Of course, all preseason caveats apply. The respective game plans were vanilla, defensive coordinator Bill Davis was playing straight-up coverages that would allow him to evaluate talent and, after all, this was the first live action since the 2013 season.
“I did blitz, I sent some (five-man rushes), a lot of it was in the run game,” Davis said. “But in the third downs and in the passing situations, we were trying to get our pass rush evaluated and our coverage evaluated. There were some good things there and there were some bad. There were way too many passing yards again. They had some big plays.”
There were no surprises personnel-wise along the first-team defense, as
The second defensive possession, though, had its fair share of sloppiness. The Bears converted three third downs on the drive, including a 10-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jay Cutler to tight end Zach Miller, and the Eagles were penalized twice.
On the plus side, Matt Forte ran three times against the starting defense and totaled -5 yards.
“The run-game defense really was solid,” Davis said. “I know they threw a lot more than they ran, but when they ran the guys were really playing some nice two-gap in there, we were fitting well in the run game, and that was encouraging. We have to fix some stuff in the back half of the passing game, and most of it came in the second half.”
“Always good to get our hands on the ball, regardless of if it’s preseason or not,” Allen said with a smile. “I’m optimistic about being here. I don’t know, like I say, nothing’s ever set in stone, I’ll play ball any chance I get and any time I’m out there I’ll make as many plays as I can.”
In the end, even among the veterans there were varying takes on the relative importance of the night’s performance.
“I think the preseason gives you an opportunity to hone in on your skills and your techniques,” said cornerback
“We got our hands on the ball from the secondary. We also did pretty well against the run early on. We also flew around the ball. That’s one thing I would say we did a good job on. Towards the end, we weren’t necessarily that perfect, but it’s something that we can work on and it’s something we can build on for next week.”
“That’s what the preseason is for, guys are working on getting lined up, working on getting live action for the first time,” Ryans said, “so I don’t look much into it. There’s not much carryover into the season. I’ve been on teams where we won every game and felt good (and didn’t have a good season) and then lost all of them and had a good year. So it’s really not that big a deal. It’s just coming out, knocking the cobwebs off a little bit, getting back into the flow of playing a game. When the season starts, it’s a totally different game.”
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