Finding Reps for Trubisky and Chances for Cruz, Jeffery Behind in Philly, Kneeling Browns, and Other Bullets
John Fox knows the future is bright in Chicago:
When the future is so bright, you need fresh shades to see it. pic.twitter.com/kZUTSb1OMy
— The Ten-Yard Line (@TheTenYardLine) August 21, 2017
- Or perhaps Fox needs a special prescription to clearly see the quarterback competition that is growing before his very eyes. When asked about getting Mitch Trubisky snaps and reps with the first team, Fox was surprisingly non-committal in what was the first public statement that wasn’t in full support of starter Mike Glennon. Over at Scout.com, Zack Pearson writes about the Bears’ potential consideration of allowing their rookie quarterback take some time with the first unit and notes Kansas City Chiefs first-round quarterback selection Patrick Mahomes received some first-team reps against the Cincinnati Bengals. However, replicating what the Chiefs did won’t be as easy for the Bears because of how teams traditionally use the third preseason game as a dress rehearsal of sorts.
- To be clear, the Bears have never pegged their quarterback situation as an open competition. But if they were to do so, you could make the case that it hasn’t been much of a fair one to this date, as Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. As expected, Glennon received the bulk of the action in playing the entire first half with the first-team offense while Trubisky wrapped up the game playing the entire fourth quarter. While other rookies such as running back Tarik Cohen and safety Eddie Jackson have climbed the depth chart and earned playing time with the top units, Trubisky has yet to receive those opportunities. His time could come in the third week of preseason, but it doesn’t feel likely based on the first two weeks.
- Rick Morrissey of the Sun-Times spoke with Mitch Trubisky’s mother in hopes to put an end to one quarterback-related debate – is it Mitch or Mitchell? The background regarding Trubisky and the name-game is a bit quirky, and getting his mother on the record in an attempt to put an end to the madness is clutch. For the record, we at TYL like “Mitch.” And we’re going to roll with that until further notice.
- One competition that feels one-sided is at kicker, where – perhaps inspired by competition – Connor Barth seems to have a clear advantage over Roberto Aguayo. ESPN Chicago’s Jeff Dickerson writes Aguayo needs to be perfect in the final two games to even have a shot at knocking off the incumbent Barth, who has been perfect in preseason.
- Quarterbacks aren’t the only ones leaving much to be desired at camp. Victor Cruz seems to have been leap-frogged on the depth chart by Kendall Wright, who worked a bunch with the first team in Saturday’s win and even caught Glennon’s first touchdown pass. Meanwhile, Cruz saw just 18 snaps against the Cardinals – or 11 fewer than Titus Davis and five fewer than Tanner Gentry. ESPN Chicago’s Jeff Dickerson writes Cruz is patiently waiting to make a preseason impact. Coach Fox says the receiving corps has room for improvement, but also notes he sees Cruz primarily as a slot receiver, but didn’t have a reason why Cruz hasn’t seen the same kind of playing time as some of the others in the group.
- One receiver who flashed some upside was Deonte Thompson, whose 109-yard touchdown on a return of a missed field goal could help him stand out from the bunch. Bob LeGere of the Daily Herald writes about the possibility of an expanded role for Thompson, who saw additional looks at receiver last year because of the missed games due to injuries and suspensions at the position. While Thompson is far from a roster lock, he seems to have embraced the competition after the team brought in multiple free agent receivers and return specialists to battle him at every turn.
- Back to Cruz, it’s quite possible the most decorated receiver of the group doesn’t make it onto the season-opening 53-man roster. If that happens to be the case, hopefully it’s because there were several other pass catchers who made strong enough cases during the summer. Even still, it would be a bit of a disappointment for Cruz after it seemed Fox had carved out a niche for him beyond being a token veteran leader.
- Over at The Athletic, Jon Greenberg has an expanded conversation with Cruz, who discusses everything from his support of Colin Kaepernick, Trubisky having the “it” factor, Glennon’s leadership skills, perspective on where he is in his career, life in podcasting, and more. You’re going to want to take some time and read it for yourself.
- While Bears receivers struggle to find their footing this summer, former Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery is off to a slow start with the Philadelphia Eagles. Al Groh, who’s Jeffery’s position coach now and filled the same role with the Bears some years ago, told CSN Philly the former Pro Bowl receiver is behind because of the practice time and reps he has missed while injured this summer. Jeffery disagrees with his coach’s assertion and believes things will be alright once he gets his timing down. It’s the latest chapter in what has been, at times, a star-crossed career for the talented pass catcher.
- Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry showed he wasn’t a fan of preseason football after tweeting his discontent after Odell Beckham suffered an injury during Monday Night Football. It appears as if Beckham avoided a major injury, but you could understand Landry’s perspective. Frankly, if more players feel this way, it should be something that should be at the top of the priority list when the NFL and NFLPA get to the bargaining table before the CBA expires.
- A group of rookies, veterans, starters, and reserves for the Cleveland Browns were kneeling during the national anthem before Monday’s game. Tom Withers writes the group felt compelled to make a stand after the recent events in Charlottesville, Va., with tight end Seth DeValve saying the following: “I wanted to take the opportunity with my teammates during the anthem to pray for our country. And also to draw attention to the fact that we have work to do. And that’s why I did what I did.”
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Officially Official: T.J. Edwards, Tremaine Edmunds, Nate Davis, DeMarcus Walker, and Travis Homer are Chicago Bears