Chicago Sun-Times

Strong camp for Anderson reflected in unofficial depth chart

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BOURBONNAIS, Ill.--Lovie Smith announced Tuesday night that Josh Beekman would start at left guard Saturday night ahead of Frank Omiyale per the depth chart the team had released.

The only problem was that depth chart had not been released.

It has now, and we hope the wait was good for you.

A couple points worth making:

*** Rod Marinelli has praised Mark Anderson for the strong camp he is having and that's evidenced here. Anderson is listed as the co-starter at both defensive end positions. Anderson was a flop the last time he was put in that role, and Alex Brown and Adewale Ogunleye are pretty well established. They might not give up their starting roles but it certainly shows the team is thinking big when it comes to Anderson.

*** Al Afalava's climb continues. He's listed as the No. 2 at strong safety behind Kevin Payne. But Afalava is getting plenty of time with the ones as Payne slides over to free safety and don't be surprised if the coaches look at that combination during the game. The man who was talked up all spring as the free safety--Craig Steltz--has fallen to third. He's behind Danieal Manning and Josh Bullocks.

*** Anthony Adams, Dusty Dvoracek and Marcus Harrison are listed as co-starters at nose tackle.

*** Brandon Rideau appears to be holding steady as the No. 3 wideout. Rashied Davis is listed as the backup to Devin Hester but he hasn't had the ball come his way much in camp.

*** Henry Melton is listed No. 4 at right end. He's a project and the game will be a better indication of where the linemen are at.

It's an unofficial depth chart but it's always nice to see what the coaches are thinking. You get an even better idea when you watch the players rotate on and off during the games.

Stay tuned.

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Im glad that Anderson is having a good camp, but let Brown and Wale start. Anderson seems to work better rotating in during passing downs anyway. Plus his run D was not the greatest. Guess we will see how he does in the preseason games. And what is up with Steltz? We heard all spring that he was "the guy" for the FS spot. Now hes 3rd on the chart with Afalava climbing the ladder fast. Doesnt matter in the long run. We need the best safety combo out there. Just get through these games healthy.. thats the key!!

Does it surprise anyone that Lance Louis is listed as the 2nd string left tackle. If I remember correctly he was drafted as an offensive guard or tight end. Has he even played LT in his career? Furhermore, the secondary seems like a major concern with a lack of NFL caliber talent. I nope the final rosters are much different.

Steltz doesn't have the speed. The guy can hit, but he's not NFL quick like a starting safety needs to be. A lot of people knew this for a long time; another lot of people didn't. -LH

Good for Anderson. I hope he returns to the pass rushing force he was in 06. Some stock can be put into pre-season games, but not all. I've heard a lot of Afalava, but have not seen him yet.

In the pre-season game, I will be looking for:
1. Cutler to Olson
2. Power run blocking by the starters
3. Hopefully a vanilla defense that only rushes the front 4. They should be able to get pressure.
4. Jauron Gilbert's performance against the second string. He better dominate.
5. The starting linebacker's speed. Noone should get outside against this bunch.
6. Curious to see Afalava.
7. Who comes out looking the best at Nose tackle.
8. Chris William's supposed mean streak.
9. Kevin Jones' speed
10. Rideau's camp performance translating to the field.

Go Bears!!

Good call by Ryan

""Does it surprise anyone that Lance Louis is listed as the 2nd string left tackle. If I remember correctly he was drafted as an offensive guard or tight end. Has he even played LT in his career?""

No because a second string LT in pre-season is like a 3'rd string Center. The dude won't even make the 53-man roster and if his problems with that fight in college come back and bite him in the Arse, Angelo probably won't bother putting him on the P-squad.

The OT position seems locked down already. LT: Pace, RT: Williams, Swing Tackle: Shaffer, Emergency 4'th Tackle: Omiyale.

Go Bears !!

""And what is up with Steltz? We heard all spring that he was "the guy" for the FS spot. Now hes 3rd on the chart with Afalava climbing the ladder fast.""

I think we may see Steltz quietly become a lat camp cut.... He seems to be unable to fit in at either position. They would rather have Kevin payne slide to FS and bump Afalava up while Manning is held out then stick Steltz at FS which he was originaly touted as being the man before OTA's.

