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Starters to see expanded playing time

Posted by Larry Mayer on August 19, 2013 – 4:04 pm

NFL teams typically treat their third preseason game as a dress rehearsal for the regular season, and that’s exactly how the Bears will approach Friday night’s contest in Oakland.

Starters are expected to play the first half and perhaps into the third quarter against the Raiders before seeing little or no action in the preseason finale Aug. 29 versus the Browns.

“We’ve seen enough of the top guys, but we haven’t seen them together against competition other than the Chicago Bears,” said coach Marc Trestman. “It’s important that they get out and from a conditioning aspect, from a reps standpoint, from playing through more adversity and more success, just get them a chance to play together.

“There are a lot of new guys in that lineup. If you line up in the right formation, you’ve got three new players on the team who weren’t here alone in a right guard (Kyle Long), right tackle (Jordan Mills) and tight end (Martellus Bennett).

“So that’s different in itself, and there’s chemistry and communication that goes into those guys working together. So we need the reps. We’re going to do that. We’re going to get them in there and let them work and see if we can’t have some success and create enough opportunity for us to get to know each other a little better on the field.”

While the starters will see expanded playing time, the Bears won’t give away any secrets.

“We’ll game plan with structure that is designed to attack, but not designed to give up formations and personnel groupings that we may use down the road,” Trestman said. “That’s about as frank as I could be. [It will be] simpler than what we may do during the season but enough to be able to create opportunities for these guys to get open in the passing game and certainly be able to run the football.”

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