Bear Down On The 8/13/14 Links

Posted by Matt Clapp | 8/13/2014 03:58:00 PM | ,

Jay Cutler & Zach Miller Were The Stars Of The Bears' Preseason Opener. 

We're now just 25 days away from the Chicago Bears' 2014 regular season opener against the Buffalo Bills,, and one day away from the Bears' second preseason game, a nationally televised (ESPN) contest vs the Jacksonville Jaguars at Soldier Field. Additionally, the Bears finished up their training camp at Bourbonnais on Tuesday.

Let's catch up on the happenings around Bears camp, and also catch up on the reactions of the team's preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles last Friday since this is our first post since then (apologies for our laziness; we plan to kick it into gear now)...

Bears-Eagles Reactions

Pro Football Focus' ReFo: Bears-Eagles- Kiernan Hogan of Pro Football Focus breaks down some of the key things to takeaway from the Bears' 34-28 victory.

Also, I'm a Pro Football Focus subscriber (as I recommend too if you're a football and advanced data nut), so I went looking through the grades of every Bears player from the game (crazy that they take the time to grade every player from every preseason game)...

Top 4 PFF Grades On Bears' Offense Vs Eagles:
1. QB Jay Cutler +2.5
2. TE Zach Miller +2.4
3. WR Michael Spurlock +1.3
4. WR Chris Williams +1.2
5. C/G Brian De La Puente +1.1

Bottom 4 PFF Grades On Bears' Offense Vs Eagles
1. OL Michael Ola -3.0
2. OL Joe Long -2.9
3. C Dylan Gandy -2.7
4. OT Dennis Roland -2.5

Top 4 PFF Grades On Bears' Defense Vs Eagles
1. CB Sherrick McManis +2.5
2. CB Demontre Hurst +1.6
3. DT Jeremiah Ratliff +1.5
4. S Adrian Wilson +1.4

Bottom 4 PFF Grades On Bears' Defense Vs Eagles
1. LB Jon Bostic -5.5
2. LB Shea McClellin -4.6
3. DE Austen Lane -4.4
4. DT Will Sutton -3.5

Bostic and McClellin have the two worst grades given out by PFF so far this preseason. It's all "take it with a grain of salt" stuff in the preseason, but that's not a good start for two linebackers that need to start making a positive impression. (Kiernan Hogan; Pro Football Focus)

Five Things Learned Vs Eagles- Jeff Dickerson writes about five things to take away from the Bears' preseason win. (Jeff Dickerson; ESPN Chicago)

Positives From The Bears' Exhibition Win- Video report featuring Bears writers Brad Biggs and Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune following the game. (Chicago Tribune)

Negatives From The Bears' Exhibition Win- (Chicago Tribune)

Bears Defense Already Looks Much Better- (Bob LeGere; Daily Herald)

Clausen Grabs Upper Hand In Back-Up Quarterback Battle- Most have assumed that Jimmy Clausen has the edge over Jordan Palmer for the No. 2 quarterback job, and Clausen figures to be an even larger favorite for the job after what we saw on Friday night. (James Neveau; NBC Chicago)

A Fine Defensive Line Lifts Bears In Preseason Opener- Well that defensive line sure looked much better than the one we saw last year, and that's certainly no surprise. Newcomers Lamarr Houston and Willie Young were impressive, as was veteran Jeremiah Ratliff (whom we only saw for the final five games last season). And Jared Allen didn't even play in this one as he sat out after attending to a personal matter for a couple days earlier in week. So, very nice start for the defensive line and hopefully a sign of things to come. (Mark Potash; Chicago Sun-Times)

Strong Night For Bears QBs In Preseason Opening Win- Bears quarterbacks Jay Cutler, Jordan Palmer, and Jimmy Clausen combined to complete 24 of 37 passes for 339 yards, four touchdowns, and a 119.1 QB rating in three quarters of play. You'll definitely take that. (Adam L. Jahns; Chicago Sun-Times)

Cutler, Scott Step Up In Bears Win- Defensive end Trevor Scott has impressed in camp, and carried that over to his performance in the Bears' victory. (James Neveau; NBC Chicago)

New Era Of Bears' Special Teams Struggle In Nearly All Areas- The Bears' special teams play on Friday night certainly could not have left Joe DeCamillis happy. It was ugly, across the board. (John Mullin; CSN Chicago)

Rookie Roundup: Bears Newcomers Impress In NFL Debut- (Scott Krinch; CSN Chicago)

Bears' Adrian Wilson A Big Hit At Safety- Five-time Pro Bowl safety Adrian Wilson was very impressive in the Bears' preseason opener. Although 34 and perhaps not what he once was, Wilson has a chance to be a starting safety for the Bears, or at least right in the thick of their safety rotation. (Adam L. Jahns; Chicago Sun-Times)

Training Camp Reading Material

Bears Reinstate Martellus Bennett- Tight end Martellus Bennett returned to Bears practice on Sunday, six days after serving a suspension and being fined by the team for his altercation with rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller in practice. However, the assumption is it was much more than just because of how he acted that day and has been a build-up of events/attitude issues that led the organization to do this. Whatever the case, hopefully Martellus learned his lesson and all should be good now. Let's hope so, because the Black Unicorn is a big part of the Bears' offense. (Michael C. Wright; ESPN Chicago)

Conte Makes Immediate Impact In Return- Chris Conte had his first practice on Sunday after missing every practice and the team's offseason program following shoulder surgery. And during Monday's practice, he even intercepted a pass in the end zone before returning it back 100 yards for a touchdown. The crowd even cheered the much-maligned player's efforts. Good for Chris, and if he can get back to game action soon (it sounds like the third preseason game is most likely), he may have a chance to win a starting job in this wide open safety competition. (James Neveau; Grizzly Detail)

