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This preseason did not go as I expected it to. I was hoping to get more of a look at what Matt Nagy's offense will look like, but the starters hardly got any playing time at all.

Chase Daniel dramatically turned his play around after the Hall of Fame game.

A lot of teams this preseason seemed to hold their starters. This is a continuation of a trend that we've been seeing over the past few years or so, as teams wanted to avoid injuries to marquee players. However, rule changes before the season made a huge difference. The NFL changed the rules so that teams don't have to cut any preseason players until after the final game. Teams are going from 90 players to 53 players between the last preseason game and the first regular season game. Because of this, the teams have a lot more reserves still on their rosters that they can continue to evaluate, and they seem to be taking advantage of that.

After a rough outing in the Hall of Fame game, backup QB Chase Daniel pulled his preseason together and was actually the best-performing quarterback on the team. Part of that is because he also got a majority of the snaps. Trubisky didn't even play in the last two preseason games, and Tyler Bray got limited action.

Preseason standouts like Tanner Gentry and Taquan Mizzell were retained on the practice squad.

Tyler Bray did get the start for most of the final preseason game, and he had some pretty good drives. The team couldn't pull out a win, as the Bills' reserves outplayed the Bears' in the fourth quarter.

Javon Wims gets my vote for preseason MVP.

After cuts, the Bears demoted Tyler Bray, Tanner Gentry, Taquan Mizzell, Ryan Nall, and several others to the practice squad. Gentry has showed some promise in the past two preseasons, and I hope he plays well enough next year to earn a spot on the final roster. Mizzell and Nall both had a lot of explosive plays in the preseason as well. The Bears actually have a surprising amount of depth at receiver and running back this year, and I wouldn't be surprised if teams with less depth poach Gentry, Mizzell, or Nall off the practice squad if those teams suffer any injuries.

One player that made the 53-man roster, and whom I'm looking forward to see play is rookie receiver Javon Wims. Wims was a late-round pick by the Bears in the draft this April, and was second-fiddle to Anthony Miller. But Wims made some spectacular plays in the preseason. He played well enough, in fact, to beat out players like Gentry and make the final roster. This Bears receiving corp looks good, and we still haven't seen Allen Robinson or Taylor Gabriel play.

Khalil Mack elevates the Bears' pass rush to elite status

The big, big news of the week, however, is that the Bears made an aggressive trade to get perhaps the best pass rusher in the league, Khalil Mack, from the Raiders. The Raiders are getting the Bears' next two first-round draft picks, as well as some other later-round picks, and the Bears are getting the Raiders' 2nd-round pick in the 2020 draft. If I would ever attend a Raiders' game in Las Vegas, I was looking forward to seeing an elite defender like Mack play. So it's ironic (from my perspective) that he would be traded to the Bears.

This trade caught me completely by surprise. I did not expect the Raiders to actually trade away Mack, but it seems that they were simply unwilling to pay him as well as he deserves to be paid. The Bears were. If there's anything that I can say about this new Bears management, they are not afraid to aggressively pursue the players that they want. Last year, they reached to draft Trubisky, which at the time, looked like an act of idiotic desperation. Now this year, they mortgaged their next two drafts to secure [perhaps] the most elite defender currently in the league.

Former all-pro Raider Khalil Mack has been traded to the Chicago Bears.

Suddenly, this Bears defense is looking like it might be a very good unit, maybe even a borderline elite one. Mack joins young players like Leonard Floyd and Roquan Smith, as well as more veteran defenders like Danny Trevathan and Akiem Hicks. This pass rush, at least, will be very formidable.

Even the Bears' secondary has looked much better this preseason. That unit has been one of the team's weaknesses over the past few years. With a pass rush as potent as what the Bears may be fielding this year, even a modest secondary may be sufficient to hold off opponent's passing attacks.

I'm not expecting a playoff run by the Bears this year, but I am cautiously optimistic that this year may see that start of a new generation of the "Monsters of the Midway".

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