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First Look at Bears

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Aug 8, 2005 3:48PM

It's hard to think about football when the temp is reaching the north side of 90 but the Bears preseason is already upon us. Tonight, the Bears and the Miami Dolphins face off in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, OH.

While it is just the first preseason game, Chicagoist is among the many Bears fans anxious to get a sense of whether we're in for a playoff run or another long season of futility. There are a number of intriguing storylines to watch tonight according to the Trib, especially on the offensive side of the ball.

2005_07_sports_grossman_training.jpgThe biggest one may be Rex Grossman, whose week three injury threw the team's offense into a tail spin. Grossman has a lot to prove -- he has to prove he's healthy again and he has to prove he is the answer at QB for the Bears. But equally important is that the Bears need to determine just what they have in terms of backups following last year's fiasco. Chad Hutchinson and Kurt Kittner seem the likely candidates for the #2 spot on the depth chart, and Kyle Orton should get an opportunity to make his case for a roster spot.

The Bears made a big slash during the free agent signing period by adding Muhsin Muhammad, coming off a career year. Can he play to the same level this year, and how will his leadership help improve a young receiving corp? Initial reports from camp have been positive, but then Chicagoist remembers hearing how impressive Dez White looked in camp in years past...

While the running game is also in flux, not much will be answered tonight. First round pick Cedric Benson still hasn't signed a contract and hasn't been in camp. So he's clearly not playing tonight and at this point will probably not play the next game or two either. Which means that the starting running back job remains Thomas Jones' in spite of the Bears having just about the worst running game in the NFL last year. Let's hope the Bears and Benson can get a deal done soon!