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Monday was a newsy day for the Chicago Bears, but I feel like it distracted from what’s most important this week …
Lost in all the Tyson Bagent hype and offensive line shuffle is that Justin Fields still needs more work before the regular season begins. These next five days are the last opportunity for that to happen before the Week 1 opener against the Packers.
Both general manager Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus hinted that the starters would receive playing time against the Bills Saturday after sitting last week against the Colts. The Bears are doing their best to simulate a regular season game week and one would think that would end with, well, the starters playing in the actual game.
To this point in the preseason, Fields has played just seven snaps, with three passing attempts — all of which came behind the line of scrimmage. I, for one, would like to see Fields end the preseason with some tape that resembled what Bagent did in this offense against the Colts — pre-snap reads, quick decisions post-snap and strong accurate throws downfield.
Overall, I remain bullish on this offense, despite some of the turmoil up front. But the Packers’ defense isn’t exactly a pushover, and they’ll provide Fields with a tough test in Week 1. On one hand, you could justify the offensive line concerns as a good reason not to trot out Fields this weekend. On the other hand, if he’s working with a new center — as Nicholas Moreano detailed Monday — then that’s even more reason why they need to play together against the Bills. Lucas Patrick was supposed to be the starting center for Fields last year, but he ended up only playing 10 snaps at the position all season.
Changing centers this late in the preseason isn’t exactly ideal. The Bears have some work to do this week.
Up Next: The Bears practice at Noon CT Tuesday. The CHGO Bears Podcast also airs live on YouTube at Noon, with Nicholas Moreano providing a live report from Halas Hall.
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