Chicago Sun-Times

A look at the final 53-man roster, Vol. II

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The Bears got about half of their dirty work done Friday when they informed nine players they will be placed on waivers Saturday.

The club needs to trim 21 players by 5 p.m. to reach the 53-man roster limit. Even if a players makes it through the final cutdown, he's not necessarily safe. More casualties could follow if the Bears find players they want on the waiver wire. Waiver claims will be awarded Sunday morning at 11 when teams can begin forming practice squads.

Here are the nine players we know will be let go: defensive ends Dan Bazuin and Nick Osborn, offensive linemen Cody Balogh, Ryan Poles and Tyler Reed, fullback Lousaka Polite, running back P.J. Pope, wide receiver Mike Hass and safety Leonard Peters. Guard Chester Adams is likely headed toward injured reserve or an injury settlement after suffering a sprained MCL in his left knee Thursday night at Cleveland.

So we'll revise the projected 53-man roster we presented earlier this week, removing the names that have already been informed.

What do you think?

QUARTERBACK (3)--Orton, Grossman, Hanie. Comment: Hanie, the undrafted free agent from Colorado State, did what coaches want to see most. He got a little bit better from one week to the next. As long as he doesn't plateau, he deserves a longer look.

RUNNING BACK (4)--Forte, Jones, Wolfe, Peterson. Comment: Jones needs to be utilized to justify cutting loose fullback Lousaka Polite, who had some value. It looks like Jones will get his chance and teammates are high on him, always a good sign.

FULLBACK (1)--McKie. Comment: Too bad the Bears couldn't find a conditional pick for Polite.

WIDE RECEIVER (6)--Hester, Lloyd, Bennett, Booker, Bradley, Davis, (Rideau). Comment: The guy who made the most plays in preseason for the Bears in 2002, Kenny Christian, didn't make the final roster. That fate could await Brandon Rideau even after he led the team with three touchdown receptions. Rideau made some big plays downfield but rarely got work with the first team, even in training camp. He's a bigger target with long arms and that sets him apart from the remainder of the roster. Mark Bradley would probably embrace the opportunity for a new start but general manager Jerry Angelo isn't going to launch all his draft picks, is he?

TIGHT END (3)--Clark, Olsen, Davis, (Mines, Stone). Comment: Fontel Mines showed up on special teams at Cleveland and would be a gimme if the Bears hadn't drafted Kellen Davis. They'll probably try to stash him on the practice squad but he could develop interest elsewhere. Mines has made strides in the last year as a blocker since converting from wide receiver.

OFFENSIVE LINE (8)--Kreutz, Beekman, Metcalf, Garza, Tait, St. Clair, Williams, Barton, (Adams, Oakley). Comment: Kirk Barton's job could depend on whether or not Fred Miller decides to accept a one-year contract offer. Miller is attending his sister's wedding in Houston and Barton is sweating out the time of his life awaiting a decision on whether or not he has made the club.

TOTAL OFFENSE: 25

DEFENSIVE LINE (9)--Harris, Adams, Dvoracek, Idonije, Harrison, Brown, Ogunleye, Anderson, Toeaina, (Baldwin, Clermond). Comment: Cutting Bazuin had to be the toughest thing Angelo will do this weekend. It's a cold-hearted business and while Bazuin pocketed a $1.316 million signing bonus a little more than a year ago, he never was able to show the team what he's like when healthy.

LINEBACKER (6)--Urlacher, Briggs, Hillenmeyer, Williams, McClover, Roach, (LaRocque, Okwo). Comment: You could make a better case for Joey LaRocque to make the team than former third-round pick Mike Okwo.

SAFETY (5)--Brown, McGowan, D. Manning, Payne, Steltz. Comment: Don't anticipate any changes here but wasn't impressed with Craig Steltz's range in preseason.

CORNERBACK (5)--Tillman, Vasher, Graham, Bowman, McBride, (T. Brown). Comment: Trey Brown could merit consideration for the practice squad.

TOTAL DEFENSE: 25

SPECIALISTS (3)--Gould, Maynard, Mannelly, (Gafford, Atterberry). Comment: No surprises here. Thomas Gafford could land back in Green Bay by Sunday although Seattle could nab him with a waiver claim. The Seahawks might be in the market for a long snapper themselves. Gafford was in Green Bay earlier this summer and lost out to J.J. Jansen, who went down with a left knee injury Thursday night. There hasn't been this much suspense for a long snapper in these parts for some time.

Is it possible something different happens?

