Jul 26, 2013; Bourbonnais, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler throws a pass during training camp at Olivet Nazarene University. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Pre-Season Week 1: Chicago Bears Open Pre-Season Against The Carolina Panthers

If you are going to watch the Chicago Bears’ pre-season opener tonight for any statistical or win-loss purpose, then you may as well not watch the game.

Football is indeed back.

But, it is only the pre-season.

The time in which statistics and win-loss records do not matter.

That does not mean that there is not a reason to watch the Bears’ pre-season opener tonight against the Carolina Panthers.

In fact, there are plenty of reasons.

Perhaps the most important reason is that the team has a new coaching staff. This will be the first opportunity for Bears fans to get a glimpse at how the new Bears’ coaching staff, head coach Marc Trestman in particular, operate during games.

To that end, it will be interesting to watch the play-calling on offense. Trestman will be calling the play’s directly to quarterback Jay Cutler this season, and the goal for the offense is to take no more than 18 seconds when setting up the play.

On the offensive side, rookie right guard Kyle Long is expected to play with the first-team offensive line at some point tonight. Long is currently in a position battle with second-year offensive guard James Brown. While there has been a consensus that Long would be the starter at the right guard position to begin the season, local reporters have tossed water on that speculation in recent days.

That is the only offensive position battle of note. Though, with wide receiver Earl Bennett not playing in tonight’s game, that presents an opportunity for receiver Joe Anderson to showcase himself to the Bears’ coaching staff.

On defense, middle linebacker Jonathan Bostic will be on full-display. Bostic will be starting with the first-team unit in place of the injured D.J. Williams and also will play with the second-team defense.

Bostic was not expected to start the season as the team’s starting middle linebacker, but that opportunity is growing stronger and stronger for the rookie middle linebacker.

Those are the leading storylines entering the Bears’ first pre-season game.

What are you looking for from the Bears in their game against the Panthers tonight?


Tags: Chicago Bears Dj Williams James Brown Joe Anderson Jon Bostic Kyle Long Marc Trestman

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