The First-Team's Best Offense Was Its Defense (Thanks to Kyle Fuller) and Other Bullets

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The First-Team’s Best Offense Was Its Defense (Thanks to Kyle Fuller) and Other Bullets

Chicago Bears News

The Chicago Bears have played two preseason games and have exactly zero (0) wins to show for it. But on the bright side, none of the team’s key players suffered a serious injury last night.

Hey, it’s the preseason. If now isn’t the time to lean toward the bright side of things, then when?

  • And this is EXACTLY why they play preseason games:

  • Before we dive into the ugliness, we have to highlight the one shining moment for the first-team offense – which came on the first play from scrimmage. Mitch Trubisky took the first snap out of the shotgun formation and uncorked a deep pass down the left sideline that fell incomplete. The pass intended for Kevin White was symbolic, in that it represented the idea that this offense (and frankly, this whole Bears thing) was going to look different this year. Even if it wasn’t successful, the Bears showed a willingness to take a shot and push the envelope. I like that train of thought and hope it’s a sign of things to come. Well, except for the incomplete pass. Someone catch the thing next time.
  • The other positive takeaway was seeing Kyle Long back in the starting lineup … even if he played just one series. He is an important piece to the offensive line puzzle and someone who can drive things for a group of blockers who could use some veteran leadership. Otherwise, that group had its fair share of issues.
  • Overall, Thursday’s performance by the first-team offense against the Cincinnati Bengals left a lot to be desired. Trubisky completed just 2 of 4 passes for one yard in two series that looked clunky, disjointed, and out of sync. There wasn’t much to take from Trubisky’s eight-play appearance other than the feeling that there is still a lot of work to do before this Bears team becomes as good as it think it is and can be moving forward.
  • Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: The Bears’ offense turned out to be the defense:

  • I don’t care that the receiver fell down on his route. Kyle Fuller had the read and the positioning, hence you saw No. 23 jump the route, come away with a pick, and a score. Fuller led the team in pass breakups last year, so it’s notable to see him come away with an interception – even if it was just a preseason game.
  • And when you get a chance, re-watch that and keep your eyes on Leonard Floyd. Without Floyd pressuring Dalton there, that interception isn’t thrown.
  • Let’s admit that it’s (at best) tough to judge an offense where Jordan Howard, Tarik Cohen, and Allen Robinson did not play. With that in mind, I won’t press the panic button. We’ll see what Trubisky and the offense looks like with a full complement of playmakers alongside him, though my fear is that we might have to wait until (traditional) Preseason Week 3 before we get a good grasp of the situation.
  • Even if those players were in the lineup, I feel as if it would be difficult to build a rhythm in eight plays over two series. That’s why I hoped to see at least one more series from the first-string offense. Looking good in practice is one thing, but it’s impossible to re-create game speed in a training camp setting and building a rapport should be a high priority. They still have three preseason games to get the ball rolling in the right direction, but my preference would have been to get things going starting on Thursday night.
  • Hey, it wasn’t all bad for the offense last night:

  • There is an argument to be made for James Daniels being the Bears’ best offensive player last night. Daniels was the second-team’s center and he looked like a natural while returning to his original position. His run-blocking cleared space and made a strong impression. There’s a non-zero percent chance that Daniels is the best center on this team. And after watching Whitehair struggle with a holding penalty and a bad snap with the first unit, we’ll need to keep a closer eye on this situation as it develops.
  • Bears tight ends earned a game ball as a collective unit on Thursday. Adam Shaheen caught all three passes thrown to him and gained 53 yards in the first half. He showed an ability to run routes, create separation, and soft hands in hauling in passes. The 2017 Bears didn’t use Shaheen often enough, so the hope here is that this gets him moving toward a bigger role in the 2018 team’s offense.
  • Elsewhere at the position: Daniel Brown was the team’s leading receiver (5 catches, 90 yards), Ben Braunecker caught a 20-yard pass, and Collin Thompson added a catch for six yards. Even Trey Burton got into the action with a five-yard grab. Altogether, Bears tight ends caught 11 passes for 174 yards. That’ll work.
  • Here’s a familiar refrain we were hoping not to repeat in 2018:

  • The Bears allowed a 43-yard gain on a fake punt that netted an additional 15 yards on DeMarcus Ayers’ violation of the helmet rule. I’m not sure what was more ridiculous: Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis pulling the fake punt out of the bag in the preseason and putting it on tape for everyone to see or a return specialist getting dinged for the helmet rule. I wasn’t even mad. In fact, I was actually impressed. Only the Bengals!

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Luis Medina

Luis is the Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation Bears, and you can find him on Twitter at @lcm1986.