Three things to watch for in the Giants' preseason game against visiting Chicago on Monday night. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on ESPN.
1. Better cohesion along the offensive line. New center David Baas and newly promoted left tackle William Beatty struggled in the first preseason game, as did David Diehl in his new position at left guard. A lot of that can be attributed to change -- offensive lines are always better when they're made up of players who've played together on the same line for a while -- and improvement is to be expected as time goes on. We don't know if they'll get it together in time for the regular season, but they would like to see improvement game-to-game in the preseason so they know the issues are about familiarity rather than quality. Of particular interest Monday night will be the macthup between Beatty and Bears defensive end Julius Peppers, one of the premier pass-rushers in the league. This season Beatty will be facing off against the likes of DeMarcus Ware, Brian Orakpo and Trent Cole in the division, so if Peppers plays and stays in for a couple of series, this should be a good test to see how he handles that level of competition.
2. Identifying and evaluating secondary receiving targets. Quarterback Eli Manning was shaky in the first game, which could have had something to do with the line (and/or Baas specifically). Manning didn't help the Giants get a line on who's likely to take over Steve Smith's role as the slot receiver. I expect to see Mario Manningham and Victor Cruz in that role, and possibly Domenik Hixon, though the team has been trying to limit him as he continues to recover from his knee injury. The Giants would also like to see tight end Travis Beckum play better than he's practiced, since he's their best receiving option at the position with Kevin Boss having gone off to Oakland.
3. Mathias Kiwanuka continuing to settle in at linebacker. There were a couple of plays last week on which Kiwanuka seemed to play as though he'd forgotten he was now a linebacker and no longer a defensive end on first and second downs. He'll have to stay home more, be more patient and pay more attention to coverage assignments. There's little doubt he can do it, but when he doesn't, it stands out, because Jonathan Goff isn't the most seasoned middle linebacker in the world and benefits from having guys on either side of him who know their assignments. I'll also be watching to see if Jason Pierre-Paul can repeat his first-game performance at defensive end, since he looks like the starter for a while now that Osi Umenyiora's had knee surgery.
Last edited by Bear Goggles; 08-22-2011 at 01:48 PM.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.--Tonight (7 p.m., Ch. 7, ESPN, 780-AM), the Bears return to the site of the offense’s ugliest and scariest game of the entire 2010 season.
The offense looked completely inept, with offensive coordinator Mike Martz dialing up play calls as if Jay Cutler had spit in his Cheerios that morning. The Bears’ running backs averaged a healthy five yards per run, but they only got seven carries. Meanwhile, Cutler dropped back 21 times and got sacked an NFL record nine times.
The Bears defense played spectacular, allowing the Giants to only score a field goal in the first half, before things started to fall apart late in the third quarter of an eventual 17-3 loss.
As they return to the New Meadowlands, the Bears enter what should be a very intriguing preseason game. Here are five things I’m looking at:
1) Can Jay Cutler walk off the field in one piece?
Technically, he finished the first half, but he didn’t return in the third quarter because of a concussion. It was as if Cutler and center Olin Kreutz were the only two players representing the Bears offense because Giant defenders were racing to see who could level him first. Because it is the second preseason game, Cutler and the starting offense should play significantly more than the opener. But if he makes only a cursory appearance, it would be hard not to view that as an indictment of the o-line and assurance that changes -- including the addition of a veteran -- are imminent. The unit, though, surely doesn’t have any momentum; they looked dreadful in the last public practice of training camp.
2) Will Kellen Davis or Roy Williams please stand up?
Anyone who closely watches the team knows what Matt Forte, Devin Hester, Johnny Knox and Cutler are capable of. But the two new major additions to the starting lineup are Williams and Davis. The former hasn’t really distinguished himself in the last week of practice but maybe he was waiting to “turn it on” for the game. And, to be fair, he barely played in the preseason opener. As for Davis, he’s made a bunch of plays in practice, but he needs to show that huge target radius in a game, even if its only in the preseason.
3) What undrafted players are going to make some noise?
There’s no question that the overall depth of the 2011 Bears is far superior to the 2010 team. That this club reached the NFC title game was largely aided it’s tremendous fortune, in terms of health. The Bears have plenty of cap space to acquire a few more veterans, but they are very excited about a handful of undrafted rookies they have high hopes for. So players like defensive end Mario Addison, tight end Kyle Adams, receiver Kris Adams, linebacker Dom DeCicco and receiver Dane Sanzenbacher could really help themselves by standing out on special teams. The reality is, a player like DeCicco needs to have a big game, because the Bears are closely watching the linebacker market.
