Tonight is the first game in the Bears and Broncos preseason schedule. The Defending champion Denver Broncos will hook up with the Bears on the lakefront at Soldier Field. It won’t be epic, but it’s football. Both teams have endured lots of changes.
Jay Cutler leads the offense in year two of it’s current iteration. Dowell Loggains replaces Adam Gase who took the head coaching job for the Miami Dolphins. It’s not the exact same system though, and Loggains has never called plays in the NFL. They have their work cut out for them.
Offensive line: It all starts up front, and the Bears unit is changed from last year. The only returning starters are Charles Leno Jr. at left tackle and Kyle Long moves from right tackle inside to right guard. Joining him are rookie Cody Whitehair, and veterans Ted Larson at center and Bobby Massie at right tackle. The Bears had mixed success running and pass blocking last year. Matt Forte made up for a lot of missed blocks, and he is no longer here. They will need to have some success in order for the Bears to be competitive in 2016.
Kevin White: The rookie wide receiver missed 2015 with a stress fracture in his lower leg. He had a chance to come back at the end of the season but they shut him down. Bears fans have been waiting a long time to see this man play.
Daniel Braverman. Daniel has been a story since draft day. It will be interesting to see how he stacks up vs the NFL. He is an undersized “jitterbug” type in the mold of Wes Welker/Julian Edleman.
Running back: While 2nd year running back Jeremy Langford has a year under his belt, there are many who question whether he can be a full time guy. Including the Bears who inquired (offering about $18 million) about CJ Anderson. I personally think he can handle the job, but all the questing has made me doubt myself. As long as he can get some block, I think he will prove the doubters wrong. Ka’Deem Carey should get some time along with rookie Jordan Howard.
Front seven. The front seven has been revamped. Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman are additions at linebacker. Lamarr Houston and Willie Young return and are another year removed from injury. Then there is speedy Leonard Floyd who has “boom or bust” written all over him.
The defensive secondary: Kyle Fuller and Tracy Porter return at cornerback, but nickle and safety remain questions. 2nd year safety Adrian Amos is pretty solid but the Bears need to see more from their defensive backs.
Special teams are solid in the kicking and punting departments with Robbie Gould and Pat O’Donnell leading those units. Punt return/Kick return and coverage always have some turnover.