Happy Birthday, Mitch! Edebali Impresses, Smith Plays it Slow, Leading with the Helmet, and Other Bullets

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Happy Birthday, Mitch! Edebali Impresses, Smith Plays it Slow, Leading with the Helmet, and Other Bullets

Chicago Bears

I spent a chunk of my Sunday with Michael watching Yu Darvish’s dissapointing and abbreviated rehab start in South Bend, Indiana. Here’s hoping the rest of our Sundays aren’t as frustrating from a Bears standpoint.

  • It happened. Just like that:

  • The Bears have already played three preseason games, but we are rapidly approaching Preseason Week 3 a.k.a. “the most important week of the preseason.” This is when we’ll see first-team offenses and defenses play well into the third quarter. It’s a dress-rehearsal of sorts. That the Bears will host the Kansas City Chiefs, setting up a teacher (Andy Reid) versus student (Matt Nagy) showdown, adds extra spice to the matchup.
  • Of course, that doesn’t mean the preseason games that’ve past weren’t important. To the contrary, every preseason game means something for a whole bunch of somebodies on the Bears’ 90-man preseason roster. Take Cre’von LeBlanc, for example. Because the Bears are taking it easy with Prince Amukamara (groin injury) during the preseason, LeBlanc has been given an expanded opportunity to show what he has to offer. And while fielding a pair of punts inside-the-5 isn’t a great way to make a strong impression, LeBlanc also did this:

  • A Bears defense looking to create more turnovers (which would lead to more offensive possessions, and, in turn, the possibility of more points on the scoreboard) needs players like LeBlanc to make plays like the one that ended Saturday’s preseason game.
  • To no one’s surprise, Roquan Smith didn’t play in Saturday’s preseason showdown in Denver. The rookie linebacker being rushed into the starting lineup would have done no one any good. Probably. Fellow inside linebacker Danny Treveathan did make his 2018 preseason debut, however, and looked perfectly fine during his brief cameo. Trevathan wore the green sticker on the helmet, which had him handling defensive signals and essentially made him the quarterback of the defense. That’s a role the Bears drafted Smith to fill at some point in the future, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.
  • It’s important that Trevathan is handling calls and signals now because it could help accelerate Smith’s return. Without those responsibilities, Smith would be left to focus on playing with his instincts and handling his own business. Smith had two solid practices in Colorado, which is encouraging for his development as the sprint toward the regular season begins in earnest. In due time, Smith will be The Man in the middle. For now, he’s just getting his feet wet.
  • OK, I laughed:

  • Moving outside, Kasim Edebali looks to be moving up the depth chart. The Bears signed Edebali to fortify the back end of the outside linebacker depth chart, but the late-summer free-agent addition has played well. Pro Football Focus had Edebali as the fifth-highest-graded defensive player in Saturday’s preseason game. The box score shows Edebali had one sack, one tackle-for-loss, and a quarterback hit. That solid showing should get him into more snaps in the next two weeks.
  • Is pass-rush help on the way yet? In short: No. But the folks at OddsShark have been monitoring the Khalil Mack trade rumor waters and the site seems to think some sort of movement is imminent. But while odds and money movements aren’t necessarily a tell (and are generally meaningless in the grand scheme of real, tangible things), it definitely raises an eyebrow to see so much movement happen in such a short amount of time.
  • The latest set of odds:

  • Meanwhile, Aaron Lynch continues to sit out with a hamstring injury and rookie Kylie Fitts has proven to be somewhere between inconsistent and indistinguishable. Yeah, Edebali has a good shot at making this team’s 53-man season-opening roster.
  • Still no word on Leonard Floyd’s hand injury. I’m still trying to assure myself that it’s an injury Floyd could possibly play through, but we’ll see. Indeed, it’s much easier to play with a taped-up hand than anything related to the head or knee.
  • But at least the early returns on Adam Shaheen’s injury don’t sound all that bad.
  • It’s good to see Kyle Long pulling and driving back defenders:

  • A so-called helmet shot…

  • … and a chaser:

  • While Cody Parkey has already missed two 50+ yard field goal attempts, an old friend is kicking his way into a starting job in Los Angeles:

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Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.