The Chicago Bears finished the preseason undefeated for the first time since 1994 but that is not the biggest takeaway of their day. Their 21-20 victory was a lot closer in the end than it was at halftime when Justin Fields and the starters did the heavy lifting with all three touchdowns coming on throws to three different – wide open – targets.
It was easily the best performance from the first unit that hadn’t seen the second-year passer throw for a score in the previous two games despite some promising signs last week against the Seattle Seahawks.
Even with all of the encouraging signs like Fields’ mastery of the scheme on the night, or the potential emergence of Dante Pettis in the passing game and on special teams, it was what co-director of player personnel Jeff King said that will have the longest-lasting impact on the season.
Bears Exec Gets Honest on Roster Plans
This is a Good Thing
Obviously, the Bears coming away with a perfect exhibition run is a nice feather in the cap of a first-year regime. And, if nothing else, the Bears have proven that their depth at most positions is much better than it was. It was those units that secured the victories in the previous two outings.
But injuries to the wide receiving corps, offensive line, and secondary have them keeping tabs on happenings around the league.
— Daniel Greenberg (@ChiSportUpdates) August 27, 2022
King’s admission is not shocking. Earlier in the week former Super Bowl-winning head coach and Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz decried the lack of talent the front office has put around Fields. He cast doubts about Fields’ development as well. This preseason performance likely won’t sway Martz’s opinion on the latter point.
But it appears the Bears agree with his point about the talent on the roster. And with a slew of notable names expected to hit the market, they could find something be it a wide receiver, offensive lineman, or defensive back.
The negative spin is that this roster could probably have used more of an infusion of talent, at least offensively, from the beginning. Especially because all of the positions one would assume they will be targeting – offensive line, secondary, wide receiver – were question marks already. Now, injuries have turned those spots into potential detriments.
During Saturday’s broadcast, former Bears quarterback Jim Miller noted how the team did not go to a four wide receiver set in an obvious situation opting instead to use tight end James O’Shaughnessy. Miller’s point was the Bears simply did not have the personnel to spread out the defense with 10 personnel.
The problem now is incorporating a new player – receiver or otherwise – at this point in the process.
They would also be taking a player another team deemed expendable unless they trade for them and, right now, their options for that are Roquan Smith and draft capital. Smith seems more likely than draft capital to be traded after the Bears sent a sixth-round pick to the New England Patriots for wide receiver N’Keal Harry.
Harry underwent ankle surgery for an injury suffered during training camp and has been out ever since. How aggressive should the Bears be to trade yet another pick just to potentially have the same outcome?
Bears Exec Shares Plan
It is refreshing to hear such honesty from the Bears’ front office. And we will see just what kind of players actually come free and which they target. That could tell us a lot more about what they think of this current group that has shown some flashes but is still a ways away from contending for anything.
There is still the fact that many of their shortcomings have been apparent since they opened camp. But, if they make some good signings and field a competitive group starting in Week 1 against the 49ers, that will be all that matters.
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