Stay calm and football on. The NFL is kicking off another season, and fans of the Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears can finally rejoice as we are a day away from preseason football. On Friday night, the Eagles will roll into Chicago for their first game of the 2014 preseason. When the teams last met, Philadelphia beat Chicago 54-11.
Moving forward, both Chip Kelly and Marc Trestman are entering their second seasons. Both brought their own offensive identities last season and improved on that side of the ball. While the Bears’ offensive personnel has remained the same, the Eagles’ offense will come into the season with a few major changes. DeSean Jackson will be playing for divisional rival. They added Darren Sproles to accompany an already dynamic backfield. Then there are still question marks on whether Zach Ertz can leapfrog Brent Celek at tight end.
The Bears will be without tight end Martellus Bennett, who will miss the game due to suspension (conduct detrimental to the team). His return is yet to be determined.
Being that it is the first preseason game, the main questions won’t be answered, the playbooks will not be opened up just yet and of course, the starters will get one possession at most. Tomorrow will be used as a measuring stick for things like conditioning, playbook knowledge, etc.
The first mandatory roster cut isn’t until Aug. 26, when teams must be down to 75 players. There is still plenty of time for bubble players to claim their roster spots, and this game is to be played mostly by those bubble guys. The further teams go into training camp, the more teams will play their starters.