Three Players Under a Microscope

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.

Caleb Hanie
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.      
Nathan Vasher
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
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?

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  • FIRST! your right about vash jeff. Lovie should line his ass up right against owens! lets see if he still has it in him. who is our starting Dbacks as of far?

  • While I respect, and often agree with, David Haugh, I give the nod to Jeff's three "on-the-spot this Saturday" choices.

    Are yours listed in order of importance, oh Master of Da blog?
    I agree with the choices but I would stack them as follows: 1) Vasher. 2) Williams. 3) Haney.

    For me, Vasher's a shoo-in at the #1 "Show us something" slot.
    Let's face it, with all the hammies and bad discs and resulting position shuffling the secondary, at the moment, looks like a train wreck.

    Williams. Is he a tackle worthy of that #1 pick? Can he at LEAST become a Keith Van Horne, who I BELIEVE was also drafted to play left tackle but settled in nicely on the other side. Or does Chris join the ranks of, sigh, Lionel Antoine and Stan Thomas?

    Haney. I sure enjoyed watching him play LAST pre-season.
    Has he progressed? Is he a capable back-up?

    Gotta go set the recorder for Saturday night.

  • People got too down on Nate. Show us something ? He's a Pro Bowler that returned a missed field goal 103 yards for a TD. Has wussed out a little in recent times, but respect must be paid, he's a Pro Bowler and we don't have many. Pick 3 safeties ... any 3 ...

  • I am psyched for Saturday....Eight row on the Bears sideline. There are a lot of players to watch in this first game with a lot of young talent being evaluated. Smith said he will keep the starters on the field well into the second quarter. It will be interesting to see how the starting offense moves the ball.

  • Can you believe Michael Vick is a Philadelphia Eagle?

  • No. It doesn't make sense to sign him there, to be honest, unless they believe Kolb is seriously injured. They don't need the outside threat and they have the most thin-skinner quarterback in the league. McNabb can say what he wants about "lobbying" to bring Vick there but I don't buy it. Those fans are angry and dumb. McNabb throws some of those trademark ankle jobs and they'll be screaming for Vick.

  • I haven't quite figured out the Vick thing. In the press conference, Donovan did not look thrilled, and the whole "basically lobbied to get him here" - well, what does "basically" mean? You did or you didn't. I am going to spend the next season tortu...uhm, harassing all of the Eagles fans I know over this.
    And to Jeff's point, if Iggles fans think McNabb throws ducks every once in awhile, wait until Vick has to actually make a throw on the move.

  • Vasher's accomplishments, brilliant though they were, are old news, Irish. That was then. This is now. All he's shown for the last 2 seasons is his tail as he chases after a receiver he just missed in between trips to the I.R.

    T.O. will not be playing Saturday night. Yep, I pre-season game is about his quota isn't it?

  • Is it just me, or does it look like if Andy Reid's belt ever gives way there will be meat on all 4 walls? Yo, Andy. Call Nutri- Systems. Or Jenny Craig. Or Weight watchers. Or a Doc who handles gastric bypass surgey, and QUICK! You look like a walking heart-attack-waiting-to-happen!

  • What I'll be watching for on Saturday:

    1. Can the defensive line (specifically Mark Anderson and 'Wale) get after the Buffalo QB? The Bills O-Line is awful, so if the d-line can't get after it against Buffalo, it could be a bad sign Rod's magic formula hasn't quite taken affect yet.

    2. Rashied Davis v. Devin Aromashodu. Who is going to make the most of their playing time with J-Cut? The two are probably both playing for only one roster spot. Let's see what they've got.

    3. Afalava/Bullocks v. Stletz - At the weakest spot on the entire team, one of these guys has to step up and show the coaching staff they can handle the responsibility of the FS position.

    Of course the competition at SLB should be fun to watch as well.

  • I think the addition of Vick to the smeagles adds a lot of versatility to their offensive package. The possibilities are pretty crazy... Vick lined up as a running back, Vick getting pitches and tossing it back to McNabb, Vick split out as a receiver, Vick direct snap-roll out passes, Vick off the bench when McNabb gets injured. I'm just sayin, he might not be at starting QB status, but I believe that he is still lightning in a bottle and it could be interesting to watch what capacity they use him in, if any.

  • Coming soon to lincoln financial field....Dog Rape Night....

  • 9:10pm CDT.

    KO is about to take his first live snaps as a Bronco.

    Live on NFL Network.

  • Bam, Bam, Bam! KO 6 for 7. 1st and goal Bronocs but...Whoops! On 2nd a goal he stares down his target and gets picked. I think the noise you hear is BOOING in Denver.