4) Can the Bears apply pressure on the Giants’ quarterbacks?
The Giants have had a lot of turnover along the offensive line. And throughout training camp, I’m not sure there was a better -- more encouraging -- unit than the Bears’ defensive line. But the final numbers against the Buffalo Bills wasn’t overwhelming. Sure, the Bills made sure to get the ball out of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s hand quickly. But, the Bears only had two sacks and three hurries, according to the game stats. The Bears defensive line needs to look more dominant against the Giants, especially veteran Vernon Gholston. He’s shown flashes at camp, but he’s neck-and-neck with the unheralded Addison. In returning to his home stadium (he played for the Jets), Gholston has all the motivation in the world to have a breakout game.
5) How will Caleb Hanie respond?
It’s hard not to see the intent of the messages delivered from the Bears coaches to backup quarterback Caleb Hanie. But, by midweek, they were trying to assure and encourage him. Not surprisingly, Hanie had his strongest practices of training camp on Wednesday and Thursday, although Friday wasn’t quite as sharp. Now, he needs to step up in a game. The Bears don’t want to go get a veteran quarterback, and they want to keep developing and showcasing Hanie. The reality is, Hanie probably won’t be a Bear in 2012, given their investment in Cutler, so the Bears would love to somehow get a draft pick for him. To do that, though, Hanie needs to limit the turnovers and show command of the offense.
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Chicago Bears vs. New York Giants Preseason Preview
Published: 5 hours ago
Chicago Bears vs. New York Giants Preseason Preview0
Last season, Jay Cutler felt like a Ben Roethlisberger date as he was thrown around the field and treated with little respect. It got to a point where it appeared that the New York Giants were in the huddle and hearing what plays were being called. For anyone that has ever questioned Cutler’s toughness, watch that game sometime.
Tonight’s contest will be a test for the Chicago Bears revamped offensive line. I’m sure the Giants, despite this being a preseason game, will try to repeat the same battering of Cutler, and the Bears will need to find a way of protecting their starting quarterback. I’m sure Cutler won’t play the whole game, but I am sure he will play more than one series. It would be nice if he actually have a chance to throw some passes.
Tackle J’Marcus Webb and guard Lance Louis need to play better. They’re poor effort against the Buffalo Bills last week cannot be overlooked. Webb admitted his intensity wasn’t there last week, and that set his offensive line coach Mike Tice into a frenzy. Webb isn’t quite good enough to not try, and if this attitude carries over, he needs to go. Being the left tackle is way too important and cannot be taken lightly. I’d also like to see both quarterbacks Caleb Hanie and Nathan Enderle get rid of the football a little quicker.
Running back Harvey Unga didn’t make the trip with the team. According to the Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs, it’s for personal reasons. This comes as a blow to the young man’s career. This is the second time he’s been excused so far this season. The first came because of the birth of his second child. When Unga left BYU, he was forced to leave because of his pregnant girlfriend. Once considered a top prospect, his entry into the NFL hasn’t been smooth. Yesterday, I had him as potential fullback. Now I’m guessing he’s a practice squad candidate at best.
On the other side of the football, the Chicago Bears defense will be without Lance Briggs. He bruised a knee during practice and the team has decided it isn’t worth it to have him play. Really can’t argue with that logic. Briggs has little to prove. I’m sure Brian Urlacher will be limited as well and that’s cool too.
Undrafted rookie defensive end Mario Addison was mentioned yesterday as a player to watch. Interesting enough, his spot on the roster may be a little more available. Vernon Gholston has been an underachieving disappointment since entering the NFL. He’s been given a second life by the Chicago Bears and is fighting for his NFL career. He was a beast coming out of Ohio State, but an early shoulder injury and New York Jets coach Rex Ryan’s doghouse didn’t help his career. With Corey Wootton being out for a few more weeks, these two will have a chance to battle for a spot on the roster. I’m guessing it’s Gholston, but Addison is making coaches notice his play.
Defensive lineman Henry Melton just continues to impress. His size, speed and athleticism make him a force. His work ethic and football smarts make him a player. Along with guys like Amobi Okoye, Israel Idonije and Julius Peppers, the Chicago Bears may feature one of the most athletic defensive lines in football. We all know about Peppers and Idonije, but Okoye is a real wildcard. After being released by the Houston Texans that asked him to play in a 3/4 defense, his move to the 3-technique with the Bears will allow him to use his athleticism and have a guy like Anthony Adams take on a double-team at nose tackle. This will allow Okoye to use his talents as a pass rusher and not worry as much about clogging the middle. Between these guys upfront and the linebackers for the Chicago Bears, there’s some darn good and athletic football players on the field. Watch for this tonight and the athleticism of this group.
