The veil over the 2015 Chicago Bears will be pulled back a little – a VERY little – when they face the Miami Dolphins on Thursday in the first preseason game. And it isn’t being pulled back just yet, either.
John Fox’s coach’s penchant for secrecy through the offseason remained in force Tuesday when the Bears put out their pre-game release of information without even an unofficial depth chart. That’ll be coming on Wednesday and will likely have a number of co-starters at positions still in at issue.
Not that it would be in any way binding anyway; games are “tests” more weighted in personnel evaluation, so whomever goes into the game as the starter at a particular position may not be the starter after coaches grade performances.
Far more important than who lines up with the first or second units on offense or defense will be what individual players do in de facto one-on-one matchups against the Dolphins.
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“I don’t really like evaluating the team in the media but I think this will be… . It carries a little more weight, kind of like a mid-term or final,” Fox said. “Maybe more weight than maybe some of the pop quizzes, which will be practice, so I’m really excited to see them play, anxious to see how they do it under pressure.”
The Bears have another new offensive coordinator and system besides a handful of players who’ve never taken the field in a helmet with the trademark “C” on the side. The plan is to put the No. 1 unit on a play count, along the lines of the dozen or so run at Saturday’s practice in Soldier Field.
Tempo and precision are the objectives.
“We want to get in and out of the huddle,” said quarterback Jay Cutler. “We want to limit our mistakes, our mental errors. We want to get some first downs and move the ball and just kind of attack just like we have been trying to do throughout camp.”
Fox likes the 3-4 defensive scheme because of its flexibility and options. Don’t expect to see too many of those on Thursday.
“Obviously you’re trying to put your guys in position to have some success,” Fox said. “But we’re not in full-blown game mode right now. We’re still in training camp, still installing, be it a new staff, putting in new offense, new defense, as well as special teams.
“We just want to be able to let them line up with things that they can execute and we can evaluate and pick our best 53.”