As the Chicago Bears’ season is a mere three days away, let’s go over the first official depth chart that was released Tuesday.
Rookies make history
Draft picks Kyle Long and Jordan Mills, who impressed the team and fans throughout training camp and the preseason, will get the nod from head coach Marc Trestman to start at right guard and right tackle, respectively, against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. This is the first time the Bears will start two rookies on the offensive line since 1983. The two have some big shoes to fill, and a lot of doubters to quiet, but Trestman took a realistic approach regarding the two rookies.
“The world’s going to change dramatically come Sunday,” Trestman said. “There’s no doubt about it. I’m excited for them. They’ve been extremely productive during training camp and during the games and have picked it up each day. I said there weren’t small steps they were making. There were big steps they were making through training camp. And now we’ll see”
Regardless of the fact the Bears have only started rookie o-linemen one time, general manager Phil Emery is not concerned.
“What I want to see is performance,” Emery said. “That is what I expect to see and I think that is their expectation level. They want to see themselves perform at a high level and (see) our team win games. So if those two are officially up, they’re up and I expect good things out of them. I know from an intangible and a talent aspect they’re certainly capable of doing the job.”
Mystery at defensive end
There is still a decision up in the air, and that is the decision of who will start at defensive end Sunday for the Bears. It will either be Shea McClellin or Corey Wooton, and each will see time no matter who starts. Although a lot of teams would want to have their decisions hashed out early in preseason, Emery likes this particular competition going until just before the season.
“It’s a great thing. That is a heck of a thing to have on a team is that competition at that high level. I am excited about it. Whoever puts their hand down, they’ve earned it. The other one is going to play a bunch. They’ll both contribute to what our team becomes this fall.”
Jonathan Bostic or D.J. Williams at middle linebacker?
Bostic impressed in the preseason in the absence of Williams, who suffered a calf injury in training camp and has been out since July 31 yet is listed the starter, but the GM remains confident the best player will start, the endgame being who will have the most productive performance.
“The player that is making the plays; the player that is doing the best,” Emery said. “Who is better for those given circumstances than the other player? So whoever is playing better whatever the given opportunity is, they’ll have earned their way to be the starter. If that’s Bostic, great; if that’s Williams, great. We have no preferences in this building. It’s about putting the best players on the field and the most productive.”
No matter the product the Bears put on the field, the opening day of the regular season will be a great one.