He can't beat out Payne, Manning or a rookie for playing time so to me ot spells disaster for him. Bullocks went through the ringer late in his NO Saint career but he is a veteran with plenty of starting experience. He will probably stick as the 4'th Safety ahead of Steltz at this point because he can play both spots. I think Steltz is in serious joepardy of being cut if he doesn't step up.

Depth projection:
FS: Manning, Bullocks
SS: Payne, Afalava.

Go Bears !!

Is this a joke? Co-starters? What are they afraid of hurting someone's feelings? Someone is going to be on the field for the first snap - that is your starter. I hate this about Lovie. Make a stand and say who you think is playing the best right now. That creates competition and motivation. "We're all winners" is for little kids.

So it looks like in the nickel, if they still use Manning in the slot, they will bring in Afalava instead of Steltz as the other safety. That could be interesting.

Some other things to note:
-It is unbelievable how weak this depth chart is. half the roster is not listed, and we have 5 positions where we list a "co-starter"
-Gaines is not on the depth chart yet. He is 4th behind Davis.
-Adrian Peterson is going to be a victim of the numbers game with Kevin Jones looking good
-I don't get the Louis thing at all. If nothing else, you put Balogh over there to get Pace out of the action, or you play Shaffer on the right, and shift Williams to the left to see if he can play the left side. Louis was a tight end, fullback, and guard...Let's put him on the blind side of our QB....brilliant....
-Hillenmeyer is only in the mix right now as a backup MLB. He will likely stick, but that clogs the position group a lot. We will end up with Briggs, Urlacher, Tinoisamoa, Williams, Roach, and Hillenmeyer. Freeman is at the back of the list, and may get squeezed in the numbers game
-Freeman is not on the depth chart either, which does not bode well...
-Johnny Knox is not on the depth chart, not even as a return man

Nice to see the Bears half-a@@ the depth chart, like they do everything else when it comes to personnel decisions. I know it's only preseason, but this co-starter thing is B.S. This team has to stop coddling all of these players. They need to understand this is a competition, and that someone has to be #1. Mark Anderson may be having a good camp, but that doesn't make him a starter. Ogunleye and Brown are the guys, so list them that way. Make Anderson the backup at both spots, and be done with it. List one guy as the front runner for SLB, and the other two fall wherever they do. And now all of a sudden, Corey Graham is listed at LCB? I thought they weren't playing him there, and he was backing up Vasher on the right. The nose is another problem. Anthony Adams deserves his name listed as the starter. Dusty and Marcus haven't done anything to unseat him so far.

We spend so much time playing these ridiculous games with listings, position battles, and sensitivity....These aren't baseball or tennis players. They are big, strong, fast, angry people. They want to compete. Why can't we let them?

Drop the friendly approach. You think Mike Singletary is making friends in SF? But they will all play with one arm for him if they have to. This team has lacked toughness in recent years, and it starts at the top.

Brad, the Bear's receivers had problems getting off the line during press coverage last year. Are they seeing this type of coverage alot during camp?

Why is Johnny Knox 4th string?? I hope he gets a chance at the slot position. Play the youngsters....goodbye Rashied. I bet Steltz will be lucky to make this team. We need speed....he's too slow! BEAR DOWN!! Can't wait til Sat.!!!

Rideau at 3? I like it!


That is the most right- on thing I've read in a wahile.

The defense especially wants to be a group of mean m.f.'ers but Lovie despises that. I'm not a Lovie hater, but our defense is sissified to the point of laughability. As for Vasher, I noticed in the opener last year that he was afraid to takle, offering a feeble hand slap at addai on one particular run. It was the CB version of slligator arms...

I see the co-starter status as a means to motivate Wale and Brown and all the other actual starters and as a way to reward those who have been impressive during camp.
Afterall we heard about Knox in the OTAs it seems he has been awfully quiet during camp. Is he having trouble beating the press?

Instead of calling them "co-starters" they could make up new position titles for them and call them starters in the new positions.

"Starting Pass Rush Specialist - Mark Anderson"
"Starting Tight End in two Tight End formations - Dez Clark"
"Starting Nickel Safety - Al Afalava"
"Starting Slot Reciever - Rashied Davis"

None of those positions would likely be on the field for the first snap of the game, so none would technically be starters. Yet it seems they want to stress the importance of the positions none-the-less.

