The Chicago Bears play their second preseason game of the season against the Washington Redskins on Saturday, with this in mind, as well as the performance we all saw out of the Bears against the Denver Broncos last time out, I have compiled a list of three players to watch on defence.
Henry Melton DT:
The first defensive series against the Broncos saw very little push from everyone along the d-line, however in order for Lovie Smith’s Tampa 2 style of defence to work, the DT have got to get a better push up the middle and put pressure on these QB’s.
Peyton Manning last week had all the time in the world to pick out whoever he wanted, the couple times the Bears did get pressure; they almost forced an interception, and then did when Major Wright SS picked off a pass deflected by DJ Moore CB.
The conversation about the Chicago Bears secondary is irrelevant if this line, most notably Henry Melton DT, don’t turn up to play, put simply he has to consistently get push and put pressure on the interior of the Redskins o-line this week, otherwise warning bells will start sounding in my head that he simply isn’t up to the job.
Brandon Hardin SS:
I really was not impressed with Brandon Hardin last week, perhaps I am being to harsh, after all he is in the process of making the transition from cornerback to safety, after being injured for the whole of his last season with the Oregon State University.
Nevertheless just because he is learning a new position, does not excuse him from the numerous poor angles he took in tackles, as well as the numerous missed tackles he also had. This is an area that Rod Marinelli DC specifically pointed out in his press conference, so you can be sure that the standard of tackling will be much improved across the board, not just from Hardin.
One of the places I expect to see Hardin immediately become of use to the Bears is on Special Teams, so make sure to look out for #35 on punts and kickoffs to see what he is made of. As long as I can see this guy progressing it will be fine, in honesty it isn’t Hardin’s fault that the Bears have had a revolving door at the position for the last 5-6 years.
Shea McClellin DE:
Before we start Shea McClellin is not Brian Urlacher’s replacement at MLB, now that this is out the way, I am very much looking forward to watching the rookie first round pick this week against the Redskins.
As fans, pundits and journalist who follow the Bears closely will tell you, McClellin didn’t have the best of camps, but last week against the Broncos once the lights were on, McClellin came to play, and the speed, intelligence and motor we were told about was plain to see.
He does need to develop a more moves to beat his man, and he clearly needs to put on a few more pounds, these things will develop over the next year, but I hope now things have begun to click for McClellin that he can showcase more of his talents this week against the Redskins.