-3 months, the battle for the Bears third wide receiver will be important. Spurlock had four recptions for 56 yards and scored the go ahead touchdown.
He has spent seven years in the NFL as primarily a kick and punt returner. He has a 24.2 KOR average and a 9.1 on punt returns. He also has two punt returns and three kickoffs returns for touchdowns in his career.