Chicago Sun-Times

Bears add LB Darrell McClover to mix on special teams

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The Bears brought in some competition for special teams by adding a familiar face today.

Linebacker Darrell McClover was signed and he will be able to contribute immediately for Dave Toub's special teams unit after spending the last three seasons with the club.

McClover was the sixth linebacker the team kept on the roster to begin the season last year. He appeared in 10 games but was placed on injured reserve in late November with a pulled hamstring. He produced 14 tackles on special teams and added a blocked punt. McClover made 36 special teams tackles in 28 games for the Bears from 2006 to 2008. He's been out of work since his contract expired after last season.

The team made two other moves as tight end Fontel Mines ad guard Tyler Reed were waived/injured. They will revert back to the club's injured reserve list if they clear through waivers. The Bears now have 79 players on their roster, including cornerback Charles Tillman, who remains on the physically unable to perform list. They will need to cut down to 75 players by Sept. 1 and then the final cut to 53 is on Sept. 5. Defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek is expected to miss the season, so he will likely clear one roster spot.

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Brad don't tell Dusty and Lovie he will miss the season, he is just fine. Just like Williams was fine last year and got his very own roster spot that he never used, at least almost never. Now it's Dusty's turn, he can miss the the first 15 games of the season and then play 3 snaps in the final game. That way Lovie can say see I told you he would be fine. Then Dusty can get off season surgery next year to fix the tear, and then he can be given a Roster spot yet again while he rehabs. At least we know both starting DT's from last year are hurt again. But that s ok because these are the Bears and we will count on them to be effective starters anyway.

I am already looking at next years free agents at WR, DE, DT, and DB.

I am hoping for Kevin Walter or Brandon Marshall to play the X, but I actually think Angelo would go after Walter. He is a solid complementary reciever, smart, runs really good routs, great hands, really good blocker, and really good size. Dunta Robinson, which will not happen. Antoine Bethea, there is a small chance they try and get him.

I'm happy for McClover that he is getting another opportunity. I'm happy for him, but don't really understand. From all indications starting next week they already have more young linebacking talent than they have room to keep.

You could maybe see giving an extended tryout to another backup QB, D-lineman, maybe running back or cornerback. Why linebacker?

Maybe it's just that he played hard in the past for somebody like Babich or Toub and they are going to try to get him a little film this week to shop himself.

Look Creighton it was a Great move not putting Williams on IR last Year . HE got work with the team in short yardage and special Teams which will serve us well this year. But you are such a negative hater that you cant see the facts right in your face.ALL Real Bear Fans hope Dusty has something that he can work though and get on the field This Year . But you want to focus on next years free agents what a fan . CLOWN.

Look Creighton Great Move not putting williams on IR. OPEN YOUR EYES

I like McClover - but - I hate to see one of the young guys get cut. Is there room for seven or eight LBs? Urlacher, Briggs, Williams, Tino, Hillenmeyer, Roach, Freeman, Malast, McClover.
Who do you cut? I thought the Bears were happy with Malast? Is Hillenmeyer and Roach gone? What does everyone else think? Go Bears!! By the way, don't you think the Broncos will franchise Marshall, yes I would like to see him in a Bear uniform, but don't see Denver parting with him.

Does this mean the Bears are weighing whether it would be better to keep a SP standout, or to keep more up and coming receivers like Aromashodu, Rideau, Knox and Iglesias who may not produce on SP?

I bet the Bears keep Hester, Bennett, Davis, Aromashodu and Iglesias. Not that I agree, I would prefer Davis get cut and keep Rideau and Knox. But something tells me they will be casualties to Davis and McClover and who knows what will happen and LB.

Bringing linebacker Darrell McClover back was a good move by Chicago. Special teams is a very underrated aspect of a team. And McClover has proved in the past he can make some stops on special teams for the Bears.

Now, Is McClover gonna make the final cut on sept 5th? It's hard to tell, we know Urlacher, Briggs, Tinoisamoa [man that guy can hit], and Freeman [draft status] are locks. The question is, who are the other two? Chicago will probably keep 6 backers like they did last season. The other 2 could be Williams and McClover? That would mean Hillenmeyer and Roach would be gone, and the two rookies Malast and Rivera would go to the practice squad. Obviously special teams coach Dave Toub likes McClover for his unit, so McClover will probably make the team for his play on special teams. It then comes down to Hillenmeyer, Roach, and Williams. Roach has been banged up a lot so far throughout camp, so he's really gonna have to come to play these last couple of pre-season games. Also, Tinoisamoa has pretty well established himself as the starting strongside backer. I also look for Jamar Williams to make the squad, he's younger than Hillenmeyer and has draft status, which neither Roach or Hillenmeyer have. Also, Williams can fill in at any linebacking position, Hillenmeyer can't. I can see Hillenmeyer at middle or strongside, but not weakside. And Roach has never lined up at the weakside position. Again, Williams can play all three spots at linebacker, I don't know if Hillenmeyer and Roach could like Williams can? So that fact alone would give Williams the advantage over Hillenmeyer and Roach. The odd men out will probably be Roach and Hillenmeyer. Hillenmeyer could stick if Chicago keeps 7, but its a numbers game and Chicago needs more bodies at corner and the d-line vs linebacker, which is easily the strongest position on defense. Just my opinion GO BEARS!!

'Darrell Mcglover' is a funny way to spell 'Matt Jones'.

I'm glad we're addressing a need. You can never have too many special teamers. Who needs experienced wideouts?

While I like the idea of an experienced wideout, I think we are going to be ok at the position. I like what Bennett is doing, and if we are smart enough to keep Aromashodu and Rideau, in addition to Iglesias, then we should have a solid, young, athletic group to play with our new toy in Jay Cutler.

You add in Olsen, Forte, and Hester, and the offense should be pretty dynamic. I don't necessarily agree with adding another LB to camp, but there likely are not a whole lot of available OL that can fill in for Reed.

If Roach has fallen out of the race for the strong side job due to Tinoisamoa's play, and the concussion, perhaps the Bears are figuring that McClover is a better special teams player, and is worth giving another shot to make the squad.
I see the depth chart as Urlacher, Briggs, Tinoisamoa as starters (big leap, huh?), and the backups as Williams on the strong side and weak side, Hillenmeyer in the middle, and Freeman as the third backup. If they keep a 7th LB, it has to be a special teams demon, and McClover may be better suited than Roach to play that role. But at this point of the preseason, who can tell?

The other possibility is that Hillenmeyer is on the hot seat, and Williams and Roach will back up Urlacher and Tinoisamoa, and McClover is the possible 7th guy there as well.

Our new third string QB:

Josh Johnson

Buccaneers | Looking to trade a quarterback?
Comment (0)
Wed, 26 Aug 2009 07:41:27 -0700

Jason La Canfora, of, reports the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been contacting other teams this week to gauge interest in their quarterbacks after putting off a decision to name a starter, according to league sources. Two league sources said the Buccaneers have been calling teams, willing to listen to offers for QB Byron Leftwich, QB Luke McCown or QB Josh Johnson, a player thought of highly internally but who likely wouldn't have great trade value.


We can offer a 7th rounder (conditional 6th) for him, and get it done. Tampa is J.A.'s favorite trade partner, so this should be a no-brainer. Basanez is overmatched as a third stringer, and Johnson would be an interesting prospect to keep around and develop.

Best guess is the Bears keep Urlacher, Briggs, Pisa, Williams, Freeman and Hillenmeyer or McGlover. Freeman could be on practice squad but may be claimed pretty quickly.

Wideouts best guess are: Hester, Bennett, Knox, Iglesias, Davis, Aromoshodu but if they could bring in Matt Jones, maybe they should keep 7 since Davis is so good on special teams and go with 2 QB's. I believe that Knox or Aromoshodu are on the bubble to make the practice squad if the Bears go with 6 receivers. The Bears really need to get at least one vet receiver for this year. It is not beyond reality to think that they could figure a way to land Boldin, Marshall or Matt Jones.

It will be interesting to go through the league cutdown next week and determine who and what postions will be available.

