The third preseason game is traditionally the most important one, so who’s ready to see if the Chicago Bears put on a good show for their dress rehearsal:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) August 27, 2017
- The Bears didn’t plan on having a quarterback competition this summer, but it looks like that’s exactly what they’ve got on their hands. The Mike Glennon vs. Mitch Trubisky angle that has taken over this week wasn’t supposed to be in the cards when the team signed Glennon to a three-year deal and drafted Trubisky to be his understudy. But as time passes, things change and Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune provides interesting perspective with a timeline of the situation, highlighted by what was said before getting to this point.
- Campbell’s Tribune teammate Brad Biggs has an update on Marquise Williams, the quarterback who kept Trubisky on the bench while at North Carolina. Williams was an undrafted free agent who reported to rookie camp with the Minnesota Vikings, and also spent some time with the Green Bay Packers last summer. But now, the former Tar Heels signal caller has a quarterback battle of his own on his hands. Biggs reports Williams currently sits fourth on the depth chart for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL.
- While Williams watches his former college teammate from afar, cornerback Prince Amukamara finds himself impressed with the kind of mobility Trubisky has shown this summer, writes ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson. It’s all part of Trubisky’s transformation from a rookie getting his feet wet during OTAs to a player making some noise and putting pressure on the quarterbacks ahead of him on the depth chart. “I would say he’s definitely ascending. You can see it in the games,” Amukamara told Dickerson. “It’s going to be great just to keep watching him improving.”
- On the defensive side of the ball, Lamarr Houston is a player who believes he is still on the rise. JJ Stankevitz of CSN Chicago writes about the outside linebacker who still hopes to make a positive impact for a Bears defense that has potential but has been dinged by injuries of late. Houston played 17 snaps in what was his first game since tearing his ACL in the second game of the 2016 season, but is in line to continue getting snaps and reps – if he makes the team. Houston could come with a pricey cap hit of $7 million, but the Bears might not be willing to make the call on parting ways with the experienced linebacker because of Pernell McPhee’s uncertain status. McPhee hasn’t practiced or played this summer after an irregularity in his knee led to arthroscopic surgery and placement on the preseason PUP list.
- The Browns are shaking up their quarterbacks room by reportedly naming rookie DeShone Kizer the team’s starting quarterback for the regular season opener. However, Myles Garrett, chosen by Cleveland with the No. 1 overall pick, is stealing the scene by looking the part:
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) August 27, 2017
- Speaking of pass rushers, Eric Edholm of Pro Football Weekly asks where will the Packers get theirs from when the regular season gets underway. Nick Perry and Clay Matthews are expected to be key contributors for what Green Bay hopes is an improved pass defense. Perry, who had 12.5 sacks in his first 46 professional games from 2012 to 2015, had a breakout season in 2016 with a career-best 11 sacks. Matthews has just 11.5 sacks over his last two seasons, but it wasn’t all that long ago when he was a force and registering four double-digit sacks in four of his first six seasons. Highly regarded defensive coordinator Dom Capers will have his work cut out for him this season.
- It looks like the Detroit Lions’ backfield is starting to take shape after Theo Riddick finally made his preseason debut. Detroit has been a pass-happy offense with Matthew Stafford slinging the pigskin around the field in recent years. The 2016 season saw the Lions finish 30th in rushing, and the lack of balance in their attack is something head coach Jim Caldwell is looking to change.
- The Bears aren’t the only team whose offenses are settling for field goals when it should be driving for touchdowns. Sid Hartman of the Minnesota Star-Tribune writes the Vikings have struggled to finish off scoring drives during the preseason. This could be an issue if it lingers into the regular season, especially knowing Minnesota hasn’t quite settled on a kicker just yer.