Chicago Bears: Three players who surprised vs. Broncos

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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Kevin Toliver II

Usually there aren’t many expectations for players signed as undrafted free agents. Kevin Toliver was brought in to add some depth at the cornerback position. There could be an opening for a rotational corner due to the recent struggles of Marcus Cooper. Cooper was thought to be the logical option for the nickel spot, but he has been unimpressive in training camp and preseason.

Toliver really surprised fans early in training camp. He had three interceptions in his first two practices, and seemed like a candidate to make the team as a long shot. Even Nagy was impressed by Toliver’s early efforts in training camp. He was getting some reps with the second team defense this past week in practice. Here’s Nagy on Toliver (via NBCSports Chicago):

"He’s a tall, rangy, lengthy corner that really almost looks like a safety. For him to be able to move around out here, it’s about getting confidence. So anytime you’re going to get some interceptions, you’re going to build confidence."

Toliver’s confidence may have taken a hit Saturday, as he really struggled against the Broncos. He gave up a touchdown in the second quarter to Broncos receiver Courtland Sutton when he misread a route. In the second half, he got humiliated by receiver Tim Patrick, who made a leaping catch directly over Toliver for 26 yards.

Toliver was headed in the right direction going into Saturday’s game, but his performance against the Broncos shows just how quickly a player’s fortunes can change in the NFL. Toliver most likely won’t get cut before the team’s next preseason game, but his good standing has mostly likely been wiped out by a rough showing.

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The Bears ended up rallying to beat the Broncos 24-23 as the backups on offense came through late in the fourth quarter. The team will be back home in Chicago next Saturday to face the Chiefs. It will be a crucial game that will showcase the starters for more time than they’ve played so far this preseason. Stay tuned to Da Windy City for elite coverage.