Chicago Bears: 5 things to watch in second preseason game

Chicago Bears (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
6 of 6
Chicago Bears Training Camp
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Heads up

Finally, the last item worth watching is not specific to the Bears but is definitely worth keeping an eye on. It will be interesting to see what adjustments if any, the league makes to enforcement of their new helmet rule.

Last week, there was at least one extremely questionable call related to a hit by Bears’ safety Nick Orr. On a pass in the end zone intended for Ravens’ tight end Hayden Hurst, Orr appeared to make a textbook tackle. While it looked vicious in real speed, when you broke it down in slow-motion, it did not appear to be the type of hit the league is trying to legislate out of the game.

While Orr’s helmet was the first part of his body to make contact with Hurst, he had his head up and appeared to be trying to hit him with his shoulder. However, these plays are fluid and at the time Orr began the process of making the hit, Hurst’s body was in a different position. It would have defied the laws of physics for Orr to avoid hitting him with his helmet.

The referees have to be able to judge intent on these plays, otherwise, you’ll end up with the mess we saw last week. Not to mention that the penalty was in part, the subject of the contract dispute between Roquan Smith and the Bears. So the league has a vested interest in getting this right immediately.

Next. Time for Roquan Smith to step up. dark

While the league’s intentions are sound, their execution has been poor. They rushed to implement a rule for the payer’s safety rather than working through the second and third-order effects first. They would be wise to level-set on this rule before we end up asking ‘what is a hit’ just like we ask ‘what is a catch.’