Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Posted: 6:14 p.m.
By John Mullin
Perhaps its only fitting that the year that Bears defensive end Richard Dent is enshrined in pro footballs Hall of Fame, his team is picked to open the preseason with the annual Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio, on Sunday, Aug. 7 at 7 p.m.
Of course, whether there will be a preseason remains problematic with the impasse on labor issues between NFL owners and players. But the plan right now is for the Bears to face the St. Louis Rams in a game that last featured the Bears in a win over the Miami Dolphins to start the 2005 preseason.
The Bears also will play in London for the first time since the 1986 season, facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the UK, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The Hall of Fame game will start a five-game preseason at a time when players and owners have negotiated on the matter of downsizing the preseason to two games. The Bears shouldnt mind, however. They have posted a winning regular season four of the last five times they have been handed a five-game preseason.
After the Rams in Canton, the Bears will play the Buffalo Bills in Soldier Field on the Aug. 11-14 weekend.
The league indeed has a macabre sense of humor, sending the Bears out east to East Rutherford, N.J. for a Monday Night game Aug. 22 against the New York Giants. It was a Sunday night game last season, against the Giants in New Jersey, when Jay Cutler was sacked a record nine times in the first half and was forced to miss the second half and the next game with a concussion.
That game is followed by a third road preseason game, this one in Tennessee against the Titans in the Aug. 25-28 window. The preseason will conclude at home for the eighth straight year against the Cleveland Browns Sept. 1-4.
John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider, and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.