Sure it is. The team that gets off the bus running could elect to go with five wide receivers instead of six. Matt Toeaina isn't a lock at defensive tackle but he sure makes sense. As Angelo says, you can never have too many tackles. They also say that about cornerback so that makes it hard to believe Zack Bowman or Trumaine McBride could be be cut. The Bears like to keep five corners. But neither one did much in preseason. Rideau hangs around if the Bears decide they want to keep their 53 best players no matter what position they are at.

Final cuts probably will not be officially announced until later in the day if the Bears follow their game plan from last year. We'll see what happens between now and then.

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12 Comments

LB Michael Okwo has been reportedly released. So, unless the Bears pickup Roosevelt Colvin (doubtful), then Joey LaRocque has made the team; probably for his special teams play.

I would keep Rideau over Booker or Bradley.

Barton over signing Miller

Cut Anthony Oakley and/or Terrence Metcalf and pickup 1-2 O-Linemen

Sign another DT instead of keeping Matt Toeaina.

I think Trey Brown would get picked up if waived and signed to practice squad and I would cut Coery Graham and keep Brown (but give him another number).

I do see the Bears looking into help for the a DL, OL , & LB on the waiver wires.

I agreed with everything "Butch" said until his last comment about cutting Graham. That would be just plain stupid- he obviously hasn't seen what this guy did in college or on special teams last year while recovering from an injury all season. He's the third best corner and will be challenging for playing time soon.

I would release Bennett and Bradley and hold on to Rideau. Bradley...something seems wrong with him health-wise. He's lacking the speed and explosiveness he showed years before. Bennett, yeah he's rookie, but he's done nothing to impress as a WR in the preseason. You can downplay Hanie's abilities when he does good against third stringers, but what can you say when a guy such as Bennett stinks against these same third stringers?

Ok, I agree with Butch about some things, but who is out there to sign if we cut Oakley and/or Metcalf? And who is the other DT that we should pick up if we cut Toeaina?? I though Big Toe came in last year and played pretty well all things considered.

And finally, while i think you could make a case for taking Rideau over Bradley, but not Marty. The man is the most experienced receiver on the team plus he has always had good hands. He hasnt been getting alot of passes thrown his way in preseason cause (i believe) that the coaches know what he can do and would rather evaluate the others.

Why is Wolfe still on the team and spare me the special teams line, all he does is returns on special teams and everyone who has done returns on the Bears special teams has looked as good or better than Wolfe. The guy is a running back who averages 3 yards a carry against 3rd team defenses. In fact the only guy who has looked bad returning the ball is Hester.

If they bring back Fred Miller and cut Barton I am gonna puke, bring back a has been for a young player who has shown signs of talent. Why not bring back Jim Miller while were at it and cut Hanie to make room.

Butch Okwo was cut you are correct. Also they can't cut much in they way of Oline cause they are just ematiated there. Metcalf is hurt again and Oakley is the only back up at center we have while Beekman is at guard. Williams is out for most of the season but is still on the roster, cause that makes no sense and the BEARS want to bring back Miler and cut Barton again cause that makes no sense. You know whats funny if they cut Oakley and Adams, we have one player as back up for the entire offensive line. Hahahahaha, Williams and Metcalf are hurt. What happens if someone get hurt then Barton has to play, but then someone gets a stinger in a game and has to sit out a series, what are we going to do play with 4 linemen.

When are they gonna retire that number?

Despite the nostalgia, I like the idea of possibly letting Booker slip and going with a whole new young crowd of receivers. It is tempting.

I definitely agree we should skip on Miller and see if we can't pick up some big "upside" OL from somewhere else that don't make the roster. Look at teams who are great at building lines, and find their last minute "can't keep this guy" type of cuts to pick up. 1-2 solid projects for the line would be amazing for the future of this organization.

To be honest, we do have a rough year ahead, but man if we could add some young skill at OL now, with out potential at WR & RB and even, someday, possibly Hanie (not now obviously) we would like fresh again on O, and that hasn't happened in a long time.

Sadly, with Angelo's drafting, "THE" Bears seem to be deciding on marginal players as it is ... all the talk, do we keep Bradley, I saw one guy suggest we kick Bennett of the team. The smartest thing I heard was do not sign Miller, but try to go with youth; and desire.
Does anyone really know more than 10 offensive lineman in this league. Yet they are the bread and butter ... I could go on and on, but what happened to the O-line?