Punter Adam Podlesh wasn’t very impressive the during the first preseason game. I would like to see him perform a little better. The Chicago Bears will rely on special teams a lot this season, and Podlesh is an obviously huge part of the process. The return game is as good as ever, and the coverage team is strong.
I will be tweeting updates during the game. Follow me at ChicagoBearJew.
Last edited by soulman; 08-22-2011 at 02:34 PM.
I'm getting to that age where a lifetime warranty just doesn't mean as much to me anymore as an afternoon nap. Honey Badger Don't Care. Honey Badger Don't Give a Shit.
A couple of interesting previews of tonights game with quite a few spot on observations.
Correct if I'm wrong though. Didn't Lanning do most of the punting against the Bills?
I'm getting to that age where a lifetime warranty just doesn't mean as much to me anymore as an afternoon nap. Honey Badger Don't Care. Honey Badger Don't Give a Shit.
I only remember Podlesh being out there looking stunning in #8.
Originally Posted by soulman
Number one concern is the offensive line, then the wide receivers... I'm not too worried about the Bears defense really.
Giants crush Bears 41-13
Last Modified: Aug 22, 2011 10:59PM
EAST RUTHERFORD,N.J. (AP) — The offense woke up, the defense was solid and special teams was outstanding. The New York Giants had a near perfect night against the Chicago Bears, except for the season-ending knee injury to starting cornerback Terrell Thomas.
Thomas tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee with 22 seconds left in the first half Monday, and the injury to New York’s leading tackler last season overshadowed an impressive 41-13 preseason win.
“It’s devastating,” defensive captain Justin Tuck said in a halftime interview with ESPN. “He was primed to have another great year for us. That’s a big void.”
The rest of the game was outstanding as the Giants (1-1) bounced back from a so-so performance against Carolina with a very good effort against the Bears (1-1).
Brandon Jacobs scored on an 18-yard run and Domenik Hixon caught a 5-yard touchdown pass as the New York cashed in on big special teams plays.
David Carr, who is battling Sage Rosenfels for the backup job to Eli Manning, threw for two touchdowns, with the second covering 17 yards to Daniel Coats in the fourth quarter.
D.J. Ware scored on a 1-yard run early in the third quarter to give New York a 27-6 lead and rookie halfback Da’Rel Scott had a 97-yard run in the closing minutes after cancer survivor Mark Herzlich intercepted a pass near the goal line.
Robbie Gould had field goals of 23 and 42 yards for the Bears, who struggled again on offense despite having Jay Cutler (12 of 21 for 171 yards) play the entire first half. Chicago got its only touchdown in the final minute on a 1-yard run by Kahlil Bell.
The key for the Giants against the defending NFC North champions was their usually sub-par special teams.
Devin Thomas set up Jacobs’ touchdown with a 73-yard kickoff return and rookie linebacker Greg Jones blocked a Spencer Lanning punt late in the second quarter, giving New York the ball at the 6.
Carr found Hixon on a fade pattern for the receiver’s first catch in the New Meadowlands Stadium since tearing an ACL in a practice here in June 2010.
Thomas, who is in the final year of his contract, then was hurt on the very next play from scrimmage.
Down 20-6 with 35 seconds to play, Cutler went back to pass from his own 23 and rolled a little to his left. Thomas came on a blitz and Jason Pierre-Paul rushed from his end spot. Cutler got the pass off and Thomas and Pierre-Paul collided, with the second-year end hitting Thomas around the knee from an awkward angle.
Thomas went down and he started hobbling when he got back up. He quickly went down the artificial surface and was treated by trainers and medical personnel for a couple of minutes. When he got up, he walked gingerly to the locker room. The suddenness of the diagnosis stunned his coach and teammates.
Veteran Aaron Ross will be asked to step into the starting role, joining Corey Webster as the starting cornerback. First-round draft pick Prince Amukamara broke his foot early in camp and won’t be available until about mid-October.
Ware’s touchdown came a play after a challenge by Giants coach Tom Coughlin resulted in a fumble call being reversed. Rhys Lloyd added field goals of 25 and 37 yards, subbing for the injured Lawrence Tynes.
