If you've ever had bed bugs, you know why I've been one-and-done posting the last couple days. Needless to say I'm looking forward to getting the Bears on the television set tomorrow night and watching the entire first half in slow motion. (Not kidding about this. It's the only way to evaluate linemen.)
Here are the players I'm watching...
I know the roster battle between Aroma and Rideau is gaining the media attention but the most we can expect from either of these guys during the season is 25-30 catches. Hester has become the big question mark on the offense and for the first time in his career he's being routinely criticized in the media. He needs a big fake game response and it's imperative that Ron Turner and Jay Cutler do everything in their power to help provide one. I'd like to see a few short, slanty-type routes to get some rhythm going.
This is Big Toe's Super Bowl. With Dusty D's truck broken down on Mike Brown Boulevard, Matt has a chance to solidify his position in the defensive tackle rotation for the duration of the 2009 season. I hope Lovie doesn't wait till the second half - against backups - to give the guy extensive playing time.
With the fake games, it is all about steady improvement and no player improved more from the first fake game to the second fake game than Nathan Vasher. He was far-from-lost in coverage and looked more confident as a tackler than I've seen him in years. Kyle Orton doesn't have the arm to really test the secondary down the field but he can be terrifically accurate underneath. Tackling will be key for the corners...especially Vash.
Frank Omiyale, Olin Kreutz, Roberto Garza
The middle of the offensive line struggled against the big defensive tackles of the Giants, outside of a few plays. The Broncos defense is not good and I'm looking to see these three guys dominate inside and spring Matt Forte to some big runs on obvious running downs. Omiyale may have been handed the job at left guard but with the improving Josh Beekman on the bench, the Bears will have a short leash.
I really like what Luke McCown did the other night for the Bucs, specifically his ability to make plays with his legs. Hanie can't afford to miss open receivers all over the field and maintain his status as the backup quarterback. For the confidence of both the player and the coaches, Caleb needs to show the consistency required to be successful and win games.