Chicago Sun-Times

Bears to bring P Atterberry back to practice squad

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Zac Atterberry is taking the long way from Green Bay to Halas Hall.

He flew back to his homestate Texas on Monday following a tryout with the Packers. He will arrive at Halas Hall today and will sign a contract to join the practice squad.

Atterberry punted well for the Bears in training camp and the preseason and his agent Rob Sheets said the Bears want to take a look at him six weeks after letting him go. It's not common for teams to have two punters but the Bears could be taking a look just in case something crops up with Brad Maynard down the road. Maynard has been doing well directionally punting and has landed 15 of his 31 punts inside the 20-yard line.

Atterberry was joined by Scott Player, Waylon Prather and Ken DeBauche in the tryout in Green Bay. Atterberry also had tryouts with Seattle and New England already and Washington has also expressed interest in him.

Player was involved in a tryout for the Bears last September when Dirk Johnson was chosen to replace Maynard for a week when a pulled groin muscle sidelined him.

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When commenting yesterday on roster flexibility I didn't think about the punter position being on the radar. Maybe this makes a certain amount of sense if you want to let the guy draw a couple checks while you give him a long look.

Long term it doesn't seem that smart to park a punter on the practice squad. You just wind up giving up a slot to keep a player in shape for the rest of 31 teams in the league. All another team has to do is sign him to their active roster and he is gone. Obviously other practice squad position players are available to other teams too, but most teams are just one injury away from needing a kicker or punter.

It's probably a good sign the Bears are continuing to think about making sure they have solid backups. That is opposed to several teams: like Indy, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Philly, who are wondering how they can field a full team next Sunday.

I think this move makes the Bears a bonafide Super Bowl contender.

But seriously, couldn't hurt to have some punter insurance. Where have your Twitter updates been, Brad?

Maynard has been a little inconsistent so far this year, but has been a stalwart on the team for several years. Anybody know when his contract is up? Maybe this is insurance for the potential end of Maynard's tenure with the Bears, and they can stash Atterbery on the practice squad and use him through the offseason to see if he can do the job.

Not very newsworthy now, but let's see what happens in March-June....

I do not understand. Why is there a spot available on the practice squad in the first place? I thought all positions were full. Who did they let go?

Over the years, Brad Maynard has had his ups and downs, but overall, Maynard has been a pretty good punter for the Bears. With that being said, Maynard is getting up there in age, Maynard has been with the Bears since 2001, but has been in the league since 1997. Although Maynard has not shown any signs of diminished skills, he has been hurt in the past, and being in the league for 12 seasons doesn't help.
I realize the Bears cannot keep two punters on the 53 man roster, but with Maynard getting long in the tooth, I don't think it would hurt to have a younger punter waiting on the practice squad, Atterberry has shown a strong leg for the Bears in the pre-season. The fact any team could snag Atterberry off the Bears practice squad at any time is just the way it is, I think the NFL sat up the rules for practice squad players to keep thing competitive, and give some of the younger players more of a chance to catch on if they don't make it early on. If Brad Maynard were younger, this move would make no sense, but the fact he is an older player with an injury past, I think it is a good move GO BEARS!!

Fan55

The Bears cut Tyler Reed on Monday to make room for Atterberry.

It does make some sense. You have to remember that Maynard had leg problems the past few years and is now on a special stretching regimine to keep him more flexible and in better shape to hopefuly deter any recuring problems.

Joe Felicelli, the Bears have Brad Maynard signed through 2010 GO BEARS!!

Thanks for the info B. P. Personally I think Brad has been fantastic this year. I can't think of one play where he has screwed up. I love it when he pooches it inside the ten, there are a LOT of NFL punters that can't do it!

It seems to me that this move is just insurance. As for Maynard I believe he is one of the best punters in the league, when needed he can get the Bears out of trouble with a great kick even from deep in the end zone.

As for Maynard's ability to punt inside the 20 he seems to be the best in the league. Last week he should have had a punt downed on the one or two yard line had #38 Manning not touched the end zone with his foot causing the ball to be placed at the 20 instead. Manning is playing better but did not use his head on that play (no pun intended), he should always know where he is on the field during a punt.

This is just a way to rest Maynards leg for the year, punters do a lot of kicking during practice and we all know Maynard has an old leg as far as punters go, this was Toub can get real special teams practice time durng the season without wearing out Maynard, not a bad move by the team, usually practice squad players are there to be developed for the next season or to make certain they can have functional practices, this is really what's going on here with the kid.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on October 6, 2008 11:50 PM.

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