The Bears pulled out a squeaker against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday evening with a come-from-behind 20-19 win... the outcome of which means absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things.
The preseason is not about wins and losses. Sure, it is always nice to win, but these games have more to do with the players, their development and the coaches analysis than the final score.
Here are five things we learned from Thursdays game:
1. Jimmy Clausen should be the second string quarterback for the Chicago Bears this season.
|Jimmy Clausen - photo: rantsports.com|
Jordan Palmer did lead the winning drive at the end of the game and Clausen did have an interception, but if you watch the game, Clausen still had more command of the huddle, his passes were crisper and he seemed to have a better understanding of the offense, as he called several audibles successfully.
Palmer is a nice guy. He works hard and you can tell he really is giving his all, but the overall talent level between him and Clausen is too overly one-sided to be ignored.
2. Eric Weems should NOT be the No. 3 receiver or the starting kick returner.
|Eric Weems - photo: pro32.ap.org|
Weems was a spark plug on special teams last season for the Bears. Constantly disrupting plays, and upsetting referees, but contributing positively on the season as a whole. The Bears have given Weems every opportunity to win the third receiver position since Marquess Wilson went down but Weems has been almost a complete no show.
In two games, Weems has yet to record a catch. The only positive Weems has had on offense was setting a nice block for RB Matt Forte to help him pick up a first down this past week. And while that is an important part of the game, it is not the most important talent for the third wide receiver option on roster.
In terms of returning punts/kicks, Weems' yardage has left a lot to be desired and he fumbled on the second kickoff he fielded. Not... very... encouraging.
3. Michael Ola is a decent player.
|Michael Ola - photo: sportspyder.com|
The Bears fielded one of the best offensive lines last season, having the same five players start every single game.
So far this preseason however, starting right tackle Jordan Mills has missed both games nursing a foot injury.
In stepped Michael Ola, a 6'4, 312 pound undrafted free agent who made a name for himself while playing for Marc Trestman in the Canadian Football League.
Ola has shown remarkable quickness and versatility at not just both tackle positions, but both guard spots as well. With injuries to fellow back ups Eben Britton and Brian de la Puente, Ola has put himself in great position to not only make the team, but to land some serious playing time should anyone on the front line get injured.
4. The second string tight end position is once again an open competition
|Matthew Mulligan & Martellus Bennett - Photo: chicagotribune.com|
I guess we learned that more today than we did from the game itself yesterday, but regardless, the star of the first preseason game, Zach Miller, has been placed on injured reserve for the rest of the season with torn ligaments in his foot.
Miller has had a lot of problems staying on the field the past few seasons, but after such an impressive performance in week one (6 rec. 68 yds. 2 TDs) the Bears had high hopes of utilizing another weapon on an already potent offensive squad.
The Bears have an experienced tight end on roster in Dante Rosario but he missed this last preseason game with a calf injury, opening the door for five year veteran Matthew Mulligan, who has been more of a blocking tight end since entering the league, but did snag four passes for 39 yards versus the Jaguars.
It will be interesting to see if the Bears let these two battle it out or if they pursue a free agent to compete.
5. Shea McClellin and Jon Bostic didn't actually look terrible.
|Shea McClellin and Jon Bostic - photo: thegamechicago.com|
Not sure the absence of a negative is a positive, so I guess the better way of putting it is that both linebackers showed flashes of competency and skill.
McClellin looked more comfortable at times in the strong side linebacker position He still missed a couple tackles but did provide pressure several times on Blake Bortles and recorded four tackles.
Bostic had three tackles, including one on a third down play where he blew up a Jaguar offensive lineman and got to running back Toby Gerhert three yards behind the line of scrimmage. It was one of those moments when everyone understood exactly why the Bears were so high on him when he was drafted.
Bostic still overran several plays and Chad Pennington had success against both McClellin and Bostic fitting tight passes into the space between the linebackers and safeties but both looked more comfortable this week than they did last week.