By Clyde A. Speller @ClydeASpeller on August 6, 2014
Training camps across the NFL have been underway for about a week-and-a-half, and the first week of the preseason is upon us. The Chicago Bears’ coaching staff will have their hands full trying to anoint players to the starting lineup and trimming down the roster before the start of the regular season. For Chicago’s first dress rehearsal of 2014, here are the players that coaches will have a close eye on.
Ka’Deem Carey’s spot on the 53-man roster is virtually guaranteed. However, it’s still good to know just how productive Matt Forte’s backup is in real game-time situations.
Undrafted rookies are usually a long shot to make any team’s 53-man roster, but as for linebacker Christian Jones and running back Jordan Lynch, this first preseason game will be their chance to separate themselves from the rest of the competition at their respective positions and on special teams.
For the first time since 2006, the Bears won’t have the magic of Devin Hester in the return game. Armanti Edwards, Michael Ford and Michael Spurlock are the main candidates to be the successor of Hester’s place on special teams.
The Bears focused a lot of their time this offseason revamping their defensive line. During the process, they felt that investing their second and third-round draft picks on Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton respectively would help complement their free-agent additions. Ferguson and Sutton should get plenty of opportunities on Friday to prove their worth.
Even if rookie Kyle Fuller wasn’t caught up in the recent fight with teammate Martellus Bennett, he would still get a great amount of attention in this week’s preseason game. Fuller is slated to see a lot of time on the field playing on the outside in nickel packages instead of defending the slot receiver.
Behind Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, Josh Morgan is the receiver with the most NFL experience on the Bears’ roster. With the untimely injury to No. 3 receiver Marquess Wilson, the door is wide open for Morgan to claim that spot, even with the Bears’ recent signing of Greg Herd and the workouts of veterans Santonio Holmes and Ben Obomanu.
Actually, Jimmy Clausen and Jordan Palmer will be viewed under a microscope throughout the entire preseason. The winner of this competition will be awarded the No. 2 quarterback spot on the depth chart, while the loser will more than likely not make the 53-man roster.
Obviously, this is the battle that all Bears fans will be watching. Each and every safety who has been able to participate in training camp has taken reps with the first-team defense. Hopefully, this game will somehow narrow down the decision-making process for Chicago’s coaching staff.
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