David Haugh presents the five players he believes need to play well on Saturday night against the Buffalo Bills. They are Adrian Peterson, Craig Steltz, Marcus Harrison, Rashied Davis and Frank Omiyale. Peterson is a coach's favorite and a stellar special teams performer. Steltz and Harrison will be on this roster but need to prove they're ready to contribute on a regular basis. We know Rash can get open but can he catch the ball, especially thrown with Cutler's velocity? Omiyale may not earn the starting job but he'll become the first man off the bench - essential with an aging left tackle.
Here are three more players I believe need a solid performance Saturday night. It's not a make or break opportunity but it is essential they begin to show something against real life competition.
Forget about Caleb's individual performance. Davis, Iglesias, Rideau, Aromashodu and Knox are going to see the bulk of their action when Hanie is in the game. If he's throwing ducks around the field and scrambling like an Asian kid at a video arcade, the evaluation process will be worthless. Hanie must be poised and he must be accurate.
I've written about the demands on Vash this summer and they begin Saturday night. If I'm Lovie Smith - and at last check I am not - I am lining Nate up in front of Terrell Owens on every single snap. If a nagging toe injury keeps T.O. sidelined, then Lee Evans. Send a message to Vasher that he needs to earn the right to be on the field come Green Bay. Test not only his ability but also his resolve.
Chris Williams has done nothing as a professional football player except cash very large paychecks and most media members and fans are treating him like a foregone success at right tackle. He's not...yet. Williams needs a couple solid efforts so as not to ring the alarm inside Halas Hall. Once the left guard is selected, this unit needs a few weeks to gel. If Williams plays with the dominance he showed at the end of his college career, the Bears can enter the 2009 season with one of the better right sides in the league.
So the question is...who do you think needs to make an impact Saturday night?