Updated: September 9, 2014 6:34AM
Former Pro Bowl safety Adrian Wilson is 34, hasn’t played in an NFL game since the end of last preseason with the New England Patriots and is coming off surgery on his Achilles tendon.
But the Bears’ preseason opener is still just another game to him. Not even that, really.
“It’s my 14th year in this,” Wilson said. “I hate having to answer questions about a preseason game. I just don’t feel I have to prove anything to anybody. I’ve got six Pro Bowls, three first-team All-Pros — why do I have to prove anything to anybody?
“It’s the preseason, first game. I know it’s a part of the evaluation. Everybody goes through it. [I] just do what I have to do.”
Like it or not, Wilson has to prove he can move and cover well enough to play in the NFL. It has been difficult to tell in training-camp practices. But safety Ryan Mundy has liked what he has seen.
“You can tell he’s coming on, for sure,” Mundy said. “He’s starting to show flashes. He has a knack for playmaking, and you can see that on tape. So once he gets going, he’s definitely going to be there.”
The Bears’ safeties will be a focal point in the preseason opener against the Eagles. Mundy, Wilson, rookie Brock Vereen, Danny McCray and M.D. Jennings have been virtually interchangeable. Though none of the candidates was a full-time starter in the NFL last season, the Bears are hoping the competition will bring out the best in them.
“I would say the competition has made us a lot better,” said Mundy, who started nine games for the Giants last season. “Just a heightened sense of urgency. You understand you always have to be on point every play. Nothing is taken for granted.”
South Sider Jordan Lynch will make his Bears debut Friday. As the sixth running back on the depth chart, it remains to be seen what kind of opportunity he gets. Either way, special teams likely will be his best chance to make it.
“Coming into this, when coach [Marc] Trestman asked me to play running back, I knew special teams would be huge,” Lynch said. “I’m all for it. I want to go down there. I want to make a few tackles. I want to help the team out any way possible.”