Chicago Sun-Times

Quick mailbag: What will Bears do with open roster spots?

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BOURBONNAIS, Ill.--Quick trip to the mailbag before heading to the evening practice. There is an unbelievable line of people waiting to get into Ward Field already, an hour before practice.

Q: I know that we are talking spots 79 and 80, but with two players down (Charles Tillman and Marcus Harrison) the team has 75 healthy players (76 if Danieal Manning is back today). What should we look for in terms of filling out the roster?
Vic F., Parts Unknown

A: The quick answer here is not a lot. You're talking about the final two spots on an 80-man roster for a team that will be down to 53 in a little more than a month. Tillman's back injury and Harrison's out-of-shape issue have no impact on what direction the club will go in. The Bears already have enough cornerbacks on the roster and Danieal Manning is expected to return to practice tonight. We'll check in via Twitter on that later on.

After guard Dennis Conley was waived Friday when he failed his physical, the Bears were reduced to having six guards on the roster. That's counting a couple guys who will get reps as backup centers. That's probably a need area right there. But the fact that the team hasn't brought in anyone already should tell you one thing--there really isn't much out there.

Check back later on.

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well, Matt Jones is a lot better than anyone we have on the roster at WR?

paid his price, learned his lesson, and nobody in the nfl has that size or speed combo...not even close

makes way too much sense for the,lmao... 'charter' franchise of the nfl..

Matt Jones is NOT better than everyone we have on the roster at WR. While he does have size and top speed, he's a "long-strider". In other words he doesn't have good burst or acceleration and struggles to gain separation from DB's. In the game that translates to a guy that could run away if he caught the ball but that rarely happens because he can't consistantly separate from the DB. And even when he does, he doesn't have the short area quickness to make guys miss in the open field. In short, a pedestrian wideout with more weaknesses than strengths.

We'll be like the Colts and Patriots and get some REAL RECEIVERS who actually don't have to be taught how to run a route and can really catch. Ones like Randy Moss and Reggie Wayne...they catch in coverage and scare defenders. All we have to do is convince the Colts to give us a practice squad receiver(they'd be starting anywhere else-can't blame them for not leaving) and let them go to work. They need very little coaching because if they survived that war with the Patriots then they're already tougher than what we have. I will never quite understand how I ended up with a punt returner and they ended up with #1 receivers for their qbs. It's either luck or money...maybe both.

That "long-strider" had more production last year in a 13 game season than all of our current WRs combined. That being said, this is the bottom of a TC roster, you don't fill them with neglected past starters.

Jones started slow in the NFL has had some personal nose problems but has really come on the last year. With his size and his speed he may be a good find, some have questioned his work ethic and desire but after the nose problem maybe he will have a clear head and redirect all of his efforts to being a great wide receiver in the NFL?

Maybe Jones has something to prove and those with something to prove often have some productive years. Can't hurt to take a look at him, can it?

The Bears do need at least one proven NFL veteran wide receiver, why not Matt Jones?

We have 10 wideouts in camp. Only 6 will stay. The team needs time to filter thru this group to find out what they have.
If, at the end of pre-season, they find that they have issues at wideout, then most likely, will they be looking elsewhere.
Since all teams have to get down to 53 players at that time, there will no doubt be many wideouts available.

Matt may have paid his debt to society but that doesn't mean he is done with drugs. Angelo has had enough with these kinds of characters and most likely will never hire a player with shady backgrounds.

Val you nailed it. All the grief Angelo took because Benson got tipsy on a boat and now people want him to bring in a coke addict. It's never going to happen.

2008 was the 4th year of Matt Jones' career & though he was only 44th among NFL receivers last season, it was easily his best year. While Jones did have 96 more yards than Hester in '08, it was only Devin's 1st full season as an NFL wideout; during which Hester had 1 more TD than Jones, a higher per-catch average & a long of 65 yards, while Matt's longest reception was 35 yards. Going into his 5th season as a receiver, it's highly unlikely Jones will be more than the mediocre receiver he's always been.

I think the Bears have the right philosophy here, which is to focus on trying to develope the talented young group of wideouts on the roster into something special. What better time to properly develope young receivers than when you have a Pro Bowl caliber QB to work with them? These young guys actually remind me of the group of young no-names in Green Bay 2 years ago that Favre was highly criticized by describing as the most talented he'd ever had. But of course, only time will tell.

As far as the Colts and Pats are concerned, Manning, Harrison & Wayne only managed to get one ring, while Brady got 3 rings when he DIDN'T have superstar wideouts to throw to.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on August 1, 2009 6:04 PM.

Afternoon nuggets: A rainy day for football in Bourbonnais was the previous entry in this blog.

CB Zack Bowman continues to draw rave reviews is the next entry in this blog.

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