Ryan Bukowiecki is a student at the Illinois Media School and a contributor to The D & Davis Show
Look up the word “superfluous” in the dictionary and Hall of Fame Game sits as a primary synonym — it’s not the most meaningful game — and, overall, the Bears approached it that way.
Many of the starters as well as key backups did not get any playing time. Certain Bears like Eric Kush and Jonathan Bullard received playing time and they are penciled in as starters right now. Mainly for the Bears, the game was a chance to go through game prep with an added game week even if the resulting action was very minor.
The benefit of the Hall of Fame game is the extra practice the Bears got by opening training camp a week earlier than most teams. Its hard to take anything from yesterday’s game in terms of any type of gauge for the team.
Regardless, there were some things on offense and defense worth highlighting and gave fans a taste of whats to come. Overall, fans will have to wait though before we see more of the starters and key backups. Soon enough we will begin to get a better idea of what things will look like on the opening Sunday night in Green Bay on September 9th.
The offense was very hard to judge on Thursday, no snaps for Mitchell Trubisky or any of the shiny new receivers, even rookie Anthony Miller. Even the offensive line had the day off too. Therefore we got heaping helpings of Chase Daniels and Tyler Bray at quarterback — neither impressed but it was still fun to see the elements of the offense. Quick passes and timely shots down field should be a staple of Nagy’s offense.
The main standout on offense was Javon Wims, the seventh round rookie was dominant at receiver. Yes, Wims’ numbers came up against a bunch of nobodies but he showed off well in a performance featuring seven catches for 89 yards with a long of 24. At one point Wims made a nice go-up-and-get-it catch, showing good hands and leaping ability. Wims is a big receiver with solid athleticism, he just lacks speed but he could be a nice piece to the offense if he develops. Other than that, the offense was primarily status quo.
Even some of the young guys like Miller and Kevin White were thought to get reps since Miller is a rookie and White has barely played, but neither got into the game. Reps in preseason are so valuable so it is a little bit of a head scratcher but at the same time, Nagy still has another four preseason games to ensure his team is ready for Week 1.
Defensively for the Bears, there were some positives that will hopefully lead to more developments that show a better defense week to week. The game had a total of 12 sacks from both teams, the Bears had eight of those sacks.
A total of six turnovers were also made by the Ravens and Bears, Baltimore won that battle but Chicago did have two interceptions. Overall, Vic Fangio was looking for guys to show up and make plays even if its guys that will probably be let go by the team. Fangio is going to like seeing the pass rush numbers seeing as how that is one of the biggest concerns of the defense heading into the season. Interceptions are also a big key for the Bears. Before last year, the Bears were terrible at creating turnovers. Last year saw an uptick but mainly from fumbles and tipped balls.
The Bears still have to find a way to go up and intercept the ball more, Fangio is confident in his secondary and he must feel even a little better that the secondary took the ball away a couple times yesterday. A few players that stood out were Isaiah Irving, Bilal Nichols and Kylie Fitts. All three players had at least three tackles which was top six for the Bears defense and all three had a sack.
These young guys will hopefully be able to contribute to the pass rush when the games matter, good start for them.
Its the preseason so try not to take too much from anything. The coaches have a plan for getting the team ready for the season and part of that will be rest and mistakes. Nagy has said how he likes guys making mistakes now in order to correct it for the season.
This is just step one and we should have more to talk about in the next preseason games when more of the key guys will play.
Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanbski; Follow We Are Regal Radio on Twitter @regalradio1 and on Facebook under We Are Regal Radio