Sunday, August 28, 2011
Preseason: Glass half full for Bears
By Kevin Seifert
Reviewing Saturday's action at LP Field
Tennessee Titans 14, Chicago Bears 13
Preseason record: 1-2
Of interest: First, the good: I thought tailback Matt Forte continued his strong summer performance in carrying 17 times for 74 yards and a rare goal-to-goal touchdown. Quarterback Jay Cutler connected six times with receiver Earl Bennett, who if it were up to Cutler would be the Bears' No. 1 receiver. Cutler also broke the ice with receiver Roy Williams, hitting a 17-yard pass on the offense's first play. Finally, the Bears' run defense looked pretty strong against a Titans team that was admittedly without tailback Chris Johnson. ... Now, the other side: Cutler's second pass, also intended for Williams, was intercepted. My first-blush reaction was that Williams shouldn't be blamed, but he did say afterwards that he should have caught it. Regardless, the play won't do much for the duo's chemistry. The Bears defense had no interceptions and managed only one sack, by reserve defensive tackle Amobi Okoye. ... Tailback Chester Taylor didn't play after Forte departed and Marion Barber strained a calf. Are the Bears trying to keep him healthy for a potential trade? Or do they plan to release him and don't want an injury to force them into an injury settlement?
Local coverage: Williams on the interception, via Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com: "The second one, that's my fault, I still have to catch that one. I felt like it should have been a flag somewhere in there, but it's the NFL. I got past that one, and go to the next play." ... In that same post, Cutler called Bennett "just a football player" and added: "We need a couple more of those in the locker room." Hmmmm. ... The Bears offense had 239 yards and had converted five of seven third downs by halftime, notes Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times. ... Coach Lovie Smith on why Taylor didn't play, via Michael C. Wright of ESPNChicago.com: "We wanted to take a look at someone else tonight, in particular, Kahlil Bell. Kahlil hadn't gotten an opportunity to play much. We wanted to take a good look at him, [and] we were able to. I think he did a good job of taking advantage of the carries he got." ... The offensive line continues to improve, notes Dickerson. ... The Bears have only one fully dependable receiver at this point in Bennett, writes Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune. ... Melissa Isaacson of ESPNChicago.com isn't sweating the small stuff of the Bears' preseason.
Up next: Thursday against Cleveland Browns