Category Archives: Preseason

Bears Announce 2015 Preseason Schedule

The Chicago Bears’ preseason opponents for the coming season have been announced, and they include two teams that made the playoffs last year.

The preseason schedule looks like this:

  • vs. Miami Dolphins – Aug. 13-17
  • at Indianapolis Colts* – Aug. 20-24
  • at Cincinnati Bengals* – Aug. 27-30
  • vs. Cleveland Browns – Sept. 3-4

*made the playoffs in 2014

Exact dates and game times will be released at a later date, according to the Bears’ site.

Of course, preseason W-L records have no predictive value, but the exhibition games give us the first real glimpse of how a player might perform during the regular season — if he makes the team.

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Why Devin Hester Is The Best Punt Returner Ever

FiveThirtyEight released yesterday its NFC North preview, which forecasts the Bears to have a 39 percent chance of making the playoffs and a 25 percent chance of winning the division.

(The Packers’ odds are 55 percent for the playoffs and 41 percent for the division.)

The Bears portion of the preview highlights something Bears fans already know: Devin Hester is the best punt returner in NFL history.

This graphic explains it visually:

Add to this an NFL-record 13 touchdowns (the previous record was 10), and it’s hard to argue for anyone else being better than Hester. Now in Atlanta, Hester is currently tied with Deion Sanders for the most non-offensive NFL touchdowns in history.

The whole story is worth a read. But be warned: It won’t help you get over the fact that Hester is no longer a Bear.

Santonio Holmes: ‘I’m A Former Super Bowl MVP’

Santonio Holmes isn’t worried about having to cram to pick up the Bears’ offense.

Asked on Tuesday if he feels any pressure to learn the Bears’ playbook, the veteran wide receiver gave the perfect response: “I’m a former Super Bowl MVP. There’s no pressure.”

Holmes, signed by the Bears to provide depth after the injury to Marquess Wilson, will play on Thursday in his first preseason finale since 2010, when he was with the Jets. He’s in a battle with Josh Wilson for the #3 WR role.

Coach Marc Trestman said Holmes may even get the chance to return a kick in Thursday’s game against the Browns. The Bears are still looking for a solution for their return game, which has turned into a wide-open competition.

6 Things We Saw: Preseason Game 1

Last night, the Bears defeated the Eagles 34-28 in the first preseason game. To follow up from our 6 Things to Watch For, we take a look at the 6 things we saw.

1. Shea McClellin – McClellin played his first NFL game at linebacker after spending the last 2 seasons at defensive end. McClellin struggled all night vs the Eagles in the run game and against the pass. McClellin isn’t a lock to make the team if he continues to struggle like he did last night.

2. Jimmy Clausen vs. Jordan Palmer – Both Clausen and Palmer saw a lot of playing time last night. Clausen looked like the quarterback that the Panthers thought they drafted in 2010. Clausen was 7 for 13, with 150 yards, 2 touchdowns and 0 interceptions with a 134.6 QB rating. Palmer faced a tough pass rush, but still finished going 8 for 11, with 104 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception with a 94.5 QB rating. Clausen looked better than Palmer last night and I would expect him to get 2nd team reps this week. But in reality, I hope neither of them sees the field this year after the way Jay Cutler played last night.

3. Defensive Line – The defensive line was without Jared Allen last night as his wife gave birth to their 2nd daughter earlier this week, but you wouldn’t have known he was missing by the pass rush the Bears had. Newcomers, Lamarr Houston and Willie Young, applied pressure forcing Nick Foles to throw an interception to Ryan Mundy. The Bears later forced Foles to throw another interception to Sherrick McManis, matching his total number of interceptions in 2013. The Bears also held the Eagles to 76 total yards rushing although the Eagles 2nd team did have 2 rushing touchdowns. It was a good start for the Bears, especially considering the defensive line in 2013.

4. Jonathan Bostic vs. DJ Williams –  In yesterday’s article, I mentioned how I expect this battle to go until the 3rd Preseason Game and after watching last night, I still feel that way. Neither made any spectacular plays to stand out. Who knows, the loser of this battle may end up starting at SLB.

