By Clyde A. Speller @ClydeASpeller on August 7, 2014
The first preseason game of the year marks the beginning of numerous position battles for every NFL team. The Chicago Bears have their share of competitions to decide and should get a great look into all of them on Friday night. Here are the Bears’ five position battles to watch for in their preseason opener.
Assuming that Martellus Bennett is still on suspension at the start of Friday’s preseason game, the Bears’ reserve tight ends will have ample time to prove that they are worthy for the backup spot. Jeron Mastrud, Zach Miller, Matthew Mulligan and Dante Rosario will all be getting a good look from Chicago’s offensive coaching staff throughout the entire game.
Due to Marquess Wilson fracturing his clavicle earlier this week, the No. 3 wide receiver spot is now up for grabs. Josh Morgan has the most on-the-field experience out of all the receivers on the Bears’ roster, but Eric Weems, Michael Spurlock, Josh Bellamy and a few others are just as capable of claiming that spot behind Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery.
Jordan Palmer was a shoe-in for the No. 2 quarterback spot until the Bears signed Jimmy Clausen. Now many are saying that Clausen looks to be the favorite to be Chicago’s primary backup QB. This first preseason game will mark the beginning of arguably the biggest competition the Bears will have this summer.
Lance Briggs and D.J. Williams are mainstays at the weak side and middle linebacker spots respectively. Either second-year veteran Jon Bostic or newly-converted linebacker Shea McClellin could determine whether or not Chicago’s starting linebacking corps will be much improved from last year. Both Bostic and McClellin have impressed coaches in camp, but this first preseason game could create space between the two in the fight for the strong side.
Just like in training camp, defensive coordinator Mel Tucker will more than likely play musical chairs with both safety positons throughout the entire game. Chicago has yet to find a suitable duo for the starting backend of the secondary, and could possibly use the entire preseason to make that decision.
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