Bears

Rookie Roundup: Kevin White gets feet wet in Bears' preseason opener

Rookie Roundup: Kevin White gets feet wet in Bears' preseason opener

Kevin White isn't technically a rookie, but after missing all of his first NFL season he made his long-awaited Bears debut in Thursday's 22-0 preseason loss to the Denver Broncos.

It was the first game that White, the seventh-overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft out of West Virginia, has played in since torching the Texas A&M secondary for 129 yards in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl in December 2014.

White didn't quite put on the show that he did in his last game, but getting back on the field after a stress fracture cost him a year of development was a giant step forward for a player the Bears are expecting big things from this season.

"It felt good," White said. "I didn't feel any different. It was a long time since I've played a regular-season game."

White hauled in his only target of Thursday's contest for just three yards. 

Speed kills

Leonard Floyd only registered two tackles, but showed glimpses of why the team traded up to select him in the first round of the NFL Draft.

Floyd got a look with the first team in third down situations and nearly got to Broncos quarterback Mark Sanchez on his first play. Floyd displayed excellent speed off the edge and a quick first step off the snap. After drawing a holding call in the first half, Floyd started to draw double teams from Denver.

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"It was a great feeling because it was my long-time dream to play in the NFL," Floyd said. "I just embraced it and went out and played as hard as I could."

Cody Whitehair struggles in NFL debut

The decision to release veteran offensive lineman Matt Slauson was made in large part to the presence of second-round selection Cody Whitehair on the roster. 

The departure of Slauson was puzzling, and it looks even more perplexing after Whitehair's debut.

Whitehair started the game at left guard, but took over at center for Ted Larsen in the second quarter. In his first series, Whitehair was flagged for a holding call and two plays later was hit with a hands to the face penalty which negated a 24-yard gain on third down. On the very next play, Whitehair nearly airmailed a snap to backup quarterback Brian Hoyer.

"I was probably thinking a little too much," Whitehair said. "You know it was my first preseason game and first real live action. It was a little bit faster than I'm used to seeing in practice so that's something that I have to work on."

Late-round gem?

With the inconsistencies of Kyle Fuller, the door is wide open for one of a plethora of young Bears corners to unseat Fuller as the starter opposite veteran Tracy Fuller. And if Deiondre' Hall plays like he did against the Broncos he could be the favorite.

Hall used all of his 34-inch wingspan to break-up two passes in the end zone in the first half. Hall led all Bears corners in tackles (five), and showed great instincts in his first NFL game.

"You never want to get scored on so just playing through the hands and my technique it ended up working out for me," Hall said. "As a corner you never want to get to much work, but getting tested will help me in the long-term."

Rookie notes

- Defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard was disruptive in the run game as he notched two tackles, including a tackle for a loss on Broncos running back Devontae Booker.

- Jordan Howard led all Bears running backs with a measly 12 yards on five carries. 

- After turning heads in Bourbonnais, wide receiver Daniel Braverman hauled in both of his targets for seven yards.

- Safety DeAndre Houston-Carson had a night to forget as he let his man go untouched to block a Pat O'Donnell punt for a touchdown in the first half.

Trey Burton, Adrian Amos earn Bears’ top grades from Pro Football Focus for Week 7

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USA TODAY

Trey Burton, Adrian Amos earn Bears’ top grades from Pro Football Focus for Week 7

The Bears were not at their best against the New England Patriots on Sunday. They made plenty of mistakes on all three phases and gave Tom Brady too many opportunities to control the game.

It wasn’t all bad from Chicago, though. Trey Burton emerged as a new favorite weapon of Mitchell Trubisky, and the tight end was the Bears’ highest-graded player in the game by Pro Football Focus.

Burton had a career high 11 targets, nine catches and 126 yards with a touchdown, giving Trubisky a 144.7 passer rating when targeting his top tight end.

Seven of Burton’s targets and six of his catches traveled 10 or more yards in the air, according to PFF.

Defensively, safety Adrian Amos led the pack with a 74.6 overall grade. He did not miss a tackle after missing a career-high five last week, and he allowed only one catch for eight yards against the Patriots.

On the bottom of the scale, outside linebacker Leonard Floyd received the second-lowest grade of his career (38.9 overall) for his performance. He did not record any pressure on the quarterback in 13 pass rushing snaps, and he allowed two catches for 13 yards and a touchdown in coverage against running back James White.

Wide receiver Allen Robinson had a career-low grade as well at 44.9 overall. He was clearly limited by his groin injury, targeted five times with one catch for four yards and a dropped pass.

Overall, the Bears were able to stick with one of the top teams in the AFC while also leaving a lot of room for improvement. It’s a step in the right direction from where Chicago was in recent seasons.

NFL Power Rankings Week 8: Jags, Eagles, Bears all see stock fall

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USA Today

NFL Power Rankings Week 8: Jags, Eagles, Bears all see stock fall

Take a look over the NFC landscape and try to find me a team that can compete with the Rams. 

Packers? Held back by Rodgers' knee and Rodgers' coach. Saints? Might not even win their own division. Washington? Does Alex Smith really scare anyone in the playoffs? 

The Rams have one of the easier paths to the Championship Round/Super Bowl that we've seen in some time. Will it likely stay that way? Probably not. But there's a difference between parity and mediocrity and right now the NFC is toeing the line HARD. 

Outside the NFC's "elite", how did your team do this week? 

You can take a look here and see where they landed.