5. #3 WR – Eric Weems played as the #3 WR with the 1st Team, but did not play particularly well. He had 0 catches on 2 targets. Chris Williams had 2 catches for 78 and a touchdown. One of those catches was for a 73 yard touchdown that Jimmy Clausen hit him in perfect stride. Williams however, left the game early with a strained hamstring. Josh Morgan looked good with 2 catches for 36 yards. It will be interesting still to see if another receiver is brought in.

6. Martellus Bennett – The big question was, will Martellus Bennett play? The answer was no. However, the Bears looked to have found a steal in Zach Miller. Miller in his his 5th NFL season after spending the last 4 seasons in Jacksonville. He has 4 career touchdowns, but had 6 catches for 68 yards and 2 touchdowns last night. The Bears have been unsure if they had any depth at tight end after Bennett, but Miller showed last night that he is capable.

The Bears return to Training Camp at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, IL on Sunday, August 10th at 3pm.

6 Things to Watch for: Preseason Game 1

Tonight, the Bears play their first preseason game vs. the Eagles at home in Soldier Field. The Bears have had a fairly eventful training camp so far and with many offseason changes, the preseason games will more meaningful than in years past.

In honor of our favorite #6, here are 6 Things to Watch for in tonight’s preseason opener

1. Shea McClellin – Shea McClellin was drafted in the 1st round in 2012 to play defensive end. Besides his game against the Packers last year, he has been a disappointment. This offseason, Shea transitioned from defensive end to linebacker where he is currently listed a starter at. He has all the physical traits to play linebacker, but can he put it all together while fighting off undrafted free agent rookie, Christian Jones?

2. Jimmy Clausen vs. Jordan Palmer – The battle for Jay Cutler’s backup is between Jimmy Clausen and Jordan Palmer. Palmer was the backup last year while Josh McCown was the starter, but was never needed. Jimmy Clausen was a 2nd round draft pick in 2010, but struggled as the starter in Carolina. Palmer has had some minor injuries this offseason and Clausen has done fairly well in his short time with quarterback guru, Marc Trestman.

3. Defensive Line – What a difference a year makes. Like wide receivers in 2012, when Phil Emery brought in Brandon and Alshon Jeffery, and the offensive line in 2013, when Emery added Bushrod, Slauson, Long, Mills, and Bennett at tight end, this year’s offseason focus was on the defensive line. In 2013, the Bears defense gave up the most rushing yards in the NFL. Corey Wootton, Shea McClellin, Julius Peppers, & Henry Melton are no longer there. The Bears brought in Lamarr Houston, Willie Young, and Jared Allen at defensive ends and then added rookies Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton to go with Stephen Paea, Nate Collins, and Jeremiah Ratliff at defensive tackle. All of these players should give the Bears some much needed talent and depth along with a very dangerous rotation.

4. Jonathan Bostic vs. DJ Williams – This is a battle that I expect to go all the way until the 3rd preseason game. Bostic and Williams are currently listed as co-starters at the position that one thinks about when they think of Chicago Bear Greats, Middle Linebacker. Bostic will likely be there during nickel packages, but can he play all 3 downs? Can Williams stay healthy for the year and has he recovered from his previous injuries?

5. #3 WR – or the WRs not named Marshall or Jeffery. This position was handed to Marquess Wilson when the Bears released Earl Bennett. Wilson spent all offseason training with Marshall and Jeffery in South Florida, but broke his collarbone earlier this week and will likely be out for the start of the season. There are a few guys looking to take his spot, such as, Chris Williams, Eric Weems, and Josh Morgan. Who will step up to be the #3 receiver or will the Bears have to sign a free agent like Santonio Holmes or Earl Bennett?

6. Martellus Bennett – Will Martellus Bennett be suited up on the field tonight? Bennett was fined and suspended indefinitely after body slamming this year’s 1st round pick, Kyle Fuller in practice. In his interviews following the incident, he wasn’t exactly apologetic about it either. Bennett had 65 catches last year, for 759 yards, and 5 touchdowns and is a big part of the Bears’ offense. There isn’t much depth behind him either, so it will be interesting to see if he is back on the field tonight.