The Bears-Vikings game Sunday may mean nothing more on an NFL level than draft positioning but it will in fact mean quite a bit more within the organization.
Where rookies are the ones primarily under scrutiny in meaningless final preseason games, veterans are also on watch lists now, according to general manager Jerry Angelo.
Im looking at veteran players. Everyone is held accountable, Angelo told team website ChicagoBears.com on Wednesday. So its not just about a young players development. Its also about veteran players continuing to play to their abilities. Everyone is accountable for their performance.
The Bears are expected to be aggressive again this offseason, looking at wide receivers, cornerbacks, defensive linemen and offensive linemen in particular. This places a number of vets under particular scrutiny next Sunday.
Neither Zackary Bowman nor Tim Jennings has solved a major concern at cornerback. Nose tackle Anthony Adams is signed through 2012 but has been relegated to the bench and is a longshot to return, particularly with the emerging play and versatility of rookie Stephen Paea.
Israel Idonije is only signed through the end of this season, wants to play in Chicago but has not come close to his impact eight-sack season of 2010. His place and that of Corey Wootton, hampered by nagging injuries through his two seasons, are in some jeopardy if the Bears can land a pass rusher to station opposite Julius Peppers.
Angelo was pleased with the play of Josh McCown against the Green Bay Packers and McCown can play his way at least into training camp with another solid performance. But Angelo is not handing out backup jobs at quarterback, either.
One thing you dont do when players have good games or poor games, you dont run with things, Angelo said. Well have time to make that decision.