By Chris Emma—
(CBS) And you thought preseason games were boring, meaningless money grabs for NFL owners, played mostly by guys who won’t be in the league come the regular season?READ MORE: Dixmoor Sends Plea For Help As Water Pressure Down To A Trickle In Parts Of South Suburb
Then came the debut of Bears rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and the hype train left the station, even if it was just the preseason and he wouldn’t acknowledge it.
“I don’t know what hype you’re talking about,” Trubisky said Wednesday at Halas Hall.
Either Trubisky is truly living the isolation to which he referred entering training camp or he’s a veteran at giving little for the media. Either way, you don’t have to search far to find the hype.
Trubisky was quick to remind that he has plenty of work ahead. Saturday night in Arizona brings that next stage. It’s likely that Trubisky will play the entire second half, and he’ll do so facing some different looks from an attacking Cardinals defense. Trubisky will be tested more not just by the foe but also by Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains.
How Trubisky manages Saturday night will be one of several storylines to watch.
Second verse different than the first?
It was just one quarter of a preseason game, starting quarterback Mike Glennon reminded of his rough showing in his Bears debut last week.
“I’m eager to get on to Arizona,” he said after going 2-for-8 and posting a 0.0 quarterback rating.
Glennon will get a more thorough opportunity against the Cardinals. While Bears coach John Fox hasn’t defined the quarterback structure for this game, it’s typical to see the starter work most of the first half.
Glennon must display a better command of the offense this time around. In the opener, he wasn’t in sync with his receivers, the group with which he has worked to build a bond. The offense had little flow with the leadership of Glennon, but it was just a small sample size.
The greatest test for Glennon will be how he responds mentally as Trubisky breathes down his neck. Does he have the confidence to maintain the starting job?
Opportunity is knocking for cornerback Kyle Fuller, whose place on the Bears’ roster has remained uncertain entering this season.READ MORE: Funston Elementary School Briefly Locked Down In Logan Square After Two Shootings Near Campus
Prince Amukamara suffered a hamstring injury and is day-to-day, according to Fox. It’s unlikely that Amukamara would be thrust into action for a preseason contest as he mends a soft-tissue injury. With that, Fuller should have a significant chance to prove his place.
Fuller needs every rep to influence the Bears’ brass. He lost favor after missing the entire 2016 season working back from an August knee procedure, with defensive coordinator Vic Fangio even questioning the desire of Fuller to return. Still, the Bears kept Fuller around and are giving him the chance.
Every bit of action that receiver Kevin White receives during the preseason can be considered a positive step in his development.
The Bears’ first-round pick in 2015, White remains a man of mystery after playing just four games in two seasons. His potential and abilities after two surgeries to the same left leg are uncertain.
The Bears are giving White the opportunity to shine as a starting receiver, but as Glennon struggled, he didn’t have a catch in the preseason opener. The Bears want want to see White’s production play out on the field.
The early returns to Leonard Floyd’s second NFL season are positive, as he looks like a different, improved player.
Floyd is learning to use a bulked-up frame to get by blockers and appears to be much more confident with his hands. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio has offered good feedback to what Floyd has shown him during the preseason.
Game action is crucial for Floyd, who’s still learning and adjusting to this level. Every rep counts, and Floyd should see his share Saturday.
The Bears have a kicker competition, something not anticipated just a week ago. The team is hoping that veteran Connor Barth will be challenged by newcomer Roberto Aguayo, the 2016 second-round pick of the Buccaneers who was released last weekend.
Whether Aguayo will be used in Saturday’s game remains to be seen. Action in an NFL stadium could be positive for his confidence – or potentially harmful.MORE NEWS: FDA Grants Emergency Use Authorization For Moderna And Johnson & Johnson's COVID Vaccine Booster Shots