After failing to get a first down on either of their first two series, the Giants took a 3-0 lead by holding the ball for almost 7 1-2 minutes before settling for Lloyd’s 25-yard field goal. The key play on the 11-play drive was a 21-yard fourth-down Eli Manning pass to Victor Cruz that gave New York a first down at the Bears 11.
The Bears tied the game on the next series with a quick six-play drive that started with Cutler passes of 37 yards to Devin Hester and 42 to Matt Forte. Gould kicked a 23-yard field goal after the drive stalled at the 5-yard line.
The kickoff return by Thomas set up Jacobs’ go-ahead touchdown on a play that Manning (8 of 16 for 78) changed at the line of scrimmage. Jacobs finished with 48 yards on six carries.
Biggs: 10 thoughts on the Bears' loss to Giants
By Brad Biggs, Tribune reporter
8:32 AM CDT, August 23, 2011
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Ten things we learned from the Chicago Bears' 41-13 loss Monday to the New York Giants in their second exhibition game:
1. Already thin at linebacker the Chicago Bears are keeping a close eye on what might pop available as teams begin to trim their rosters.
Don't be surprised if you also see them make a move for a defensive end.
The backup spot behind starters Julius Peppers and Israel Idonije is wide open, particularly with Corey Wootton sidelined until around the start of the regular season following arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. Wootton had some minor cartilage damage in the same knee he suffered a torn ACL playing in the Alamo Bowl following his junior season at Northwestern.
"Right now, there is a concern," Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said. "We're going to get Corey back, that's the good news, and hopefully we're going to get him back like he was looking prior to the injury, or close to it anyway. I thought for the first time we really saw what he looked like pre-injury in college and he said it too, that's the best he felt.
"It's a concern so hopefully we will see some guys step up. We'll keep looking as well. We tried to do something with a couple of claims and it didn't work out. We're just looking for potential guys who can come in here and help."
Angelo tapped the brakes on some of the buzz for Mario Addison, the undrafted free agent from Troy who has gotten reps as the No. 3 end along with Vernon Gholston since Wootton was injured in the first preseason game vs. the Buffalo Bills. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli praised Gholston for having a terrific practice right before training camp, but the former Jets' first-round pick showed off little more than a chiseled physique during three weeks at Olivet Nazarene University. The first player off the bench as the third end Monday night against the New York Giants was Nick Reed, who Tim Ruskell drafted in the seventh round in 2009 in Seattle from Oregon. Reed set a school record for the Ducks with 29 1/2 career sacks, fourth in Pac-10 history.
No Bears defensive players had a sack in the game.
"College free agent," Angelo said when asked about Addison. "He's done some nice things. Nick Reed's done some nice things."
Angelo knows better than anyone the Bears' track record with college free agents isn't very good, something that doesn't bode real well for wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher -- or any of the other remaining 25 UDFA's signed when the lockout ended. More on Sanzenbacher and his role with the first team a little later on. He could still have a future on the 53-man roster.
Another possibility for the Bears already has some experience as a situational pass rusher.
"Henry (Melton) has played out there at end," Angelo said. "So we have some options."
Melton started Monday's game against the New York Giants at New Meadowlands Stadium as the under tackle, the position he's been slated to play since before Tommie Harris was released. The Bears have solid depth on the interior but moving a starter isn't the way they want to plug a gap, especially when you consider the third end played just 33 percent of the time last season as Peppers (87.9 percent) and Idonije (80.2 percent) rarely came off the field. It wouldn't be a surprise if the Bears desire the third end to play more this season, especially if they can find someone productive who can keep the others fresher.
But consider Melton has bulked up to 292 pounds for the move inside, and is that the way the Bears want to fill a hole?
"If it is what it is, we've got to have a quality third end," Angelo said. "We're not going to keep a guy if we don't feel like he can contribute. Maybe we could (move Melton). We'll see."
The best-case scenario is if Wootton comes back in early September with the same burst and explosion he had at the start of camp after a dedicated offseason.
2. Those clamoring for change on the offensive line are unlikely to see it -- not this week with the Bears traveling to Tennessee to face the Titans on Saturday. Offensive line coach Mike Tice said he expected significant improvement and if you just go off the numbers -- not the tape -- they went from four sacks vs. the starting unit a week ago to one. Thing is, Jay Cutler could have thrown the ball away on the one sack too.
"Yeah, upright?" Cutler joked when asked if it felt better to leave the stadium this way as opposed to 10 months ago when he was sacked nine times in one half and left with a concussion. "A little bit different guys right now up front but I think they wanted to come out and have a good showing. After we started a little shaky, those guys evened out and I thought they played a really solid half."
