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NFL Chicago Bears

5 Observations on Chicago Bears’ Second Exhibition Game

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Observations on Chicago Bears’ Second Exhibition Game

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David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears played their second preseason game Thursday night against the San Diego Chargers at Soldier Field. Wide receiver Brandon Marshall made his first appearance of the exhibition season, while the offensive line saw two new starters in right guard Kyle Long and right tackle Jordan Mills, both of whom are rookies.

The first team offense showed improvement after the first preseason game against the Carolina Panthers, but the unit is clearly still a work in progress. The first team defense showed it hasn’t missed a beat for the second consecutive week, putting pressure on QB Philip Rivers and forcing turnovers. Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker has a tough job trying to maintain continuity on defense, but so far the transition appears seamless.

The Bears finished the game relatively unscathed as far as injuries, one of the most important things to do in an exhibition match. The most notable injury was to third string QB Matt Blanchard, who suffered a broken left (non-throwing) hand in the third quarter. The Bears signed QB Jordan Palmer and QB Trent Edwards over the weekend, both of whom were brought in for workouts in early June. Blanchard is scheduled to see a specialist on Monday, but you have to believe his status to make the team is now in question. The team was planning on keeping just two quarterbacks on the active roster, starter Jay Cutler and backup Josh McCown, and placing Blanchard on the practice squad. It will be interesting to see how this situation plays out over the final two preseason games.

Here are five observations from the game.

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Jay Cutler is Still Locking in on Brandon Marshall

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Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Cutler went 4-for-5 passing, but all five attempts were to Marshall. The lone incompletion was intercepted by Chargers LB Donald Butler. Cutler has to start spreading the ball around or defenses will key-in on Marshall and force more turnovers.

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Offensive Line is Improving

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David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Cutler was pressured on the opening series, but the offensive line buckled down after that, giving Cutler time and opening running lanes for RB Matt Forte. New left tackle Jermon Bushrod made a great block on the outside, springing Forte for a 58-yard run.

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Guard Kyle Long Looks Like a Stud

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David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Long not only held his ground, but was pushing guys around. He is big and extremely athletic for his size. This was his first game with the first unit, and he is there to stay.

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Rookie MLB Jonathan Bostic Should Start Opening Day

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Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Bostic looked fast and fluid for the second straight game, delivering a serious hit on Chargers WR Mike Willie. The Bears signed veteran D.J. Williams during the offseason. Williams has been sidelined with a leg injury, and it's looking like the Bears may not even need him.

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Defense and Special Teams Still Strengths

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Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Both units have new coordinators, but each one looked like the Bears of old on Friday. The defense penetrated the backfield while both units forced turnovers.