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Bears Fri Aug 16 2013

Emery Draftees Shine in Preseason Victory

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for GB bears icon.pngIt's only the preseason.

It's only the preseason.

It's only the preseason.

With those words in mind, Phil Emery had to be sitting in a luxury box last night with a big grin beaming throughout the room.

After the usual charade of Good Jay, Bad Jay in the first three series for the Bears offense, the rookies began to make their presence known. After a completion to Brandon Marshall to open the fourth drive, first-round guard Kyle Long and fifth-round tackle Jordan Mills kept getting run plays called right behind them. A defensive penalty and three rushes later, Matt Forte was standing alone in the endzone.

Mills and Long (along with the other linemen) were doing something we haven't seen a Bears line do in years: moving the point of attack well past the line of scrimmage. Forte was almost guaranteed two yards per play from the simple fact that no defenders were getting any sort of penetration. Sure, the Chargers aren't very talented in their defensive front, but they did rank 13th in rush defense last season according to Football Outsiders.

Even more impressive was the athleticism that Long showed in his pulls and on the second level. On numerous plays last night, he was five and ten yards down the field, lighting up backers and safeties to try and break big plays for whichever running back was behind him. He had a pull to the left on a goalline run in the second quarter that nearly decapitated the defensive tackle he was assigned to. It was apparent why Emery snagged him in the first round.

Second-round pick Jon Bostic made a few big plays too, including the biggest hit we've seen thus far, lighting up Mike Willie and forcing an incompletion. It was the perfect highlight for a guy that was considered the most athletic linebacker in his class. He did, however, struggle in the passing game, missing a pair of coverages and biting on play action fakes that will more than likely keep him off the field in nickel situations for the first part of the season.

The much maligned Shea McClellin, the Bears skeptical first-round pick last season, struggled for much of the first quarter against veteran tackle Max Starks (who's not considered a top flight player at the position). On many plays, McClellin was completely neutralized by the larger Starks, but all is forgiven if you can force a turnover, and that's precisely what 99 did. He motored right past Starks on a slick stutter-speed rush to the outside, and strip sacked Philip Rivers to attach his name to the highlight reel. It won't earn him the starting spot opposite of Julius Peppers (Corey Wootton has that on lock), but plays like that are what McClellin needs to continue putting on tape if he wants quality reps.

It's refreshing to see draftees make plays -- even if it's only a preseason game. It's something Bears fans didn't get to experience very often with Jerry Angelo at the controls.

Then again, it's only the preseason.

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Ed / August 16, 2013 10:46 AM

As a life long die hard Chicago Bears fan, NO ONE in Chicago was more upset with the trade that brought Jay Cutler to Chicago, the fact that Jerry Angelo and Lovie Smith were not fired long before they were. That being said, I was not 100% sold on Emery being hired, (He was the scout responsible for Rex Grossman)...but hey, we learn from our mistakes right?

When I listened to the douchebags and asshats in the media berating Phil over his draft picks this year, I simply smiled. Took a look at the coaching staff he replaced Lovie Smith with, and said this is going to be good. It is only preseason....but it is a beautiful preseason and a very exciting time to be a Bears fan. I can't wait for that bloviating asshat Hub Arkush to eat his crow with regard to Emery and Long!

Well done Phil Emery-Well done!

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