Chicago Bears: 5 Things to look for in preseason finale

Chicago Bears, Justin Fields - Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images
Chicago Bears, Justin Fields - Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images /
1 of 5

The Chicago Bears take on the Cleveland Browns in their preseason finale. This is the last chance for players to either win a starting job or a roster spot. Here are five things to look for in the game. The Chicago Bears prepare for their preseason finale this weekend. They take the road to face the Cleveland Browns. It should be interesting to see what happens.

The last time the Bears went to Cleveland it was a horror story. The Browns had nine sacks and just made Chicago look like it was a bad pee-wee football team.

This might be just a preseason game but the Bears want to look better. The players who were there remember that whipping and want to make up for that.

Aside from that, there are a lot of jobs on the line. There are starting jobs that are there for the taking. Players who already know they are on the team still have to play hard to find out if they are the ones who hit the field when the coaches yell “Starters!”

Additionally, there are some players who are in desperate situations. They are not worried about a starting job. They are worried about just making the 53-man roster. They want to be able to run out of that tunnel in Week 1 on September 11th.

The starters will again have limited snaps. They’ll play a little longer than last week, however. They’ll be in on 25-30 snaps. That means they will likely play the entire first half. If some play a little more that means the coaches are taking a closer look at the starters.

There are a lot of things to look for in this game. For many, this is the most important game of their career. This is the last chance they have to make an impression on the coaches in a game situation.

Here are five things to look for in this game.

Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears, Roquan Smith – Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

Smith returns to action for the Chicago Bears

The biggest thing many fans are looking forward to is seeing linebacker Roquan Smith return to action. Smith was in a contract dispute with the Chicago Bears while trying to get a new contract and held a hold-in. He did not practice for most of training camp and missed both of the previous preseason games.

Smith was upset at how slow the negotiations were and requested a trade. That didn’t happen so eventually he ended his hold-in and stopped negotiations. Now he returns to playing and betting that he’ll more than earn the big contract he desires.

We’ve seen how well the defense is playing in the new system. The players are continually swarming to the ball. When they do that, good things happen.

With the new 4-3 defensive scheme, Smith will be playing a new position. He will be an outside linebacker, playing on the weak side. He’ll be off the ball. However, that will give him many opportunities to make plays.

The new defensive system is the one that the head coach brought over from the Indianapolis Colts. He was the Colts’ defensive coordinator and brought over Alan Williams and a few other coaches to run the same system.

In that system, Shaquille Leonard thrived. He plays the weakside linebacker and has become arguably the best off-ball linebacker in the NFL. The hope is that Smith becomes as good, if not better than Leonard has become.

This could be a monster season for Smith. It all begins with this game against Cleveland.