From Garafolo Thursday:
1) Bernard practiced.
2) Out Saturday: Pierce, Seubert, Canty, Snee, Phillips, Ross. Possibly Out:Tuck, Webster, Bernard.
This makes it two games for those players in bold.
From Vacchiano Friday: positive comment on Hixon.
Of particular note is Aaron Ross. We have mentioned in past posts during training camp and even before camp that Ross was potentially at risk for losing his starting job to Terrell Thomas. Now he has lost TWO OF THE FOUR PRESEASON GAMES. We’ll go on record here and say that Thomas is now ahead of Ross and it is HIS JOB TO LOSE. Why? Because
(1) Thomas is practicing and playing well
(2) Coughlin does not like rewarding players who miss too much of camp
(3) the edge that Ross had over Thomas was not that large before camp started.
(4) Maybe this is the kick in the pants that Ross needs to get refocused, a la Webster in 2007. Let Ross lose the starting job for even one game and make him earn it with good play.
If the pass rush is as good as the early billing, both Thomas and Ross will be fine back there. But when the pass rush is NOT there (which is going to happen sporadically), who do you prefer after the jam is over? Thomas looked good on Monday night. He is going to get beat, just like ALL CBs get beat. Thomas is not a finished product. He has not been tested game in and game out. But he has worked himself into a very good place and deserves the opportunity to show us even more.
Note how we’re not making the same distinction with Webster. He has missed a lot of camp too, yet the alarm bells are not ringing there because he is solidly entrenched as the #1 CB on this team. It’s his job. Unless he keeps missing camp and is out of practice so long that he has clearly lost skills, he is going to start. In the Vacch link at the top, Webster is reported in team drills, so that is a positive.
For tonight’s game, look for more of the same we discussed before the Panthers game. Watch how the LBers deal with Matt Forte. Cutler will not have the rhythm with his WRs that we will see later on this season, but let’s see how our DBs do against better passing than we saw from Delholme. For a more detailed discussion of what we’ll be seeing tonight from the Bears, visit Windy City Gridiron.