The Bears had plenty of questions after Thursday’s 22-0 drubbing against the Broncos in their exhibition opener. We have 10 of our own:
1. Is this the Bears’ most difficult preseason schedule ever?
Close. Since the NFL expanded to eight divisions in 2002, the Bears had never played exhibitions against more than two sitting playoff teams. This year, they get three: the Super Bowl champion Broncos, AFC runner-up Patriots and the Chiefs, who won in the wild-card round.
2. But still: The offense was a trailer fire, yes?
The Bears hadn’t been shut out in the preseason since Aug. 15, 1981. No Bears player was alive then; Robbie Gould wasn’t born until that December.
3. Or maybe a dumpster fire?
Of the 12 teams that played Thursday, only the Bears scored fewer than 17 points. Their ineptitude cost the Bears reps; no one ran fewer than the Bears’ 50 plays. The Saints ran 76 and the Buccaneers 70.
4. How much should we worry about Cody Whitehair?
The starting left guard switched to center for 10 plays in the second quarter, was flagged twice and almost sailed a snap. The experience should bear fruit eventually, though.
“He played guard and center, and that’s a lot to ask for a rookie in a new offense,” coach John Fox said. “But those are learning experiences and good lessons.”
5. Did Alshon Jeffery feel pressure to play?
“I don’t know what’s being said on the outside,” said the receiver, who had suffered a mild hamstring strain eight days before catching one pass for 12 yards. “I don’t really read up on too much of that, it was just how I was feeling, what the coaching staff and the training staff said.”
6. No more before the next game, right?
The Bears will have three joint practices next week in Foxborough, Mass., the Patriots said Friday. Wednesday’s light joint practice is unusual — even though the Bears’ typical walkthroughs are rigorous — because the preseason game is the next night.
7. Was facing his former team weird for Danny Trevathan?
“We did something together,” the inside linebacker said. “But at the same time I’m here right now, and I’m trying to build something right here.”
8. Big week for Mitch Unrein?
Four days after wife Corey won the bronze medal in trap shooting, he was a captain Thursday, alongside stalwarts Jay Cutler, Kyle Long, Akiem Hicks and Trevathan. Last year the Bears announced five season-long captains in September, with a sixth rotating in weekly. Could Unrein be a candidate?
9. How rusty was Kevin White?
After not playing in a game since the 2014 Liberty Bowl, White had one catch for three yards, and said he felt good.
“Try and compete and put on a show,” he said.
10. Was Trevor Siemien the best local guy?
The former Northwestern quarterback went 7-for-12 for 88 yards, but Broncos running back Kapri Bibbs might have looked better. The Plainfield North and Colorado State alum led all rushers with 15 carries for 53 yards, and made a tackle on a kickoff.