J of the Internet,

There are 31 other teams not named Chicago in what is called the National Football League. Right now, all 31 of those teams are carrying 75-80 roster spots. Of those roster spots, anywhere from 6-10 are receivers. So, along with Chicago there are roughly 250 wide receivers being looked at by NFL clubs ... and Matt Jones is not in any of those spots. WHAT IS CHICAGO THINKING?

Also, since your reading comprehension seems lacking maybe Chicago is thinking that come September 5th some experienced wide receivers may find themselves out of a job whether because of age, money, etc. and they can pick through the scraps and see if anyone fits.

// Reading is fun-damental
// Math is hard ... Not signing Matt Jones is easy!

The recievers are going to be fine and we don't need a nut like Marshall in here either. The Bears are stocked with tall young recievers and a quality QB for them to grow with, leave it alone if anything you need to be looking at that light weight defensive line get some bulk and a pass rusher.

Some of you guys are talking like the Bears are just fine with their current group of receivers but if you look at the really good teams, they usually have a star wideout. The last two Superbowls as an example, the competing teams both had a true #1 receiver.

Believe it or not despite my desire to agree with the status quo, the Bears simply would rate at best in the top 20 for their receiver group or maybe even lower, they are simply unproven in the NFL. When the playoffs come, I do not think it is in the best interests of the Bears to be going into the big games with young unproven talent whom have never been there before. Only one proven NFL vet receiver is needed to complement this group of potentially good receivers, just one.

Hester is not a true #1 and I agree with Creigton that Hester probably would be unstoppable in the slot. He simply is too quick shifty and fast not to succeed in that position.

Bennett could be good in the slot as well or as a possession flanker.

Iglesias is a rookie with talent, good backup for the year, will get some action in the games and develop.

Knox is unproven, fast but can he take a hit? He has not shined so far,certainly a back up role for him as well.

Davis is at his best in the slot and is good on special teams. He probably sticks with the club.

Aromoshodu or Rideau might be OK but are they the type of talent that is going to be great in the NFL or will they disappear when the season starts? They may be expendable if a vet nfl receiver is located or if the Bears decide to keep 7 receivers and keep 2 QB's with Basanez on the practice squad?

Yes, Olson and Forte are top of the line when it comes to receiving skills but the plain and simple fact is that the Bears need a proven vet NFL receiver and if they somehow could land a true #1 receiver then watch out because Cutler will have the full arsenal of firepower that should make the offense simply unstoppable. There are a number of teams not to happey with their star receivers like Cleveland's Braylon Edwards, Ocho Cinco wants out in Cincy, the aforementioned Boldin, Marshall and Matt Jones. One NFL proven vet receiver, just one.

Go Bears!!!!!! Can't wait for Bears/Packers!!!!!

Hey Dahli, got a debate for you: Have you noticed that those stars you mentioned are unhappy campers? What makes you think that just coming here and having Cutler throw to them will make them happiers. They are crying about money and eventually once they are paid well they will cry about something else. I know they say pay the man when he asks for his worth but are we absolutely sure they know their worth? Fans here do not like people asking for their money. They booed the hell out of everyone who got around to asking. Their play usually brought the fans around when they are good but when they aren't, fans are relentless. I don't like guys crying about contracts when they are still under contract. People who do that are perceived as crybabys. I truly believe that some people are creatures of habit. Receivers who are good are almost always pi$$ing somebody off or being pi$$ed off. We had Moose who was a minimal star who thought he was a bigger star and what did he do? Fans hated this guy for being really the best all around receiver we had at the time. Once he started dropping passes I truly believe that he kept going because of the fans response. It was like he was saying screw you for being picky. We won't take too kindly to the things that these guys do to get attention or just being themselves. I'm not saying don't get better as a team. I'm just saying be careful who you trust. Right now Matt Jones don't have anyone who trusts him.


You bet I know that there are a lot of primadonna's within the receiver group in the NFL and moose is one of the biggest.

Yes, I do not like that side of it either, spoiled brats are spoiled brats and some are certainly better than others. A guy like T.O. to me can ruin a team as he did in Philly, San Francisco and Dallas.

But there are some great talents that are also good team players and don't just cause problems.

I do know one thing and that the Bears need a good #1 until Hester if he is able will move into that role. We will see but I sure hope the Bears can get a good vet in because it could help the team not only get to the Super Bowl but maybe also help win it.