Why A Chris Conte Renaissance Could Go A Long Way Towards Defining The 2014 Bears On Defense- Great read here from Jeff Hughes of Da Bears Blog. (Jeff Hughes; Da Bears Blog)

Brian de a Puente Suffers MCL Sprain- An MRI revealed that veteran center/guard Brian de la Puente suffered a grade 2 left MCL sprain in the Bears' preseason opener. While he's likely to miss a couple weeks, it should be considered good news given that many feared he had an ACL injury. (Jeff Dickerson; ESPN Chicago)

Bears Sign C/G Rob Turner- With de la Puente going down and Eben Britton also out at the time being with a hamstring injury, the Bears have signed veteran center/guard Rob Turner. Turner started six games for the Tennessee Titans in 2013 and all 16 games for the St. Louis Rams in 2012. Not a bad guy to be able to bring off the street this time of the year for a camp body (and potentially more if de la Puente or Britton's rehab takes longer than expected). (Jeff Dickerson; ESPN Chicago)

Camp Day 14 Notes: Clausen Will Take 2nd-Team Reps Vs Jaguars- Notes from day 14 of camp, the final day at Bourbonnais. Among the tidbits is news that Jimmy Clausen will be the No. 2 quarterback on Thursday night against the Jaguars. But, this was likely planned regardless of how Clausen and Palmer performed against the Eagles, as Trestman wanted each quarterback getting No. 2 reps. (670 The Score)

Chicago Bears Training Camp: Week 3 Stock Report- (Matt Eurich; Bleacher Report)

Trestman Mixing Up Personnel On Defense- Notes from day 13 of camp. (670 The Score)

Bears' New-Look Defensive Line Can Help Mask Other Deficiencies- Zach Kruse with a great write-up on how the defensive line can make the rest of the Bears' defense look much better. A quality defensive line can mask issues at safety, for example. Chris Conte and Major Wright looked just fine there in 2012 with a quality pass-rush up front... and looked like absolute garbage in 2013 with an absolute garbage pass-rush up front. Even if the safety talent isn't any better in 2014, a good pass rush can hide that. (Zach Kruse; Bleacher Report)

Bears' No. 2 QB Situation Is Mighty Unsettling- Tim Baffoe with a great column on how ugly the Bears' backup quarterback situation is on paper. Jimmy Clausen has looked impressive in camp... but he's still Jimmy Clausen. Jordan Palmer is 30 years old and has thrown 15 passes in the NFL. After what Trestman got out of journeyman quarterback Josh McCown last year, there's plenty of reason to believe he can continue working his magic on guys like Clausen and Palmer, but you still have to be pretty nervous about how things will go if Jay Cutler gets hurt. (Tim Baffoe; 670 The Score)

Jay Cutler Showing A 'Second Wind' With Bears- Jay Cutler looked great in the Bears' win over the Eagles and appears to have made many strides in his second training camp under Marc Trestman. Great, great news, and let's hope he can stay healthy. (Mark Potash; Chicago Sun-Times)

Is Jay Cutler Ready To Take His Game To The Next Level?- It would appear he most certainly may be. (Whitney Daniela; Bear Goggles On)

Kyle Fuller's Fine Play Overshadowed By Training-Camp Tussle- Bears rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller has had a great first training camp, even though most of the talk has been about the incident he had with Martellus Bennett. Alshon Jeffery is very, very impressed with the rookie:

“He’s going to be a star in this league,” Jeffery said. “He makes a lot of plays. He’s a tough competitor. He likes to compete. It’s just something he was born to do. He’s a great cornerback.” (Adam L. Jahns; Chicago Sun-Times)

So Far, Bears' Special Teams Not Very Special- (Bob LeGere; Daily Herald)

Jordan Mills Likely Out Again Vs Jaguars- Bears starting right tackle Jordan Mills is expected to miss his second consecutive preseason game due to a sore left foot. He's been wearing a boot on the foot. Mills had some struggles in his rookie year and the time he's missing can't be helping his development heading into his second year. Additionally, Eben Britton who may be next in line at right tackle is still out himself with a hamstring injury. So, this is definitely concerning even if the injuries appear to be minor. (Rich Campbell; Chicago Tribune)

Zach Miller Could Bring Bears Closer To Two TE Threat- (John Mullin; CSN Chicago)

Khaseem Greene No Longer Overthinking It- (Jeff Dickerson; ESPN Chicago)

Chicago Bears' Projected Roster- Michael C. Wright with an updated Bears 53-man roster projection. (Michael C. Wright; ESPN Chicago)

Comparing Bears' Roster Depth In 2013 And 2014: Offense- (Johnathan Wood; Da Bears Beat)

Forte: We Have A Chance To Be Really Good This Year- (CSN Chicago)

Mundy On Bears' D: 'Sky's The Limit- (670 The Score)

Young: 'Motor Everyone Plays With Is Crazy'- (670 The Score)

Pleased To Meet You: Preseason Week 2, Jacksonville Jaguars- Steven Schweickert of Windy City Gridiron previews the Bears' second preseason game. (Steven Schweickert; Windy City Gridiron)

Video Of The Day

Best Of Bears Training Camp Highlights- A video from the Bears' official website showing some of training camp's top moments.

Also, here's a link to the photo gallery of some of the top photos from camp: Top Bears camp photos. (ChicagoBears.Com)

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