The NFL preseason is an odd four weeks of football. The games don't count, and the players who usually see most of the playing time end up failing to make the final roster. But that doesn't mean Bears fans shouldn't be excited for the first live football since last year's disappointing playoff-less season.
The 2020 preseason is a big question mark right now. There's a chance it will be cut to just two games because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The NFL hasn't made any official announcement yet, but it would be pretty foolish to expose players and fans to unnecessary risk for games that don't count.
Even if the preseason is just two games, Bears fans will keep a close eye on a few newcomers who are expected to make significant contributions in 2020. Edge rusher Robert Quinn and tight ends Jimmy Graham and Cole Kmet immediately come to mind, but it's quarterback Nick Foles who was dubbed the player fans should be most excited to watch this summer.
The Chicago Bears traded for quarterback Nick Foles this offseason to either push or replace 2017 first-round pick Mitchell Trubisky. While Trubisky has shown flashes of greatness in his three seasons, he has yet to become a franchise quarterback.
Foles has also failed to do that and has struggled away from the Philadelphia Eagles. However, he was a Pro Bowler and Super Bowl MVP in Philadelphia, and the possibility that he can recapture that magic remains-which is why the Jacksonville Jaguars signed him last offseason.
Of course, there's no telling which version of Foles the Bears are getting or whether he can be a better option than Trubisky. Chicago hopes to gain a little clarity during the preseason.
The Bears' quarterback competition will be all that matters over the next few months. We know the defense is good. We know the offensive line has some issues that need improvement, and we know the running game will begin and end with David Montgomery. Allen Robinson will be the alpha pass-catcher.
The only thing we don't know is who will line up behind center in Week 1. So, yeah, Foles will be 'that guy' this preseason. Fans want to know if he'll be 'that guy' who can lead this Bears team, one that features an obvious playoff defense and enough playmakers to be competent on offense, to another NFC North championship.
The excitement Bears fans will have for Foles is kind of like that excitement you feel in a haunted house. Maybe it isn't exciting at all. It might be more accurate to say Bears fans are fearful of the 2020 preseason. There's a chance it could reveal the team has two quarterbacks who aren't capable of winning games in the NFL. And if that happens? It'll be a long time before this team is in the Super Bowl conversation again.
Which player should Bears fans be most excited to watch in 2020 preseason? originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago