Bears 'looking for improvement across the board'

Updated 8/11/2017 1:43 AM

BOURBONNAIS -- Expectations usually are modest for preseason openers, and Chicago Bears coach John Fox is no different.

Quarterbacks Mike Glennon, Mark Sanchez and Mitch Trubisky, in that order, will all play, and Fox will be looking for the same thing from them as he is from everyone else.


"Efficient play, just like the whole football team," Fox said. "That's why we're out there practicing. You want to execute, particularly on offense, with 11 guys doing the right thing at the right time.

"That's what we're working hard for, and it's always fun to see what they do, how they do it, the technique and how they execute it under pressure. We were 3-13 last year, so we're looking for improvement across the board."

Rookies like Trubisky, running back Tarik Cohen, tight end Adam Shaheen and safety Eddie Jackson should see plenty of action and should be worth watching. Every year there are young players who begin camp in relative obscurity but end up contributing.

"This time a year ago, we passed out depth charts, and Cam Meredith and Jordan Howard were about fourth (team) going into Week One of the preseason," Fox said. "There's still a lot of time left and a lot of evaluations to do."

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Cornering the market:

Nickel cornerback Cre'Von LeBlanc didn't join the Bears until seven days before the season opener last year, just days after the undrafted free agent was waived by the New England Patriots.

But he started nine games and played 695 snaps, more than any other Bears corner except Tracy Porter. LeBlanc was the defensive star at Tuesday's practice when he picked off Mitch Trubisky and later blanketed Cam Meredith before swatting away a short pass over the middle.

"He's way more comfortable in our system," coach John Fox said. "These (second-year) guys aren't thinking as much; it's not paralysis by analysis. They can just cut loose and use their athletic ability because they're not thinking as much."

With the addition of free agents Prince Amukamara and Marcus Cooper, LeBlanc is battling for the top nickel spot with Bryce Callahan and B.W. Webb, all of whom have made big plays in camp.


Foot note:

By his own admission, 6-foot-7 quarterback Mike Glennon is not much of a threat to run, but he's a better foot athlete than he might appear.

"He's got very good feet," quarterbacks coach Dave Ragone said. "Regardless of if he's 6-foot or 6-7, that's a tremendous asset for a quarterback. That's why I'm standing here talking to you guys and not still playing. My feet were nowhere near Mike Glennon's."

The 6-foot-3 Ragone, 37, spent three seasons in the NFL with the Houston Texans, starting two games in 2003.

• Follow Bob's Bears reports on Twitter @BobLeGere.

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