I was unable to watch the first pre-season game last week, how sad. I watched the first half of today's game and I was enthused by what I saw tonight. Outside of that Jay Cutler interception, where he clearly forced the ball into a location where it should not have been forced, the offense moved the ball pretty well. Much will be said about Cutler throwing the ball to Marshall on all 5 attempts, but the sample size is way to small to make any sort of judgement at all on the issue. Although, I would be interested in seeing how the distribution is done next week when the starters will be playing well into the third quarter. I am more than excited by the way the right side of the offensive line played today with Jordan Mills and Kyle Long playing. Granted, the Chargers are not the stiffest of opponents, but they more than held their own. There will be growing pains this season with the right side of the line, but I feel more confident with them in those positions. I believed that Ja'marcus (sp?) Webb would be a great right tackle - based off his performance at the position in 2010. However, it is evident that he is not fitting the bill because his growth has plateaued, where as Mills is skyhigh. It makes sense that the offensive coaches would spend their time developing Mills now and have him well seasoned for September 8th instead of throwing him into the fire in week 4 or 5. I loved the way Matt Forte ran with the ball, and I like the things that Brandon Marshall did. The offense is slowly coming together. I've said that every year, but this year it seems as though there is hope for the offense to come into its own.
The defense has not changed at all. They are still a turnover machine. The defensive line looks phenomenal with Wooten and McClellan playing great football. If you pair that with the return of Peppers and Melton, the defensive line is going to wreak havoc on opposing teams. Even Cornelius Washington is looking good - he is raw, but he has not played his way off the team yet. He is worth keeping around. My goodness. The hit by Jon Bostic was incredible. I think the Bears found their heir apperant to Urlacher in Bostic. He is a rookie and he will make mistakes but he has untapped potential to be a great linebacker in a history of great linebackers. Pair with him Lance Briggs and James Anderson (who also looked good) and the linebacking corps is looking great. When Urlacher was set to not return to the Bears, I talked about how the linebacking corps got better with im leaving, even though he was a integral part of the team. Bostic and Anderson are proving my point. Although Bostic made some mistakes, namely the blown coverage on a Chargers touchdown, he played great. his athleticism is off the charts, and the coaching staff can make the correct changes in the filmroom to make him a better player. I really like the secondary. Tillman and Jennings are your pro-bowlers, but Wright and Conte are a solid duo at the safety postion and barring any injuries, they have stopped the constant rotation at that position that has been seen in recent years. I also really liked Isiah Frey. I actually forgot he existed until this training camp. He came in after the injury to Kelvin Hayden and he was solid He didn't make mistakes and he was around the football, namely the almost forced fumble on the kickoff, and the near fumble recovery on the Bostic hit.
Overall, I like the direction of the Bears team. Once again it depends on the offense, and if they come together then they can surprise some people this year. This time, I think that the offense can catch up to the defense.
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