  • Orton just threw his THIRD interception and on the next play Alex Smith hit his receiver in the same endzone where Dwight Clark made his magic happen.

    I'm glad we have Jay.

  • 2nd Series for Orton. Broncos moving the ball well once again when...UH-OH, the drive ends around the 49er 30 with a second INT. Looks like KO stared down that intended receiver too. This will NOT play well in the Mile-High City.

  • Kyle was a real soldier for us, and I wish him the best, but it is not going to end well in Denver. I honestly don't anticipate that he'll be starting by the time we play them (yes, in two weeks).

  • PLEASE HELP!!! I now live in San Diego (until August 2010). I need to find a place to watch Bears games while I finish my fellowship. Anybody know any Bears fans in San Diego who can recommend a place? I found one place on the net, but it sounds like it's filled with frat boys who'd rather pump themselves and pop their collars than watch football. HELP!!

  • Wow. I didn't realize 2008 Ryan Leaf Biggest Pussy in the NFL Award winner Brandon Lloyd got hired by Denver. Interesting. He's wearing Shannon Sharpe's legendary number, in fact.

  • In reply to TheGhostofHalas:

    He'll be good for three amazing catches this year, and 6-8 missed games due to a pulled v*****.

  • McDaniel left him in for a THIRD pick? After 2! Who sends their "starting QB" out for a 3rd series in the first pre-season game? Is that whacked or what?

    Anybody in or near Denver? Is there rioting in the streets yet?

    What do you think the the OVER & UNDER on plays for Cutler vs. Bills.

    2 Series? A Dozen snaps or so?

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    Wonder-boy is having a no good, very bad, horrible day/week/month; Denver is going to learn to hate their head coach very quickly.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    anybody see the stat sheet on ceds 28 yards in his game, it included a lost fumble with a 3.5 yard average. Thomas jones on the other hand carried the ball 9 times for a whopping 13 yards.

    as was said previously, 3 int's, wow, I say it would have been positive to sit him after the first drive didn't result in a Td, if it was a good drive, they saw what they needed, he could have had some confidence going into next weeks practice, now all he is going to think about is those 3 int's. Leaving him in there made him get rid of his "game manager" persona and he was trying to make or force something positive to happen. The question is will he learn from his looking down the receiver problem or will he go into a shell of playing it too safe now. this will probably establish chris simms as the starter, unless they give him one more chance.

    On another note, tomorrow's most notable game other than our own will be the KC vs TX game which features Rex vs Mike. I will be checking stats on it as I hope the best for both of them too.

    BEAR DOWN, 17ish hours, its been a long wait.

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    not to forget Mark bradley receiving throws from Matt astle

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    Watching the first episode of HARD KNOCKS and I think the Bengals are now collecting degenerates and weirdos. Ocho, Tank, Roy Williams...

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    Hahahaha!! I have to admit I absolutely enjoyed Kyle's little melt down last night. The guy sucks. Those wounded ducks hey was throwing anytime he had to throw the ball more then 10 yards really told the tale. It really reminded me of the season defining game of last year at the metrodome when he threw 3 picks on 7 passes.
    I'm so glad we're done with that garbage!! We have a real quarterback now! Jay! Jay! Jay!

  • In reply to Albertintucson:

    Eric Kuselias, one of the few 4-Letter Network radio hosts I respect and enjoy and who automatically improves ANY of the shows he fills in on, notably MIKE & MIKE and COLIN COWHERD, said the following about the Buffalo Bills this morning on his regular show:

    "This is the WORST OFFENSIVE LINE in football".

    And he was EMPHATIC about it.

    Translation: Rod Marinelli's "Rushmen" had BETTER be seen getting after the QB tonight!

    Eric also interviewed Jeff Dickerson from ESPN 1000 in Chicago, about the Bears and Dickerson echoed my guess about Cutler's workload tonight. 2 series and/or 12-15 plays.
    He also said expect to see a lot of Kevin Jones and sang the praises of Earl Bennett and the obvious chemistry with JC. Their discussion also made me aware of the fact that Bennett is not just the ALL-TIME leader in receptions Vandy, but in the entire SEC, which has turned out more than a couple of decent NFL wideouts.

  • All

  • All kidding

  • All kidding aside,

  • I feel BAD for KO.

  • i liked KO from a sports fan stand point. But he's not good... decent at best. FINALLY denver fans can feel the pain that chicago has endured for 20 years. Crap QB play. add to that the denver crap D and I bet they dont win 5 games this year. Tear.

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