As the Chicago Bears open their preseason against the Philadelphia Eagles tonight, the storylines are plentiful. As with most of the preseason, the veteran starters won’t play more than 15 plays, but with the many position battles going on within the Bears’ depth chart, there will still be plenty to watch when Jay Cutler and company head to the sidelines.
While most fans will be interested in the position battles at safety and wide receiver, they should also be excited to get their eyes on sixth-round pick David Fales.
Three months after Bears fans first heard of Fales at the NFL draft, they’ll see the 23-year-old quarterback in action. If all goes according to GM Phil Emery and head coach Marc Trestman‘s plan, Fales will be Cutler’s successor in a few years. In the first few weeks of camp, Fales has seen very limited reps as the fourth QB listed on the depth chart. He has, however, shown strides in individual drill sessions.
Trestman is known as a quarterback guru. It is widely expected that Cutler will have a career season this year and Trestman and his scheme will be a big part of it. If Fales can continue to develop under the coach’s watchful eye, he could very well be the perfect prospect to develop as the heir apparent the next few years.
Despite his thorny reputation, Cutler has been huge for Fales in the first few weeks of his NFL career. The rookie has been able to pick the nine-year veteran’s brain and take what he has called “mental reps” everyday at practice. It also has helped to have veterans Jimmy Clausen and Jordan Palmer in the room.
Fales seems to be the perfect quarterback-in-training for Trestman’s offense. He is rarely rattled in the pocket and has very good short and intermediate accuracy. His intangibles seem to be perfect. Fales plays smart, under control and is supremely confident, and he is hoping to put that on display in his NFL debut tonight.
During his college career, Fales was a two-year starter at San Jose State. He broke or tied 28 San Jose State football records and three Mountain West Conference passing records, so he is not a stranger to success.
He originally attended the University of Nevada, where he was a backup to current San Francisco 49ers star Colin Kaepernick, but he quickly realized he wasn’t a fit for their run-first offense. He landed at SJS in 2012, where they run an offense very similar to the West Coast style offense of Trestman.
Fales will get the biggest test of his life tonight when he steps on the field for his debut. No one is expecting a dominant performance, but if he can play well, it will speak to the maturity and on-field improvements made by Cutler, Trestman and the entire Bears offense.
Andrew Pappas is a Chicago Bears writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewPappas24.