Joniak’s Journal: Opportunity Knocks For Bears Backup QB Brian Hoyer

By Jeff Joniak–

(CBS) — The Bears (0-2) are on the road to face the Cowboys (1-1) on Sunday night. Here are my observations leading into the game.

First impression

Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller was the only player on the injury report in Week 2. Now, 15 Bears decorate the Week 3 report, most notably quarterback Jay Cutler. The presumed starting quarterback is Brian Hoyer, who didn’t have receiver Alshon Jeffrey at practice Thursday due to a sore knee. Hoyer admits the two don’t have much experience with each other, so every lost rep is amplified.

Running the ball successfully in Dallas would ease the pressure on the new offensive line and the backup quarterback. Running it when the Bears want to run it is always the biggest key. Falling behind on the road in Dallas isn’t the recipe for a win. Ball security, first downs and touchdowns are what the Bears will be looking for, at a minimum.

Second thought

Cornerback Jacoby Glenn is tough. His 185-pound, slender build doesn’t scream thumper or blow-up tackler, but his tackling is his strength. He admits to loving tackling, and he works at it after practice every day. Glenn is driven to succeed after growing up in a rough environment in Mobile, Ala.

Earning two starts after Fuller’s camp knee surgery, Glenn is quiet but confident. He will no doubt run into Cowboys star receiver Dez Bryant on occasion Sunday night. Glenn embraces the challenge with a confidence that’s rooted in his childhood and formative years. I will have his story in the second hour of WBBM’s “Countdown to Kickoff” Bears Radio pregame show Sunday night in Dallas.

Third degree

It appears the middle of the Bears defense will look quite different Sunday night in Houston. The likelihood that nose tackle Eddie Goldman will miss the game opens up an opportunity for Will Sutton.

“I know that they trust me,” Sutton said. “I do a pretty good job in the run, but we have guys that can pass rush better than me. Whenever I get my chance, I have to make something happen.”

The veteran plugger was inactive in the first two weeks but flashes a big smile in the locker room. His enthusiasm for the game is infectious on and off the field.

Sutton rushed the passer well in college, and his initial rush in the NFL is great, but finishing at the quarterback is his biggest challenge. I like his confidence, because he’s working on it every day.

The Bears will miss Goldman, who was ready for a breakout season but is now slowed by an ankle injury.

Fourth-and-short

It turns out the Cowboys are having as much trouble winning at home as the Bears.  They have lost 12 of their last 17 games at AT&T Stadium. In 2013, without Jay Cutler, the Bears got 348 passing yards from Josh McCown and four touchdowns against the Cowboys at Soldier Field in a 45-28 win.

Jeff Joniak is the play-by-play announcer for the Bears broadcasts on WBBM Newsradio 780. Follow him on Twitter @JeffJoniak.

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