So, those making a plea for Chris Spencer to take over at center will have to wait. The Bears have a plan and the guess here is they're sticking to it. There will be some game planning involved this week, too, because it is the third preseason game.
3. After a rough go of it against Buffalo, backup quarterback Caleb Hanie was given the entire second half against the Giants. I'd expect Mike Martz to throw platitudes at him this week if asked about the performance, but surely just one touchdown drive -- with help of a pass interference penalty on fourth-and-goal from the 3-yard line -- isn't what the Bears were hoping for against the New York reserves.
Hanie completed 17 of 28 passes for 166 yards. That comes out to 5.93 yards per attempt. He was intercepted by linebacker Mark Herzlich, the former Boston College star. A full half for Hanie meant rookie fifth-round draft pick Nathan Enderle remained on the bench. There will be plenty of time for Enderle in the preseason finale.
Martz was pretty clear Hanie is the No. 2 but the hunch here is he wanted more from the quarterback in this outing.
4. If you were watching the game you saw Sanzenbacher, the undrafted free agent from Ohio State, get on the field in the first half, something Johnny Knox didn't do on offense. But they play different positions so it can't be judged that way. Sanzenbacher is a slot player in the four-wide package and when Earl Bennett needed to catch a break, it was his turn.
On first down at the Giants' 44-yard line with 15 seconds until halftime, Sanzenbacher caught his first pass in a Bears uniform, a short Cutler throw along the sideline. Instead of turning out of bounds, he tried to get upfield and was quickly tackled for a seven-yard gain forcing the team to use a timeout.
"This was my first catch and I was battling in my mind, do I want to go out or do I want to make a play with it?" Sanzenbacher said. "I obviously was wrong. They gave me some grief and I know I've got to get out of bounds on that but first catch, I couldn't make myself do it."
He played more in the second half and finished with four receptions for 34 yards. He's making a bid to be a sixth receiver if the Bears go with that many.
"I think in games like this you want to get opportunities wherever you can," he said. "When it's with the ones, it's even better if you can squeeze some reps in there. It was encouraging.
"When you've been working all the through and putting everything you can out there on the field, you hope it is a legitimate shot."
5. Roy Williams was targeted with three passes in the game, none more catchable than the ball he dropped on the third-and-10 three plays into the Bears' first possession. Williams hopped up and signaled first down as he's been known to do in his career. It would have been that and more -- a 16-yard-gain -- had he kept the ball with Aaron Ross on him to make a play.
"I was trying to sell it," said Williams, who had his catch overturned by a replay challenge.
He's got to start selling more than that for the offense soon. He's yet to have a reception and although coaches say he's been practicing better, we never saw Cutler really lock onto him in training camp.
"We've got 20 days," Williams said. "We'll be good, man."
6. Ugly night for special teams and Dave Toub. Not only was Spencer Lanning's punt blocked by Greg Jones to set up an easy touchdown just before halftime, the Giants had 173 yards in the return game -- 73 on a kickoff return by Devin Thomas.
The entire first team was in for the blocked punt with Lanning just subbing for Adam Podlesh.
"It's not what we want to see and we've built a reputation around the league for years with Dave that we're a top-notch team and we pride ourselves in not making big mistakes and tonight was not a good night for us at all," long snapper Pat Mannelly said. Fortunately, it's only the second preseason game and we'll get to go back and watch a lot of teaching tape and fix our mistakes."
Is there a chance a teaching tape is a good thing to have in August?
"For a teaching tape, sure," Mannelly said. "But you'd rather show someone else's mistakes than your own."
Rookie linebacker Dom DeCicco owned up to the error on the block. Jones was holding him up on the previous punts.
"One-hundred percent my fault," DeCicco said. "He was holding me up the whole time and then I assumed, which was really dumb of me, and I just tried getting downfield because I figured he was holding me up and he happened to be coming on that one.
"It definitely hurt and it hurt the team a lot. I've got to learn from the mistake."
DeCicco got praise for his efforts against the Bills and has been in position to be the sixth linebacker. That's a tenuous spot right now.
7. Raise your hand if you remember the last time you heard Lovie Smith criticize his team. I can't raise mine. It doesn't happen very often. But he was clearly put off by the defensive effort, which had some sloppy errors by the starters, particularly free safety Major Wright, and then some plain bad play from the backups, who allowed 28 points in the 41-13 loss.
Smith was remarking about his team's good health when he ripped off this rare zinger.
