The approach of the first preseason game, a game Friday in Soldier Field with the Philadelphia Eagles, means that the Bears will issue their first official depth chart of 2014. While it is being eagerly awaited, it will not be nearly as revealing as the one after Friday’s game.
Coach Marc Trestman held to the plan of rotating players at certain closely watched positions — safety, linebacker — and again cautioned against assigning excessive importance to who starts game on. GM Phil Emery specifically said before camp that the same people at some positions were unlikely to start each of the preseason games.
“We’re still in the process of moving people around,” Trestman said. “We’ll keep moving them around until probably after the first game.”
Meaning: Even though veteran Pro Bowl strong safety Adrian Wilson continues to draw time with the No. 1 defense, playing alongside free safety Danny McCray, the real defining moments will come in games, and day one camp starters Ryan Mundy and Brock Vereen should be anything but ruled out of the starter hunt.
Meaning: While Lance Briggs and Jon Bostic are fixtures as the nickel linebackers, with the offense working extensively in nickel personnel, Bostic is not out of consideration for the starting MLB spot, and Shea McClellin time with the No. 1 nickel unit didn’t necessarily end with OTA’s.
Briggs in particular will see limited work in preseason games, giving McClellin opportunities to make performance statements. Jobs will be won or lost on the field and Briggs was not going to lose his nickel spot in minicamps; he remains one of the Bears’ best two coverage linebackers until he’s not.