Payton Presser: Bears’ young talent finally gave us a glimpse…


Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard runs the ball in the second half of an NFL preseason football game against the Cleveland Browns, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016, in Cleveland. The Bears won 21-7. (AP Photo/David Richard)

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If you are a football fan like myself, then last night’s final preseason game was the icing on the cake. Over the last week I’ve heard so many people say “it’s the 4th preseason game, no starters are going to play, why should I watch?” For a guy that needed the 4th game of the preseason to make the Titans, this game means just a little bit more to me. A majority of the guys out on the field last night have been playing football since they were in the Pee Wee leagues. Last night was also the last time some of the young men will get a chance to put on a helmet and play the game that they grew up loving. Guys were playing for jobs last night and as the Bears cut down the roster the question remains who will make the cut. Let’s take a look at some of the top performers and what’s next as this team gets ready to kick it off versus the Texans.

The running game is in good hands
The Bears have shown throughout the preseason that they can and will run the ball this year. In the second and third preseason games Jeremy Langford made his presence felt with his tough running and good vision. Coming into last night I wanted to see which back would use the game to evaluate their status. The man that showed what he could do was the rookie Jordan Howard. For a big back, Howard showed me that he has the ability to not only run between the tackles, but he also can get to the outside and turn the corner. Howard finished the game with 16 rushes for 107 YDS and 1 TD. Ka’Deem Carey came in and made his presents known with a touchdown. I think the Bears keep all 4 backs and that means Jeremy Langford, Jacquizz Rodgers, Ka’Deem Carey and Jordan Howard will be around, unfortunately there is only one football to go around.

2. Kevin White made a Cameo
In last week’s presser I wrote about how I wanted to see more out of last year’s 1st round pick Kevin White. The expectations for White this season are through the roof and most people wanted to see if he would end the preseason on a good note. White displayed progress in the final exhibition. Over the 1st three games he not only looked lost, but the game seemed to be moving a little too fast for him. That is common for most young players as the speed of the NFL game is much faster than college and their reaction time slows because they are thinking too much. White’s game is going to get better and better as he gets more comfortable with his assignments and the route tree. He would end his night with 4 catches for 57 yards. I know that’s not an eye popping stats, but watching the film over, he looked more calm and seemed not to be pressing so hard to make things happen, letting the game come to him. If the young man keeps up the good work and builds from last night, I think we have something with number 17.

3. Guys that revealed something to me
There were a handful of guys that displayed why they should be on the 53-man roster last night. One of those guys was Defensive lineman Will Sutton. Sutton has shown over the preseason that he can be a contributor in Vic Fangio’s defense. The funny thing about him was when John Fox took the Bears job and brought the 3-4 with him, most thought that Sutton would not fit. Nothing has been farther from the truth. Another guy trying to crack this 53-man roster was Cornerback Jacoby Glenn who came up with a pick off Josh McCown in the second quarter. Brian Hoyer played his best ball of the preseason finishing the night 12 of 16 for 112 yards passing.

4. I’m getting ready for Pernell McPhee on PUP
It’s not an ideal situation to have one of your most valuable players not on the field for 6 games, but it also might be a blessing in disguise. The decision to place McPhee on the PUP list has to be made by tomorrow. This is how I see it, if he getting him 90-100% means sitting him for 6 games, then why not do it? You have Willie Young, Lamarr Houston and rookie Leonard Floyd. They can hold down the fort while McPhee is gone. That would mean he would be back ready to go by the Packers game. As much as I talk about how they will miss the intensity he brings, I don’t want him playing 2 games and his knee goes out. The Bears have to be smart with McPhee and I know they will.

Listen, I understand the Bears played the woeful Browns and got their only win of the preseason. For everyone that tweeted me after I said last night was the most entertaining Bears game I watched this preseason listen up. Last night’s game wasn’t about the Browns for me, it was about watching how this team would have reacted and respond. They did what I hoped they would do and that was fight till the end and pull out a win. Since I love football, I’m the guy that watches game 4 of the preseason twice. To the young men that fought their tails off to crack this roster, thank you very much. The coaches will have some tough decisions to make as they try to get the roster down to 53. This team will need all hands on deck as the season kicks off September 11th in Houston. The next time we chat it will be after game number 1. Hope we will be talking about a win. #Beardown


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