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Bears' O-linemen Long, Mills stay busy

Published: Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
Caption
(H. Rick Bamman)
H. Rick Bamman - hbamman@shawmedia.com The Bears Jordan Mills blocks San Diego's Damik Schafe (rear) and Donald Butler (56) during the bears first quarter touchdown drive during the NFL preseason game against the Chargers Thursday, Aug. 15 at Soldier Field.

It definitely was not the Bears’ plan to have Josh McCown lead the team in snaps in Friday’s preseason game against the San Diego Chargers.

The backup quarterback got 37 reps, or 65 percent of the offensive snaps, because of Matt Blanchard’s fractured knuckle. We can’t glean much of anything from that total, especially considering McCown spent most of his snaps handing it off – he threw only eight passes.

Ignoring the outlier that is McCown, rookie offensive linemen Kyle Long and Jordan Mills, like last week, led in snaps, playing 33 each. They started on the right side of the line and played through the first half and in the first series of the third quarter. Both players impressed – mainly Long – and the coaches again have plenty of tape to watch as they try to figure out who will start at right tackle in Week 1.

Here are other observations from the snap counts in the Bears’ preseason game against the Chargers:

• Fendi Onobun played in only 10 snaps Thursday night. We know that he is better at his receiving than blocking, and with the Bears running the ball often in the second half, that likely kept Onobun off the field. But that’s not a good sign if it means the coaches don’t have enough confidence in his run-blocking compared to Steve Maneri, Leonard Pope and Gabe Miller.

• It was difficult to discern anything about the receiver competition with so few passes, but Devin Aromashodu did lead all wideouts with 19 snaps, which could be a testament to his experience and blocking.

• Martellus Bennett: 16 snaps, zero targets.

• Aston Whiteside led the defense with 35 snaps. He had a tackle for loss and helped play defensive tackle when Corvey Irvin went down.

• Taylor Boggs played 31 snaps at center, allowing the coaches to get a good glimpse at whether he can handle being the backup center, or if they’ll need a veteran like Matt Slauson, Edwin Williams or Eben Britton to handle snapping duties if Roberto Garza goes down.

• Tom Nelson is the forgotten man in the competition for safety, but he led the position with 32 snaps. Nelson still is behind Anthony Walters and Brandon Hardin, but no one has “won” the No. 4 safety job, yet.

• Jon Bostic and Isaiah Frey have played in a combined zero regular-season games, so reps for them are important, considering their expected roles this season. Bostic played in 29 snaps. and Frey in 28.

• Cornelious Washington played 28 snaps, but he did not record a tackle. Washington did play in 12 special teams plays, which is key for the rookie, and he showed outstanding speed for a big man running with Michael Ford on the long kickoff return.

• Cornerback C.J. Wilson led all undrafted rookies with 28 snaps. There could be room for a sixth corner, or to make the practice squad, and he made a nice open-field tackle as he fends for a spot ahead of fellow undrafted rookie Demontre Hurst.

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