CHICAGO – Receiver Alshon Jeffery and tight end Martellus Bennett looked exceptional during training camp in Bourbonnais, and lucky for them, coach Marc Trestman’s offense is supposed to spread the ball around.
“Supposed” being the key word.
Quarterback Jay Cutler threw all five of his passes in the direction of receiver Brandon Marshall in Thursday night’s 33-28 preseason victory over the San Diego Chargers, completing four for 38 yards, including a 5-yard touchdown.
Jeffery got looks in last week’s preseason opener, but Marshall was on the sideline in sweats. Running back Matt Forte had one great run, and Marshall looked as good as always on his catches, but it’s hard to get a good read on this new offense based on the first half.
Marshall received 40 percent of Bears passes last season, and he got 100 percent of the looks against San Diego. Bennett doesn’t have a catch in two preseason games, and he is supposed to be the main upgrade.
The question all offseason has centered around how Trestman’s offense will look different, and we’ll have to wait until Oakland to see more of the “spread the wealth” aspect of his scheme.
Injury report: Quarterback Matt Blanchard left the game with a left hand injury and defensive tackle Corvey Irvin injured his ankle. Both received X-rays.
The Bears already are hurting in terms of depth at defensive tackle, and if Blancahrd misses time, they’ll need to sign another quarterback.
Defensive end Julius Peppers did not play (coach’s decision). He has had few full practices in the past two weeks. Defensive tackle Henry Melton (concussion), receiver Earl Bennett (concussion), running back Armando Allen (hamstring), linebacker D.J. Williams (calf), offenive tackle Jonathan Scott (knee) and long snapper Patrick Mannelly (ribs) also were inactive.
Creative Frey:In addition to liking what they see from Isaiah Frey in terms of coverage ability as a nickel corner, defensive coordinator Mel Tucker has used him several times on blitzes from the slot through two games. Frey blitzed on Chargers quarterbck Philip Rivers’ interception and showed blitz, only to back off earlier on a third-down play when James Anderson got a pass defensed.
Good and bad rookie returns: Michael Ford had a fantastic 100-yard kickoff return, showing off his patience and a burst of speed and leading to a Michael Bush touchdown run.
On the bad side, Josh Lenz fumbled a punt return, giving the Chargers great field position, and they scored on the next play.
Special personnel: It’s always interesting to see which players play on all the special teams units, as it is an important way to make the team. Some of the “fringe” roster players to get plenty of special teams work included Eric Weems, Sherrick McManis and Anthony Walters.