WRD, you have many good points about some of these crybabies.

dahli and wrd if I may at what cost for one of those crybabies considering soon you will have to ante up and pay Cutler and the price tag just keeps inflating. One of these guys has to be the answer, someone has to be developed. The Bears have not developed a reciever since Johnny Morris, the one trick pony Gault doesn't count and Berrian is gone [one trick pony also] so when does it stop? where do you draw the line and develop one for yourself?

You have hit on the weakness of this organization for years. Who is the last player we have really developed at any position, let alone WR? Who gets better once they come to this coaching staff? Our solution is to either get lucky and draft a solid player, or bring in a free agent. At some point, we need to turn some of these potential guys into players. Mark Bradley is still going to start in Kansas City. Bernard Berrian is still going to start in Minnesota. Justin Gage still starts in Tennessee...All of these guys were not developed at all when they were here.

Earl Bennett, Juaquin Iglesias, Devin Aromashodu, Brandon Rideau, Johnny Know, Rashied Davis, and Devin Hester all have the potential to be decent NFL wide receivers, and a couple of them could turn out to be good players. But where is the Rod Marinelli of the WR position? Who is teaching them how to sell fake routes, and where to get their head around on the ball, and drilling them on blocking? Where is the development that helps them get in and out of breaks to get separation? I watched Lee Evans in the Buffalo-Green Bay game round off 4 different routes, and the Packers DBs were all over him and breaking up the play. Outside of Hester, the guys we have are trained wideouts from whatever system they came from. They knew how to run the routes required by their offense, and their position coach drilled them on it daily in all likelihood.

So when do we develop someone to step up? Rideau has been in camp for what, 3 years? Rashied Davis has been on the team for 4 or 5 years, and is not much better than he was when he got here. Hester is improving, but still makes a lot of route running mistakes and doesn't always know what to do. Chalk that up to a new position for him, but his position coach needs to be putting in the extra time with him to get rid of those correctable errors. Iglesias, Aromashodu, and Knox all need to be showing progress, and I am not seeing much beyond their natural athletic ability showing up on the field.

We keep these developmental guys around for 2-3 years at a time (Tyler Reed, Fontel Mines, Joe Clermond, and the list goes on and on) and they not only don't have a chance to make the team, but they never seem to get any better. This staff is supposed to be a teaching staff, but outside of Marinelli, is anyone making a difference with their charges? Hoke seems to be pretty solid, but as far as offensive coaches, where is the improvement? Hiestand? Maybe...Pep Hamilton? Hardly

I won't believe in this coaching staff as teachers until they actually turn one of these later draft picks into a real player. That is what teams like Pittsburgh do, and that is why they contend for the Super Bowl year in and year out...

Thank you Joe, what they do is draft a project and constantly bring in either near washed up or washed up players who take time away from the ones developing. This is a coaching problem, seems like this staff has priority issues. They seem to not be able to make the critical decisions and instead take the easy way out. Moose should have not had as many snaps as he had Rideau should have been in training two years ago. This administration has been playing scared for years. Matt Jones and the rest of the stooges would only continue the tradition and it needs to end.

Now you mention whether or not we develop WRs but how can you when they've never had a real QB that can make all the throws that makes these players get better? You mention Berrian but he wanted Grossman in because he made him look good doing what he does best; Running past people and catching TDs without getting hit. And when you mention that we don't develop players who out there played with us who is so much better than when he was here? Chris Harris? He had to play in another defense to be good. He looked bad in the Super Bowl and fans here are so unforgiving when guys make even one mistake. Go back and read some of the fans response to him at that time and you will see that he probably was not going to get a real good chance to make amends. Anyway, with a so-so QB there is no way a decent WR will develop. Conway and Graham looked pretty good as Wrs under Ron turner when we had a QB who could really play, in Kramer. And in all honesty he was the last good QB we had. He is so under-rated by Chicago fans. And add up all those other years of not having a good QB and you can't get a good receiver out of that. Remember the saying was that we shouldn't waste out time drafting a receiver or signing guys like T.O. because who was going to throw them any passes? Moose was right until a few months ago. This was the place where WRs came to die. And why is it that we think that guys don't develop when good players are just good and bad players need coaching up? I still do not see that many players leaving here and going on to bigger things. Maybe when we draft a guy who is a true stud we will get a stud player. A guy that can play will find a home somewhere. Just being on this team wasn't the deathkneel. Maybe when you aren't that good no one else can do anything for you?