"You've got to tackle a little bit better before you start talking about injuries and things like that," he said.
Store that one in the memory bank.
Wright knows he has to play with more poise than he did on the 18-yard touchdown run by Brandon Jacobs. He rushed up to make the play and was totally out of control, failing to get even a reasonable dive at the bruising back.
"That's a play I've got to make," Wright said. "I've got to come down in control of myself. I was not in control. If I control myself I make that play. I've got to let it come to me."
Is he feeling pressure to perform in a veteran defense?
"It's not so much pressure," he said. "It's playing within this defense and doing whatever that is, Cover-2, Cover-3, Cover-4."
8. And talk about some good fortune with the injuries. The Giants won the game and the Bears won the war. At least four New York players were taken in for evaluation and it was announced Terrell Thomas, maybe the team's best cornerback, suffered a torn ACL. Consider first-round draft pick Prince Amukamara is already sidelined more than a month with a foot injury and the Giants have some mending to do. The Bears simply have had real good fortune and continue to remain healthy.
9. The first round of cuts must be made by Aug. 30, next Tuesday, giving all 32 teams a chance to play three preseason games with a 90-man roster. The first cuts only force teams to reduce their rosters to 80. Considering the Bears have 86 players on their roster right now, getting to 80 after Saturday's game at Tennessee will be simple. The cuts can be done blindfolded. Final cuts to 53 are due Saturday, Sept. 3, two days after the preseason finale at Soldier Field against the Cleveland Browns. I've already gotten emails from fans wondering about what surprise cuts could be on the way. None from my vantage point. Fact is, you don't really see surprises at final cuts. Any veteran who gets released at that time probably saw the writing on the wall or at least had an indication the club could be considering a younger alternative.
The question pops up every year right before the final preseason game: How tough will cuts be this year. The answer given is the same every year: It's always difficult. No, it's not. The coaches and the front office are playing the roster game all along. They have a 53-man roster in mind when the team arrives in training camp. Players rise, players falls. Occasionally, a decision needs to be made about keeping an extra player at one position or another. That's it. Nothing too dramatic about it. We'll get a better idea how the 53 will shape up as this week goes on and we see what happens in Tennessee.
Keep an eye on what happens at final cuts because that is where the Bears could move to add a linebacker to the mix or the defensive end Angelo talked about. The team already tried to put in a claim for linebacker Thaddeus Gibson when he was released by the San Francisco 49ers but lost out in the waiver process to the Washington Redskins. Someone else's trash could be the Bears' fifth linebacker.
10. Eighteen NFL teams had scouts at the game, including the 49ers, Jets and Saints who had two scouts each in the press box. Also present were the Dolphins, Texans, Ravens, Cowboys, Packers, Chiefs, Vikings, Raiders, Eagles, Chargers, Falcons, Bills, Colts, Steelers and Browns. Four CFL teams were present, including Montreal Alouettes scout Jeremy Snyder, a former front office assistant for the Bears.
Here is a look at the list of scouts at the Bills game in Week 1 of preseason: 19 scouts from 18 teams were at Soldier Field -- two scouts from the Chiefs and one from the Eagles, Packers, Jets, Ravens, Dolphins, Saints, Jaguars, Seahawks, Buccaneers, Raiders, Steelers, Vikings, Cowboys, Falcons, Chargers, Redskins and Patriots.
10 a. Valued Twitter follower David Bass points out Saturday's game will be the first time Cutler has played in Tennessee since he was at Vanderbilt. The Broncos played the Titans in preseason and regular season but always in Denver. Bass works at Vanderbilt.
10 b. In a short week, the Bears will practice Wednesday and Thursday at Halas Hall and have a walk-through Friday before departing for Nashville.
10 c. Former Bears third-round draft pick Jarron Gilbert, who spent most of last season on the New York Jets practice squad, played in the stadium Sunday night against the Cincinnati Bengals. Gilbert made one nice play in the running game but looks unlikely to stick this season.
10 d. Interesting that undrafted rookie free agent Kyle Adams, a tight end at Purdue who has been shifted to fullback, was on the kickoff team to open the game. He could push Eddie Williams for a roster spot. Williams was also on that kickoff team.
10 e. Adisa Bakari, the agent for running back Matt Forte, attended the game. Whether or not he met with Angelo and front office types is unknown. Big contracts are starting to go down around the league with Larry Fitzgerald and Joe Thomas receiving deals in recent days. We'll see if these sides can bridge the gap some time soon.
Copyright © 2011, Chicago Tribune