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Why did Bears pass so much in opener?

Posted Aug 11, 2013

Larry discusses why the Bears passed so much in the preseason opener, the likelihood of Marquess Wilson making the 53-man roster and whether Kyle Long will be an opening day starter.

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of email questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.

Why did the Bears call so many passes in the first quarter of their preseason game? I thought the offense was going to be more balanced this season.

From Joe B. on Twitter

The No. 1 offense ran nine pass plays and one run in the first quarter of Friday night's preseason opener against the Panthers. The play-calling was actually more balanced than that, but quarterback Jay Cutler changed a couple of runs to passes at the line of scrimmage based on what he was seeing from the Carolina defense. Here's how coach Marc Trestman explained it after the game: "The thing you don't see is there were a number of called runs, but [Cutler] had the option to throw it because they were in the box and doing other things. The number of runs that we ran and the number that were called are two different things, and that's what doesn't show up at times because they're taking things away and we don't want to waste the play, so take the ball and throw it."

Marquess Wilson performed well against the Panthers. How do you see his chances of becoming a part of the regular season team?

From Jeffrey R. on Twitter

I certainly think that rookie seventh-round pick Marquess Wilson improved his chances of making the 53-man roster with his performance in Friday night's preseason game. Whether he ultimately earns a job, of course, won't be determined for a few more weeks. He looked very fluid and comfortable against the Panthers, catching a game-high four passes for 82 yards. He ran a nice route and showed good run-after-the-catch ability on his 58-yard reception. It's going to be difficult for Wilson to climb the depth chart, however, when the Bears have Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Earl Bennett, Eric Weems and Joe Anderson ahead of him.

Is Kyle Long a sure-fire starter Week 1?

From Brendan M. on Twitter

I would not bet my house on it. The Bears are in the process of determining their starting five offensive linemen, and Kyle Long has been splitting reps with James Brown at right guard. Brown started the preseason opener at right guard and then played into the second half at left guard, so the coaches have a lot of tape to evaluate. The Bears didn't spend a first-round draft pick on Long to keep him on the bench, but he won't be an opening-day starter if they don't view him as one of their five best linemen. He certainly didn't arrive with a lot of experience at the major college level after playing only one season at Oregon, but he does possess a lot of potential. Long will be a starter; when that happens depends on his development in training camp and the preseason.

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