Reporting Laurence Holmes
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By: Laurence Holmes-
(WSCR) The third game is the most important in the pre-season. Teams put in a minimal game-plan, but try not to show too much of what they want to accomplish in the regular season. For some guys, it’s a good chance to make a move on the depth chart because the level of responsibility goes up.
Here are a few of the things I’ll be looking at Saturday:
Does Roy Williams want a job?
The Bears have said he’s out of shape and had drops against the Giants. He says that neither is the case. Perhaps the problem is that the Bears allowed him to be named a starter without him actually competing. Or maybe Roy is just a diva. Either way, the team would like to see more out of him. Saturday is a good opportunity. I’m guessing he’ll see a lot of Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan, so his toughness is going to be tested by one of the feistiest corners in the game. Darryl Drake openly challenged Williams by saying that Johnny Knox is “hungry”. Jay Cutler admitted that they wanted to go to him early last week. I suspect that will be the case Saturday. Here’s a step-up opportunity… Will Roy answer the bell?
I was impressed with the offensive line’s protection of Cutler. He had time to throw and made plays because of it. Can J’Marcus Webb and Gabe Carimi do that when they’re actually being targeted and attacked? Expect blitzes and line-stunts from Tennessee. I’m looking forward to seeing how this line communicates and adjusts from call-to-call. I think the only thing standing in the way of Chris Spencer getting a shot is Lance Louis’ play. He was OK vs. the Giants, but he has to show it again and again if he wants to stop looking over his shoulder.
I’m fairly comfortable with Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman, but the depth behind them is still a question mark. D.J. Moore has told me that eventually he’d like to be a corner, but he’s happy to make plays at nickel. He and Corey Graham struggled a bit and their size is an issue vs. bigger receivers. Joshua Moore has been hanging around for a couple of years and all of it has been underwhelming. He has a chance to impress. He needs to take advantage of that.
The first unit was sloppy in the red zone vs.the Giants. Who are this team’s targets when they get near the goal line? The Bears tried a couple times to get the ball to Hester. I’m not sure that he should be the first option. Kellen Davis has been a very good in camp. He needs to be given some opportunities because he’s got good hands and is a very big target. This is also a place where Roy Williams should have a bigger impact.
It was very clear that Lovie Smith was unhappy with the defense and special teams. There were a lot of missed tackles on both units. Will they be more engaged with a clear plan of attack? Kick coverage was horrendous and there was a break down on punt protection. I expect that not to be an issue vs. Tennessee.
I’ll be in Nashville for the game so follow me on Twitter (@lholmes670) for all the latest. I’ll keep you updated on what I see once I get to the stadium.