WRD they have never developed a QB. As close as they got was Avellini and McMahon, Kramer came from the Lions. This team seems to have a hard time developing anyone. This is a hard team to work for. They expect the coach to work miracles with average to sub-standard talent. And now they have a QB they might not be able to pay in the long run. They make knee-jerk moves and wonder why there is mediocrity. I have been a diehard fan for over 35 yrs. maybe when this team is sold they will break the trend. But Lovie is not totally at fault here Angelo just got a real QB let's hope it's not too late.

Joe, WRD and Deputy:

Been a Bears fan since 1963, Rudy Bukich,Roosevelt Taylor, Witzel, Ditka... in 65 Sayers and Butkus etc, etc etc. year after year.

Completely agree with you that the talent is and has not been consistently developed at many of the positions, QB and WR as two.
I also agree at some point it does have to stop.

So whom in the organization is responsible for development of talent, the coaches the owner and the GM?

The point is if you do not develop the talent then you have two choices either bring in existing talent or lose games. Until the Bears truly start to develop receivers we need one good one for this year. Just one to help when the playoffs come and then the young talent can learn from a proven vet in crunch time.

You are right about this being a hard team to play for. I think about how Harbaugh got yanked pretty hard when he was here. I didn't think he would make it. Then we had Tomczak who had to seek therapy because he couldn't take it. I think it was hard to develop when you don't have talent. Every time we drafted in the past(as far as I can remember) we didn't get the stud. We even lost the opportunity to draft Terry Bradshaw. We haven't had the luck and when we have drafted guys they've had these tremendous knocks against them. Then we haven't had the patience to wait him thru. When you look at it Coach Smith had a lot of patience with Rex but it just didn't work out. Look at the Cades and guys like that that we've drafted and you tell me that the other guys drafted around them weren't better? We just have a bad tradition when it comes to QBs. that is an organizational thing..

WRD I agree with most of it and you are right I left out Harbaugh who after he left the Bears was known as Capt. Comeback but he was dismissed by the Bears. But this regime has not produced much at all, they hard-headedly stuck with Grossman even after Orton had gotten them to the playoffs, let's not even mention the Jones/Benson fiasco. The Anderson/Brown mistake and know they draft a lineman that is DE sized but insist he is a undertackle. These are the type of decisions this administation makes. Maybe instead of blowing up the team and rebuilding maybe it's time to blow up this entire staff from top to bottom [except Toub] and start over. Don't let getting a QB change what has been apparent for years now they still have to pay him to keep him.

Dawg, Just think about the out and out talent we've had over the years at every position. So many have come thru that it makes your head swim. Look at the first round talent that've had since free agency. We have not gotten a stud because of money constraints and fan attitude. Whenever someone became available we always take the tact that he wasn't worth the head ache. When we got Bryan Cox the guy wanted to win. That was obvious. He even called out guys like fans want nowadays but fans hated him for some reason. I know he wore out his welcome with his mouth, eventually, but he might be one of the reasons why we don't dip into the free agency pool anymore for the crown jewels of that year's free agents. He was a jewel in a sense. He just didn't work out. It wasn't worth the money. Now we are snake-bit. For a while, a guy had to be a boy scout to be signed or injured in college to get drafted. Now that that mindframe is being reconsidered now I will take notice. We have to get a top tier player one of these days. The last one we got wasn't even playing that position in college. Even his first position here he wasn't good at. No one developed him he just had that ability to play that position that was asked of him. Still, I don't see where any coach gets credit for making Urlacher one of the top three in his position. He just had the goods. Sorry, but these almost scrubs aren't talented enough or have a clean bill of health track record long enough to have been drafted where they were drafted. Tommy Harris and Chris Williams are par for the course for the type of head scratchers we always draft.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on August 25, 2009 12:23 PM.

Rivers' deal moves Cutler one step closer to huge contract was the previous entry in this blog.

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