Pass: DEN – C. Hanie: 7/14, 79yrds
Rush: DEN – X. Omon: 7car, 36yrds, 1TD
Defense: DEN – D. Wolfe: 3tack, 2sacks
At least it's just the preseason. That's the mindset that Bears fans are in right now after Chicago got trashed by the Denver Broncos in their preseason opener. Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, Julius Peppers and Brian Urlacher all sat out the game which aided the lopsided victory for the Broncos but it was still troubling that the reserves got body slammed so hard.
Things started out nice with Major Wright intercepting a Peyton Manning pass that D.J. Moore deflected. That interception ended the Broncos opening drive and Manning's only of the game. But it was all downhill from there with Major Wright leaving the game after his pick and Michael Bush killing the drive Wright set up with a fumble.
Shea McClellin looked impressive in the first half and nearly had a three sack game. Instead he finished with just one but tallied three tackles.
The first half ended with McClellin delivering a helmet to chin hit on Broncos quarterback Caleb Haine. He was flagged for a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty and you can bet that the rookie will be a little lighter in the wallet. The NFL hates it when veterans make those kinds of hits let alone rookies in their first game.
But the hit showed that McClellin wasn't afraid to get after it. He showed a high motor when he was on the field and was always in hot pursuit of the quarterback. If this was any indication of McClellin's ceiling, the Bears are in for a solid pick if he continues to develop.
The bad part of the night was — well everything else. Jason Campbell started the game for the Bears but couldn't get anything going, even with rookie wideout Alshon Jeffery on the field. Josh McCown wasn't any better and Matt Blanchard was just as horrible.
The question you need to ask is whether this was the fault of the quarterbacks, the coaching staff or the offensive line. The offensive line was sadly the most ugly part of the night. J'Marcus Webb got the start at left tackle and he stunk it up pretty horrendously. He was called for a false start at the start of the second quarter and continued to be a pillow on the left side.
Mike Tice sent Webb a massive message by leaving him in the entire game. Tice believes that Webb can be the starting left tackle and even though his performance on Thursday was just the most awful thing I've ever seen in my life (okay that's overstating it), Tice let Webb know the job isn't his yet.
He needs to earn that.
Webb can do that by working on those penalties and just about every other aspect of his game in camp. Chris Williams, Webb's primary competition for the left tackle spot, played at his natural position of right tackle. Tice leaving Webb in even when fourth string quarterback Blanchard was under center hopefully sent the right message to him.
Only time will tell if Webb gets with the program.
The Bears first preseason game was an abomination but it's just that: the first preseason game. There's plenty of room for improvement but clearly there is improvement needed. Granted there was not key starters out there, the Bears still can't be a team of a few good players and a bunch of awful ones. That's no way to win a Super Bowl.
The Bears get the Washington Redskins next up in the preseason August 18th at home in Soldier Field.
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