Five Bears to watch in second preseason game vs. Colts

SHARE Five Bears to watch in second preseason game vs. Colts
SHARE Five Bears to watch in second preseason game vs. Colts

INDIANAPOLIS – Two practices against the Colts presented plenty of challenges and problems for the Bears, and for the most part, they held their own.

But now, it’s full-go.

The Bears wanted to measure themselves against the Colts, who are widely considered a Super Bowl contender, and the exhibition will say plenty, especially after the practices.

With that in mind, here are five players we’re watching closely :

S Adrian Amos

A fifth-round pick out of Penn State, Amos has worked with the first-team defense for a week, but is clearly still learning on the job.

Fans seem ready to anoint him the savior at safety – a position that has been a longstanding problem for the Bears — but Amos needs to settle in.

“It’s really going to be about communication and how we jell together at safety,” veteran safety Antrel Rolle said. “And so far, we’ve been doing pretty good.”

After a playing everywhere in the secondary at Penn State, a focus on safety helps, but he has downplayed his own success, which includes a solid outing against the Miami Dolphins in the preseason opener. Amos also hasn’t made many notable plays in practice since joining the starters.

But Amos is a willing tackler – an all-important quality for defensive coordinator Vic Fangio’s safeties.

OT Charles Leno Jr.

Jordan Mills’ spot at right tackle is there for the taking and Leno, a seventh-round pick in 2014, has the first shot to take it.

A calf injury may have limited Mills at practice on Thursday, but he still spent time with the second team and the Bears have been looking for consistency from him.

Leno already is leading candidate to be the Bears’ swing tackle. If he starts against the Colts and Mills also is active, consider that a good indicator of where the competition at right tackle is right now.

LB Jon Bostic

Every snap is critical for Bostic at this point. Shea McClellin and Christian Jones have held strong at inside linebacker, and Bostic needs to impress in some fashion.

Any issue is that Bostic, the 50th overall pick in 2013, just doesn’t look healthy. He didn’t look like himself against the Dolphins, especially when moving sideline to sideline, and his speed hasn’t been consistent in practices.

Bostic said at Olivet Nazarene University that his back issues had started in his shin and hip. He could be just working himself back into playing shape after missing the offseason program, but it’s fair to wonder about his overall health.

WR Marquess Wilson

Wilson has another chance to shine with receiver Alshon Jeffery missing his second consecutive exhibition because of a strained calf.

The issue with Wilson is consistency. He’s a lock for the roster, but he needs to reach a level where coordinator Adam Gase can trust him opposite Jeffery and with first-round draft pick Kevin White possibly out for the season. He just can’t flash his skills; he needs to become reliable.

QB Jay Cutler

The Colts’ defense “won the day” against Cutler and the Bears’ offense in both practices. Yes, the Bears have issues at receiver right now, but Cutler still has tight end Martellus Bennett and veteran Eddie Royal.

Gase also be making adjustments after two days of practice against the Colts’ 3-4 defense. It’s important for Cutler to have success through them and to build some momentum this preseason. The Dolphins game was only a so-so start.

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