Football is here. The Bears and Ravens will kick-off the NFL season in Canton, Ohio. It’s not just the first game though. It’s the first time we will see Matt Nagy’s offense in game action. We will also see the new kickoff too. Lot of firsts and what better place to do it than at the NFL Hall of Fame.
In this post, Thomas Gibbons will highlight three Bears players to watch in Thursday night’s HOF game.
CB Kevin Toliver
Signed by the Bears as an undrafted free agent, Kevin Toliver made his presence known early in camp. He’s made multiple interceptions and plays on the ball. At 6′ 2″, 192, Toliver has great ball skills and the frame to compete in the NFL.
Toliver has been sidelined the past few practices with a hamstring issue, but all signs point to him playing tonight. The former LSU Tiger has a legitimate chance to make the 53-man roster. Outside of Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara, the depth chart is wide open. And an extra preseason game helps, a lot.
WR Anthony Miller
Now here is a guy who has made a lot of plays in Bourbonnais. Now it’s time to carry that over to Thursday night. A lot of excitement has surrounded Miller because of his high volume numbers at Memphis. And after the Bears traded up to get him, he’s slated to be one of Trubisky’s top targets.
So far in camp, we have seen Miller’s smooth route running on display. He gets in and our of breaks fast and runs his routes with purpose. And he’s not just a downfield threat. Posts, Corners, Curls, and other intermediate routes is where Miller will excel. While we will not see Trubisky Thursday night, Miller is going to be a go to target for Chase Daniel and Tyler Bray.
OLB Isaiah Irving
It was a strong preseason last year that made the Bears hold onto Irving. He totaled 3 sacks and a forced fumble. It’s a four game tryout for these guys and he passed the test.
You could argue outside linebacker is the weakest position on the roster. Outside of Leonard Floyd, you do not have much. Aaron Lynch has shown some flash over his career but injuries have held him back. There is high hopes for rookie Kylie Fitts to be in the rotation come game 1. There is also veteran Sam Acho who is expected to see more snaps at outside linebacker along with his duties on special teams. That’s not a lot. The Bears are hoping these guys continue to get better and impress this preseason to solidify a critical position on the defense.
Irving has plenty of upside though. At 6′ 2″, 254lb, another strong preseason will land him a spot on the roster and probably in the gameday rotation.
Some honorable mentions are Ryan Nall, Adam Shaheen, and Deon Bush. But I decided to focus on these three guys for game 1. It all starts tonight and I cannot be more excited that football is back.