Chicago Sun-Times

Extra man for week could pay off

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By sending P Dirk Johnson away from Halas Hall for all of two days, the Bears were able to prep CB Ade Jimoh that much more as they ready him to help out.

The Bears figured they would need Johnson again for Sunday night in the event Brad Maynard's groin muscle acts up in warmups -- it's expected to be a game-time decision -- but didn't need Johnson (who was healing a bruised left quad) to show what he can do in practice.

So Johnson was dispatched for two days and Jimoh, signed after the Week 1 loss at San Diego, was brought back for a two days of a crash course on the defense.

As a rule of thumb, the Bears don't want players dressing on game day that cannot help the team get through a game in a pinch. Jimoh had only a few days on the job and is still learning the defensive scheme. He's being considered as a gunner and four-phase special teams contributor after averaging more than one special teams tackle per game during a four-year career in Washington.

So, by paying each guy (Johnson and Jimoh) for the week, they were able to coach up Jimoh and get him that much closer to being able to contribute, and bring in Johnson just in case. It's a good bet Johnson will be gone again next week and Jimoh will be signed for the third time in three weeks.

All it cost the team was an extra $35,000. That's a small price to pay for a healthy punter, or a guy who might be able to come up with an open-field tackle covering a punt in the fourth quarter of a critical game.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on September 22, 2007 8:34 AM.

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