A Preseason Star is (San)Born: Rapid Fire Recap of the First Practice Game

| August 14th, 2022

Let’s start in the only appropriate place: the disgrace that was the Soldier Field pitch. It is unacceptable. It is an embarrassment. And both coaches were crazy to put their players out there. But they did. So, I watched. Now, you read.

Quarter One.

  • Trestan Ebner is a solid kickoff return man; north to south runner who will not make mental errors. Ebner back on both early kickoffs seems to signal it’ll be his job.
  • Braxton Jones had a very strong first few drives, holding up in protecting and sealing the outside on a nice Khalil Herbert run. Jones has a chance to be a real bright spot in a potentially dark season.
  • Defensively, it’s difficult to know what this team will look like with that many starters not on the field. But Al-Quadin Muhammad paid off what’s been a very strong start to camp, getting to the QB multiple times.
  • Dazz Newsome got the first punt return opportunity and capitalized by fumbling it and then losing thirteen yards. Probably not the start he was looking for.

Quarter Two.

  • Trenton Gill’s punt off the opening drive of the quarter was a beauty. Gill was one of the players I was interested in seeing in game action and he didn’t disappoint. (He had another punt later that deserved a better outcome.)
  • Dante Pettis is given the second punt return. Have to believe the plan wasn’t for Dazz to only get one attempt. Not good for the kid.
  • Jaquan Brisker bossed the game a bit against the second (third?) string Chiefs. That’s exactly what he should do.
  • Tajae Sharpe is going to be that guy, isn’t he? Follow social media. Fans will be calling for him to start by the end of the day today.

Quarter Three.

  • As it starts to rain, I wonder this: how much money would it take to convince me to sit in a rain-drenched Soldier Field for the second half of a preseason game? First thought: five grand.
  • Eberflus with a successful challenge. Seems like it’s been a decade since the Bears have had one of those.
  • Jack Sanborn! A pick and a fumble recovery in a quarter is good production. (He also showed some nice closing speed on specials.)
  • The Bears seem to be rotating Larry Borom and Teven Jenkins at right tackle, establishing a competition between the two for the swing tackle role. Will be worth following as the summer continues.
  • Dominique Robinson with a sack early in the third quarter. Robinson and Sanborn are guys that make rosters.
  • Trevor Siemian threw some terrific balls, especially to Pettis on fourth down and Dazz for the corner TD.
  • Nice rebound quarter from Dazz, looking like the dynamic player the Bears drafted. It won’t be overrated against Chiefs third stringers, but it might keep him out of the doghouse.

Quarter Four. 

  • It’s not easy to build a roster in a tear-down year but I don’t understand having Nathan Peterman the third quarterback. He’s a journeyman and he’s awful. Why not use that roster spot on a kid? (My bet is Peterman doesn’t make the Week One roster. You can sign guys of his quality off the street in September.)
  • Want to see more: DeMarquis Gates.
  • Want to see less: Lamar Jackson.
  • Bears giving Jenkins extended work at right tackle. As the fourth quarter winds down, he’s still in the game. Safe to say he’s not in the team’s starter plans. Not even close.
  • Cairo Santos looks 100% comfortable and confident over a 47-yard field goal. What a stabilizing force he’s been for this franchise.
  • Another brilliant punt from Trenton Gill.

General Point.

There is no reason to overreact to a practice game on August 13th. But we have heard that this team – under Matt Eberflus – would constantly play hard. The Bears did that today, especially on defense. The offense will be a work-in-progress for a while. And we saw plenty from the kids on this roster. There are better days ahead.

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