“Five things to watch for in Bears “dress rehearsal”

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As the Chicago Bears attempt to simulate regular season conditions with a Sunday afternoon kickoff in Nashville, here are five things to keep an eye on as the Bears and Titans square off:

1.       The QB duel…Will Mike Glennon prove the Bears braintrust evaluated him correctly with a solid, turnover free effort or will his inconsistency leave the door open for first-round pick Mitch Trubisky  to become the anointed starter  ahead of schedule?  Glennon’s poor decision-making with two costly interceptions doesn’t inspire much confidence that he’ll lead a revamped offensive unit.  A bounce back effort against Tennessee  could derail some of the “Mitch Mania”. Trubisky, meanwhile, needs to show his progression with reading defenses and anticipating pressure, something he’ll surely see with ageless Dick LeBeau calling the defensive signals for the Titans.

2.       Can the WR’s gain separation and make plays?…The position group has struggled through the first two preseason games. Former first-rounder Kevin White appears pedestrian, lacking the instincts and athletic skills to get deep and become a valued receiver. Cam Meredith is solid, but behind him there are no sure things.  Dropped balls and the lack of explosive plays have highlighted the unit thus far.  Chicago may need to look elsewhere to bolster this position.

3.       Is the Secondary solidified?…Rookie Eddie Jackson is pushing for the starting safety spot opposite Quintin Demps, and Kyle Fuller responded with his best effort in some time at corner during Saturday’s preseason win at Arizona. Still, starting jobs and even the backup roles are up in the air. The Bears have numbers, but do they have the quality to improve in the deep patrol?

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Jackson endears himself to coaches and fans with his range and instincts. He’s always around the ball, a valued trait as Chicago attempts to increase its takeaways.  Injuries have slowed nickel back Bryce Callahan, a troubling re-occurrence dating back to last season.

4.       How will the Offensive line shake-out?…A supposed strength of the Bears, Kyle Long is still working his way back from offseason surgery. At this point, it’s questionable if he’ll return in time for the opener vs. Atlanta.  With Long out, second-year man Cody Whitehair shifts to guard and Hroniss Grasu, the former starter at center who missed last year with a leg injury, resumes the pivot slot. Grasu is an undersized, try-hard type who gets overpowered at the point of attack.  At tackle, the Bears rewarded left tackle Charles Leno Jr., a reliable presence with good athletic skills who is prone to getting beat by quicker edge rushers.

5.       Can injured Bears return at LB?….Danny Trevathan’s speedy recovery appears to be on track, and he may see action in the Tennessee game. Trevathan underachieved in his first year with the Bears, then fell victim to the injury bug late in the season that plagued Chicago defenders. If healed from his second ACL injury, Trevathan adds a veteran presence to a Bears defense primed to show steady improvement.  Pernell McPhee’s star-crossed Chicago career may be at a crossroads, and any contribution he makes should be considered a bonus.

6.       Bonus…What about the Kickers? Former Tampa Bay kicker Roberto Aguayo’s struggles haven’t disappeared with his relocation to Chicago. The strong-legged,