There have been very few surprises with the Chicago Bears during this exhibition season. As they wrap up preseason play tonight, a few things do stood out thus far.
The right tackle position was expected to be a battle between J'Marcus Webb and Jonathan Scott, but barring any last minute changes, it looks like rookie 5th rounder Jordan Mills will open the season in that spot right next to his good friend and fellow rookie first round pick Kyle Long. Mills has handled the opportunity well and so far hasn't cracked under pressure and continues to learn and improve. He has not only won the confidence of the coaching staff but his quarterback as well.
The news that Earl Bennett might be on the trading block is confusing. He has had some injury issues, but he's been as consistent and reliable as anyone on the roster when he's on the field. In many ways, Bennett has been the security blanket for Jay Cutler in many crucial third down situations. He's not making tons of money so the fact the Bears are willing to part with him is interesting.
The wide receiver position is still unsettled regardless of what happens with Bennett and that's assuming he will be back soon from his concussion. The question becomes who are the next tier of wideouts? Rookie Marquess Wilson's name seems to keep popping up in the last week or so. At 6'4" he has good height and according to what you hear, he catches everything and learns from his mistakes. And remember before his run-ins with the coaching staff at Washington State, Wilson was projected by many evaluators as a first round talent a few years ago. Joe Anderson had some opportunities last year and he has to be in the mix this season to make the 53 man roster. Terrence Toliver and Brittan Golden are still around as well. Somebody may seal a roster spot tonight against the Cleveland Browns if they can stand out and make a couple of big plays.
It's not often two or three spots are legitimately open at any position so that should make for a good battle as the preseason wraps up, Jon Bostic has shown he can handle the middle linebacker position. What better way to get a rookie's feet wet than to pair him alongside two veterans and allow him to learn on the fly. Hard to imagine he won't be the starter in week one and it will be his job to lose.
Now let's get to the regular season.