Does anything the Bears Management works on work out? They suck period. What is the track record since 1970? The teams that did succeed did so on pure desire and chemistry. Jimmy Mac was not the greatest QB, but he was a WINNER. Samurai Mike, he was a winner, and why is he coaching the 9'ers. Bring in his demeanor and direction.

anyway to finish my line above, regarding butter, we draft butter substitute in Williams. Go Jerry Angelo, you rock baby. Yet, can I ask you maybe wear a blindfold when you're throwing darts at the draft board.

This team is a poor excuse right now. You feel it. The desire is just not there. Lovie has to go, and I am serious when I say this, it is time for a guy like Ditka do come in a retool the mind set.

Start drafting players that want it. It's pure and simple. We blew it by letting a player like LB Patrick Lewis go to another team; we should trade for better draft position when players like that appear on the board. They are not that hard to identify. Desire, attitude, leadership equal a WINNER. Just ask Jimmy Mac. Buddy Ryan, Mike Singletary, Dan Hampton, and Sweetness if you could.

Like all Bears fans, I am so sick of the McCaskeys, Angelo's drafting, and Lovies lack of intensity.

would of rather liked to see Peters over Steltz =\

To Bear Down: After watching Graham on special teams and the short amount of time he's played, I would put McBride ahead of him and put him about even with Bowman. But, Trey Brown is very athletic and very well could be the 'nickel' the Bears have looking for to replace Ricky Manning, Jr. (Danieal Manning doesn't seem like a good man coverage guy for the 'nickel' position.)

To Max: I just believe there has to someone else quicker and bigger out there on waivers instead of Matt Toeiana. Toeiana doesn't provide much of a pass rush and is slow to get to his gap responsibility and create a pile and pushed the LOS back 1-2 yards back. He's a hustler, but, too much like Ian Scott (2-down lineman)

And, Max, I think Marty Booker has gotten to old, slow, and has let time pass him by as he has a hard time getting a cushion on his routes and doesn't come back to the ball when the QB is in trouble. Plus, there are too may younger guys with more speed and explosiveness and more of an upside then Booker.

I like Booker, but with Davis, Lloyd, Bradley, Hester, and Bennett there wil be little opportunities for Booker to be invloved in the offense and Booker needs more than one ball thrown to him to be effective. And, keeping Rideau over Booker would help groom a younger receiver and help special teams out.

To Creighton: Yes, I know if the Bears cut Oakley and Metcalf (both aren't very aggressive and tough), there's only guy to back up the line. If players (guard/center) bigger and stronger with more mobility, TOUGHNESS, and longer arms became available, then I would cut both. Both Metcalf and Oakley have shown they're nothing more than backup at the NFL level. And, I would rather see players that can potentially be starters in the future be the Bears backups.

I would like to see what C/OG Donovan Raiola has to offer the Bears. Raiola was cut by the Rams , his brother is Detroit's Dominic Raiola (best friend and off-season workout buddy of Olin Kreutz), is TOUGH, and played at Nebraska. Raiola could be Kreutz' successor.

Butch yes, trust me I know they suck, I am just pointing out what a bad situation the Bears have been put in. They probably will cut a couple of guys and we will be left with on healthy backup, until they bring back Miller and cut Barton then we have no healthy backup, just the worst line in football.

But hey we plan on keeping 6 recievers on a team that gets off the bus running. Cause that makes no sense.

Creighton, actually, Wolfe had a 4.8 yd avg, and led the Bears in rushing this pre-season with 105 yds. On top of that, Wolfe had 4 catches, 1 for a touchdown, not bad. Also take into consideration, Wolfe is playing with a bad hamstring, again, not bad.
Its easy to pick on Garrett Wolfe, because of his size, 5-7 186lbs, but the fact of the matter is, the guy is going to be used as a third down and change of pace back, so his size is not as big a deal as you would believe it to be. Yes, the Bears had Wolfe return some balls this pre-season, they aren't necessarily going to use him as a return man, but the Bears cannot afford to go into the regular season with only one player with return experience, so the Bears had to give a few guys some reps returning the ball in the pre-season, also, to see what they got, its the pre-season, teams do things like this. I disagree with you as far as Wolfe is concerned, Wolfe should prove to be a valuable asset for the Bears on offense. Creighton, me and you are on the same page as far as Kirk Barton is concerned, hopefully the Bears sign him GO BEARS!!

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on August 29, 2008 8:51 PM.

Bazuin: "I never claimed to be 100 percent" was the previous entry in this blog.

Dan Bazuin Q&A is the next entry in this blog.

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