CHICAGO, IL — The Bears got a good look at their kickers Thursday night in their preseason opener, and even a quick glimpse of Mitch Trubisky. But it was the Panthers who came away with a 23-13 preseason win at Soldier Field.
Elliott Fry made his lone field goal attempt from 43 yards out right before halftime. He also made his only extra point attempt. Eddy Pineiro had a mixed night. He missed a 48 yard field goal attempt just to the left of the upright. But he came back in the fourth quarter by booting a 23 yard field goal.
“We want these guys to make every single kick,” said head coach Matt Nagy after the game. “We’ll go through this thing and let them see what kind of production they show us and this was the big stage tonight for them. This was as big as we can get it before the season starts.”
Trubisky wasn’t expected to play, but Matt Nagy decided to give his third-year quarterback one series at the start of the game just to get him a feel for game night. Trubisky did not attempt a pass.
“It’s really important for a lot of these guys to…the mental side of it. You know the pregame mentality of getting ready for a game. Getting out there, getting in the huddle, under the lights. Just kind of getting back into that,” said Nagy explaining why he played Trubisky. “Even though it was just a couple handoffs I feel like just that part is good for him.”
One of the biggest positives for the Bears was the play of third-round draft pick David Montgomery. He carried the ball three times for 16 yards. He scored on an impressive seven-yard touchdown run in the second quarter showing a combination of physicality and finese. Montgomery also caught three passes.
“The opportunities that he had was everything that we thought he could do,” said Nagy. “He runs hard. He runs really, really hard. He runs violent. He’s angry when he runs and he’s tough to bring down with that first defender.”
Several other Bears also performed well. Chase Daniel completed 11 of 13 passes. Rookie running back Kerrith Whyte had six carries for 35 yards. Deon Bush had an interception. And Roquan Smith, Nick Kwiatkowski and Roy Robertson-Harris all had sacks.
The Bears will return to Bourbonnais next for two final practices there Saturday and Sunday. Sunday’s practice will be close to the public.