What Are We Watching For If Starters Aren't Playing? And Other Bullets

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What Are We Watching For If Starters Aren’t Playing? And Other Bullets

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears are planning to sit most of their starters for Saturday’s preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs. That’s an absolute bummer if you bought tickets to this game expecting to see the starters play into the second half. But hopefully the reward is long-term health for the players you root for and a surprisingly awesome regular season.

  • Oh, really?

You gotta know when to hold ‘em…

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  • I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the Bears are hiding.
  • You can read up on some additional perspectives on the Bears’ decision to sit their starters via Rich Campbell (Tribune), Patrick Finley (Sun-Times), and Bob LeGere (Daily Herald).
  • James Daniels is the team’s starting center, tweets The Athletic’s Kevin Fishbain. Daniels has opened some eyes in the middle for all the right reasons, while Cody Whitehair has had his share of struggles. Whitehair figures to be The Man moving forward, but a strong performance from Daniels could possibly lead to a change of heart at some point in the future. Remember, Whitehair didn’t grow into a center until Week 1 of his rookie season after the team signed left guard Josh Sitton late in the preseason.
  • Here is a list of members of the Bears who aren’t playing on Saturday:

  • You can also add Taylor Gabriel to that  group, via the Tribune’s Dan Wiederer.
  • If you’re going to the game, I would also suggest reading up on the team’s new mobile ticket policy at Soldier Field, via Mitchell Armentrout of the Sun-Times. It’s new for everyone.
  • If you’re not going to the game, but live in Mexico or the United Kingdom, you can still watch from home. And if you’re a little closer to home, you can stream the game online, too.
  • So what’s left that’s worth watching? Plenty.
  • Kevin White will play and it’s about time the Bears see what they have in their 2015 first-round pick. White has put together a summer of strong practices, but it’s time to put what was learned and gained on the practice field and in meeting rooms onto the gridiron. Depending on how the Chiefs play it, White should see some work against Kansas City’s first-string defensive backs. The ball is in your court, Mr. White.
  • With Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan sitting this one out, Nick Kwiatkoski is the team’s top inside linebacker. Kwiatkoski took advantage of Smith’s holdout by making the most of the additional practice reps. Good thing he did, too, because Kwiatkoski is pretty much lined up to be the Week 1 starter against the Packers. Let’s keep an eye on how he performs as the main man in the middle today.
  • Elsewhere in the defensive front seven, both of the defensive ends who are vying for a starting spot next to nose tackle Eddie Goldman and across from Akiem Hicks are active. Roy Robertson-Harris and Jonathan Bullard have an opportunity to stake a claim to a starting spot with a good effort against Kansas City. Both have had their moments and it’ll be neat to see which one comes out on top in one of the true position battles at camp.
  • And to think, I was getting a little jacked up (well, as much as one could get for a preseason game) to see Mitch Trubisky and Patrick Mahomes trade shots down the field. Trubisky and Mahomes were the first two quarterbacks taken in the 2017 NFL Draft, and Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times compared the two ahead of what was supposed to be Saturday’s showdown.
  • The Trubisky-Mahomes comps will be unavoidable in the years to come, and let’s not forget to include Deshaun Watson in the equation. To be fair, we liked all three during the pre-draft process and picking one over the other wasn’t easy. You had to like what Trubisky did at North Carolina in patiently waiting his turn before making the most of his opportunity with a less-than-stellar supporting cast. And it was impossible not to love what Watson did in the biggest games, on the biggest stage, and against college football’s best team – two years in a row.
  • And yes, we leaned toward Mahomes because I can’t not fall in love with arm talent. Don’t judge me. Everyone has their thing.
  • Should the Chiefs play their regulars as expected, then I suppose that’s the closest we’ll get to seeing a preview of what the Bears’ offense could be. And while the passing game is of the utmost importance, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune points out the importance of the running game in the scheme. If the Bears are going to take this massively awesome offensive leap, they’ll need Jordan Howard to excel on the ground – much like Kareem Hunt did in Kansas City last year. Then again, all Howard has to do is be himself. It’s not as if he’s not just one year removed from a 1,300-yard rushing season.

Author: Luis Medina

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