SEATTLE The game was a small sample however the Bear’s no. one defense did well in Thursday night’s preseason 27-11 victory against the Seahawks and forced three-and-outs on its two drives.
“The first-team D did very well,” said defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad, who recorded three tackles and one sack “just leaving the field. There were a couple of three-and-outs here. We played very complimentary football.”
With the past four seasons with a Colts defensive unit that was supervised by Bears Coach Matt Eberflus, Muhammad is well-versed in his understanding of the “HITS” concept in the philosophy that Eberflus has brought to Chicago. HITS stands for “Hustle Intensity, Intensity Takeaways, and (playing) smart.”
The defense’s performance on Thursday night was a clear indication that players have bought into the HITS idea.
“We were out hustling,” Muhammad said, “doing what we’re supposed to do, and doing what we do on the job but bringing it to reality.”
Even after the starters were gone after the game, the Bear’s defense performed admirably. After keeping the Chiefs in the second half scoreless on seven plays on Saturday, the team did not allow a single point to the Seahawks in their initial 10 drives. Seattle did not make a play until Jason Myers kicked a 27-yard field goal with 29 seconds left at the end of the quarter. This brings the score to 24-3.
In the Seahawk’s initial 10 possessions, they allowed just five first downs. Bears only allowed five first downs and six three-and-outs.
In response to a question about how he determines whether the defense is improving, Eberflus said: “You’ll observe it in the first training: the execution of the calls as well as the speed. In the game, you’ll need to be able to see the hitting as well as the attacking.
It is important to demonstrate the power of our hitting and also how we re-hit and also how we tackle. I was impressed with how well we did today. There is always room for improvement. Our strip efforts must be improved. We must cause more fumbles and take off the ball more. We’ll do it next week.”
After having missed the preseason opener due to an injury that was not disclosed Second-round selection Kyler Gordon was able to play his first NFL match against his home team.
The young cornerback, who was raised in the Seattle area and went on to attend Washington State University, University of Washington, had an impressive group of family and friends in attendance at Thursday’s game. Many were wearing his number. 6 Bears jersey.
“It was an extremely thrilling experience,” Gordon said. “It was really enjoyable to have everyone to support me, and seeing my family members there as well as my buddies, it truly appreciated it.”
Gordon stated that Gordon had been “super-hyped” in addition to “overly. However, I was already firmly committed to my job and willing to help.”
“I was not that anxious,” he said. “I am more excited to step onto the field and to be doing something. It was just a matter of having the opportunity to be out there and play was exactly the thing I had been waiting for.”
Gordon was the nickel player on Thursday night.
“The game flow was great,” he said. “I felt comfortable. It wasn’t crazy; I didn’t feel rushed.”
Eberflus confirmed she believes Gordon continues to play as a cornerback and nickel.
“We’ll consider moving him to the outside, but making sure he stays in the middle,” said the Bears coach. “We love his inside game however, he’s definitely going to be playing on the outside as well.”
The Chiefs’ Corey Coleman muffed his punt at the end of the preseason game on Saturday on Soldier Field, Bears rookie safety Elijah Hicks came close to recovering the ball that was lost but Coleman was able to secure the ball.
“Last week,” the man who was on Kansas City muffed a punt and I was close to getting that one,” Hicks said. “So I said to myself that whatever happens, I’m going to run to the ball, and I’m going to take that next punt.”
Hicks not only fulfilled the goal Thursday night but also scored a touchdown by reversing Cade Johnson’s missed punt at the line of a goal. The TD increased the Bear’s lead to 17-0 with just a minute left in the opening half.
The ball went through Johnson’s hands around the 10. The ball was tossed into the air in a wild scramble which saw Johnson’s Bears’ Davontae Harris nearly recovering the ball within the five, but Hicks took it in.
“The way we train our practice is that you’ve got run, you’ve got complete,” Hicks said. “So regardless. I was planning to run towards the ball. It’s kind of our mojo does.”
A touchdown scored on special teams is an excellent way to improve your chances of getting an opportunity to be on the roster. But the seventh-rounder from Cal knows that he needs to continue to put up a good showing.
“For me, it’s about improving,” Hicks said. “That was a great play. There are a few actions I need to get rid of. I’m just going to carry on working to improve and whatever takes place. However, I’m going to continue improving my game.”