Chicago Sun-Times

Bears make first cut of training camp; LaRocque released

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BOURBONNAIS, Ill.--Joey LaRocque made it through his physical fine on Thursday but he will not make it to the practice field this afternoon.

The Bears released the linebacker this morning according to a source close to the player, a move that will enhance his chances to catch on elsewhere with the Bears having a crowded scene at the position.

A seventh-round pick from Oregon State in 2008, LaRocque was promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster in Week 3 last season and played in 14 games on special teams. He made nine tackles and was a core member of the unit. A lower back injury prevented him from participating in the offseason program, but he was cleared after arriving at camp and said he felt good.

The Bears have nine linebackers on the training camp roster now starting with projected starters Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs and Pisa Tinoisamoa. Behind them are Hunter Hillenmeyer, Jamar Williams, Nick Roach, fifth-round pick Marcus Freeman and undrafted free agents Kevin Malast and Mike Rivera. The team will likely keep six or seven linebackers on the 53-man roster, and having appeared in 14 games, LaRocque is no longer practice squad eligible per NFL rules that mandate players cannot have appeared in more than nine regular-season games.

This reduces to 78 the number of players the Bears have on the roster. Punter Richmond McGee is expected to take one of the two available spots after he arrives from Texas today.

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6 Comments

I liked LaRouque as he showed alot of heart but there is to much talent ahead of him. Could this be a roster spot opening for Matt Jones???? That would be nice

I hate to see anyone lose their job in todays economy, but, I didn't see LaRocque sticking, especially with the drafting of linebacker Marcus Freeman. The seven linebackers will probably be Urlacher, Briggs. Tinoisamoa, Roach, Hillenmeyer, Williams, and Freeman. Although, if rookie free agent Mike Rivera shows any kind of promise and can play special teams, Hillenmeyer could get the axe, we'll see. LaRocque is gonna be hard pressed to stick anywhere now that he is practice squad non-eligible, but it was cool of the Bears to let him go now, early on, so he could get to another team that may need linebacker help.

A linebacker worth keeping an eye on in camp is Jamar Williams, I've read on more than one site that he made a lot of plays during the OTA's, he could be another one to surprise GO BEARS!!

I hope Gilbert gets his #90.

There are a lot of teams looking for that Brendan Ayanbadejo-type special teams anchor, and based on the way LaRocque played on special teams last season, I think he has the potential to do that down the line with more experience. he is not the fastest, biggest, or strongest guy out there, but he plays all out and without fear, which is key to special teams play across the league.

I hate to see him cut before camp even gets underway, but he was not going to make the final roster. This also tells me that Hillenmeyer is going to make the team. Perhaps as Urlacher's backup?

In a wierd way... I wonder if the new rules on special teams played a role in this cut. Since there are no more wedges... the kamakazee mentality is now going to be trumped by pure speed and tackling. Athleticism on special teams coverage can be more of a boon than physical toughness. I'm just throwing that out there... I really don't know.

Noooooooooo what are the Bears thinking? He was the best ever!!!!

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on July 31, 2009 8:03 AM.

0 days to Camp: Are you ready for some football? was the previous entry in this blog.

Bears make second roster move, release G Dennis Conley is the next entry in this blog.

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