10 Bears questions: What’s wrong with Brian Hoyer?
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Akiem Hicks invoked 400-meter dash runner Shaunae Miller, who lunged across the tape to win gold, on Thursday.
“Everybody’s all in,” the Bears’ defensive end said, “And everybody’s diving to the finish line.”
While we wonder if anyone’s using Ryan Lochte for inspiration, here are 10 more Bears questions following the 23-22 loss to the Patriots:
1. What’s happening with Brian Hoyer?
After going 4-for-13 Thursday and throwing an ugly interception on his first ball, the backup boasts a 34.4 quarterback rating this preseason. He has the Bears’ only two picks.
“I don’t know that I’d call it struggling,” coach John Fox said “He’s a new quarterback in our system. Everything is new to him. I’ve seen him improve since he’s been here.”
2. Speaking of which …
Fourth-string quarterback Connor Shaw played Thursday — and third-stringer David Fales didn’t. Fales, who was 4-for-8 for 30 yards in the first game, said earlier this offseason he was struggling with the offense’s finer points. Shaw, who threw for a touchdown at the gun, played for coordinator Dowell Loggains two years ago in Cleveland.
3. How did Jimmy Garoppolo look?
Impressive. But Mitch Unrein encapsulated the unfair expectations placed on the Rolling Meadows High School alum, who will replace Tom Brady for the first four games of the season.
“He’s no Tom Brady,” the defensive end said, “But I feel like he’s a very capable guy.”
4. Mark Sanchez is no Brady, right?
The Bears have allowed 26 passing first downs, double what they’ve gained, this preseason.
5. What happened to the running back “wave?”
Jeremy Langford starred was the only Bears running back to play in the first quarter.
“Jeremy does a great job, but we never really know who’s back there,” guard Kyle Long said of Langford, who had eight carries for 55 yards. “We know all our running backs can do the things they’re supposed to.”
6. Think Long had fun?
Kyle enjoyed practicing and playing his brother Chris more than their first matchup three years ago, where he found the attention stressful.
Friday, he Tweeted: “Can’t wait to tell our kids about this one day.”
7. Remember Tony Moeaki?
Moeaki started for Zach Miller and left with a strained left hamstring, In between, Jay Cutler’s safety valve totaled only 28 yards but converted a third-and-11 pass to keep the first touchdown drive alive.
His four Thursday marked his most in any game — preseason or regular season — since Nov. 23, 2014. He had three all last season. Not bad for someone with 11 regular-season catches since the end of 2012.
“He’s a pro,” Cutler said. “He gets it. He doesn’t say much; he’s always in the right spot. He’s been around the league and he knows what’s expected of him and he goes out there and he produces.”
8. Was something in the water?
Maybe. Rob Housler posted a 52-yard catch — the longest for either team — and caught a two-point conversion. The tight end missed an obvious block, too.
9. Where’s Daniel Braverman?
Eleven Bears have more receiving yards this preseason than Braverman’s seven on two catches. Deonte Thompson’s ankle/knee injury could give him a shot to impress as a returner.
10. Back to school already?
The Bears’ light practice at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Warren Township High School — followed by fireworks — sold out within three hours.