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Bears running game shines in opener

Posted Aug 10, 2017

Mitch Trubisky's impressive debut in Thursday night’s preseason opener against the Broncos was complemented by a balanced rushing attack that produced 173 yards on 36 carries.

Mitch Trubisky's impressive debut in Thursday night's preseason opener against the Broncos was complemented by a balanced rushing attack that produced 173 yards on 36 carries.

Tarik Cohen rushed for 39 yards on seven carries in Thursday night's preseason opener.

Benny Cunningham ran for 41 yards on seven attempts, including a 1-yard touchdown burst that gave the Bears a 14-10 lead midway through the third quarter. Rookie Tarik Cohen added 39 yards on seven attempts and Ka'Deem Carey rushed for 31 yards on four attempts. Trubisky padded the total by scrambling for 38 yards on runs of 16, 12 and 10 yards.

"I thought we ran the ball very efficiently," coach John Fox said after the Bears' 24-17 loss at Soldier Field. "We had 170-plus yards and averaged about 4.8 yards per carry."

Cohen showed some of the slippery moves that earned the 5-6, 181-pounder the nickname "The Human Joystick" at North Carolina A&T on a 12-yard rush and 17-yard punt return.

"He's a fabulous spark," said left tackle Charles Leno Jr. "He's lightning-in-a-bottle. He's quick, agile, really hard to tackle and see out there for defenders. Good for us. He's a really good player; provides some good help for us on the offense. I know the type of defense we have and the problem he gives our defense [in practice], I knew he could do it to anybody."

Status quo: After Trubisky outplayed starter Mike Glennon by a wide margin Thursday night, Fox was asked by reporters whether he would consider opening the quarterback competition.

"Our depth chart is not going to change after one game, in particular a preseason game," Fox said. "The Broncos are a really good defense, probably one of the top three defenses in the league. You have to look at a lot of different things. We aren't going to change a lot after one game."

Glennon said he knew there would be talk about Trubisky contending for the starting job after the Bears selected the North Carolina product with the second pick in the draft.

"When you take a guy that high, I immediately knew that there could be something stirred up," Glennon said. "I'm not going to focus on the outside world. I'll focus on what's going on within the locker room and the coaches."

Brief appearance: Sandwiched between Glennon and Trubisky, veteran backup Mark Sanchez played only one series, completing 1 of 4 passes for four yards. Sanchez also threw a block to help spring Cunningham on a 26-yard run.

Trubisky replaced Sanchez with 1:55 left in the first half, engineering a 6-play, 50-yard touchdown drive in two-minute mode.

"Mark has extensive experience playing football in the National Football League," Fox said. "He has had a lot of two-minute drills. Mitch hasn't had that opportunity. So that was by design. If it worked out and we had a two-minute drive, we would put Mitchell in."

Sitting out: Among the Bears players who did not suit up Thursday night due to injuries were guard Kyle Long, linebacker Danny Trevathan, outside linebacker Lamarr Houston, running back Jeremy Langford and receiver Daniel Braverman.