Why This Year’s Bear’s Preseason Is Worth Watching
Now I fully understand that more often than not the NFL Preseason is an absolute snoozefest. It’s usually filled with your “little wide receiver who could” stories… you know, the 5’8” wideout from Montana State with a small frame and a big heart… and it’s great when he makes the final cut for your team’s 53-man roster, but by the time he is demoted to the practice squad in week 3 and eventually cut in week 5, you barely remember his name. But not this year. This year, the Chicago Bears preseason schedule is actually worth watching and here’s why…
Thursday, August 9th vs Denver Broncos
The biggest move of the NFL offseason was Peyton Manning’s departure from Indianapolis. After 11 Pro Bowls, 4 MVP awards and 2 Super Bowl appearances in his first 13 seasons with the Colts, Manning was forced to sit out the entire 2011 season with a neck injury. The Colts finished the year with a league worst 2-14 record. This resulted in the team receiving the number 1 overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft, a draft which included Andrew luck, arguably the best quarterback prospect since Manning himself. With a decision to make, the Colts decided to build for the future. They proceeded to draft Luck and opt out of Peyton Manning’s contract just before he was due for a big payday. Manning would eventually sign with Denver and is set to make his first appearance in a Broncos uniform when they face the Chicago Bears this preseason at Soldier Field.
While Manning to Denver might have been the biggest story league wide this offseason, the trade that brought Brandon Marshall to the Bears was hands down the biggest in Chicago. Beyond the fact the Bears finally addressed their long time need of a number one receiver, Marshall’s productive history with Bears QB Jay Cutler has Chicago dusting off their shufflin’ shoes. And, against whom do Marshall and Cutler get to celebrate their long-awaited reunion? None other than their former team, the Denver Broncos.
Saturday, August 19th vs Washington Redskins
For the past few seasons, the Washington Redskins’ quarterback position as been a revolving door (a feeling Bears fans know all to well). Skins’ fans saw playcallers come and go… Jason Campbell (current Bears backup), Donovan McNabb, Rex Grossman (former Bear), John Beck, and others all took tried their hand to no avail. The Redskins front office made it clear they were in the market for an upgrade at the position when they traded for the number 2 overall pick in this year’s draft. With Luck already pinned to go to the Colts, the Redskins set their eyes on Robert Griffin III who had just come off a monster senior season at Baylor. In fact, Griffin’s 2011 season was so impressive it earned him the Heisman Trophy, the Manning Award, countless other awards as well as the household nickname “RG3″. The Redskins eventually drafted Griffin and Washington fans have been ecstatic ever since. Bears fans will get their first look at the dual-threat rookie QB on August 19th when the Bears and Redskins face off at Soldier Field for week two of the preseason. Click here to see how you can win free tickets to this game (offer ends 8/10).
Friday, August 24th @ New York Giants
The past few years for the Chicago Bears have been full of highs and lows, and possibly the lowest point in that span came against the New York Giants in 2010, when a struggling Bears offensive line let up 9 quarterback sacks in a single half. The Bears new offensive coordinator and former line coach, Mike Tice, has been adamant that the team’s o-line struggles are now in the past. Fans will get the chance to see if Tice’s claims are more fact or fiction when they head to the Meadowlands to face off against the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants and their cast of elite defensive ends. Tackles J’Marcus Webb and Gabe Carimi will be given a true test when they line up against the likes of Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi Umenyiora, and that is something we are certainly eager to see.
Thursday August 30th @ Cleveland Browns
One of our favorite things about the preseason is getting to see our favorite college stars line up as rookies and see how they look among the pros. Even though the Cleveland Browns aren’t predicted to be a playoff caliber team this year, they have a cast of rookies that are certainly worth your attention. The most notable is running back Trent Richardson who was drafted 3rd overall (behind Luck and Griffin). During his college years at Alabama, Richardson was nothing short of spectacular, helping lead his team to two national championships. With their 2nd 1st round pick this year, 22nd overall, the Browns addressed another skill position by drafting 28-year-old rookie QB Brandon Weeden from Oklahoma State. The Browns have already named both Weeden and Richardson as starters and hope these two can deliver even a glimpse of their college success to Cleveland.
Which team are you most excited to see the Chicago Bears play this preseason?
- Denver Broncos (50%, 9 Votes)
- Washington Redskins (22%, 4 Votes)
- New York Giants (22%, 4 Votes)
- Cleveland Browns (6%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 18
Photo Source: Joe Amon - Denver Post