On a different note. I have a technical question about the linebackers.

Is it a function of the defensive scheme that the SLB comes out during nickel packages, or is that just the way the Bears have historically done it because that was their weekest LB position? I guess even with Pisa, it still is probably their weekest LB position, but it's probalby a lot closer than in the past.

Anderson a co starter? HAHAHAHAHAHA, sure he is. I thought the AFL was gone.I know the more Lovie talks a guy up in camp the more he sucks durign the season. Steltz was starting calibure talent last year, Orton looked really strong, Benson looked real strong and bigger, we feel Hester is a number 1, the more they talk a guy up the more talk it turns out to be.

Lovie never said much about Forte last year, we feel fine with Matt running the ball was about it, or he is a rookie. Thats what you heard. How much has he said about Cutler this Camp? Not what the fans or media have said. What has he said? Do you hear him saying wow Olsen looks real good. Nope in fact he talks down the good players. He looks good but he has things to work on.

How much has he said about Urlacher and Briggs? Not much.

But Harris and Anderson they look awsome, unbeatable, never seen such talent on one line. Anderson has shown the fire and the passion, he has been grindy in camp. He keeps getting in fights with Chris Williams. We really like Chris Williams he is are LT and his back is fine. "Cough" He is our RT with a bad back, we really like him at RT, even more than at LT. Heck they where talking up Omiyale before he got here and that guy never did anything in the NFL. I hope Beekman keeps his job. He actually looks better than Omiyale, not that Lovie will say it. Has he mentioned how Beekman put on 10-15 pounds of muscle? No cause he is mad that Omiyale doesn't look better on the field.

Lovie what do you think of Pace?
He's ok?
What do you think of Bullocks?
Greatest Safetie I have ever seen play the game, a god among Safeties.

By the way Payne at FS? Is that a joke, did they not try that dance last year? Payne is a joke in coverage. My god this secondary is a joke, even if Rod fixes the line, the secondary even with Tillman is going to be worse than last year. I actually feel bad for Hoke, cause he is going to get blamed for this group and this is not his group, he did not put this unit together.

I don't see anything wrong with co-starters. Especially at this point of the pre-season. If Anderson will be rotated in during known passing downs, then he really isn't 2nd string. No doubt that this defense needs to "restore the roar", but I think you are reading way too much into the co-starter thing.

Looking forward to seeing Alfalava hit, he is known to bring it!

Does Payne have the speed to be stellar at Free Safety, we know he packs a punch and has an eye and instinct for interceptions, maybe with time he would excel at Free Safety? Early on it appears they may go with Payne at Free Safety with Alfalava and Steltz at Strong, is that really how this will shake out?

What about Graham, there definitely needs to be a spot for Graham, nickle is good but what about free safety. Aren't the Bears putting too much on Manning, is he a free safety, on the nickle package at times and then the kick returner, I don't think he even knows?

No wonder the players always seem confused they are bounced around like rubber balls, why not give them a position and sticking with it for awhile?

It seems there is an effort to try to keep Steltz on the roster somehow?

Joe, completely agree with your post of treating these players like primadonna's. Parcell is kicking ass with the Dolphins and in one year they go from last to first. Lovie is giving Lovie Dovie to his team and have missed the playoffs for two straight years when they had the talent to be in it each year. Maybe it is time to quit the love and kisses and make these guys work.

Whatever happened to Bear football, blood and guts football?

Trade Harris now while the Bears can get something for him, he does not appear capable of finishing this season based on what we are seeing early on in Preseason?

I can't wait to watch the game on Saturday. I went to practice on Family Day and a few things scared me...

- Our secondary, they looked terrible.
- Which leads me to our WR's. Maybe because the secondary is so bad is why our WR's are looking so good. I want to see Rideau and DA do something vs the Bills and see how their play translates in a game.
- OLine - This is a unit playing with a couple of new pieces. I want to see how they look/ mesh.
- Cutler of course
- Izzy and whoever else plays the 3 technique since Tommie won't be playing
- Coaching. See how the new coaches are and how they react and how they do their jobs.

Here's to a successful game 1 and no injuries! Go Bears!

also if anyone is bored, my thoughts/ tweets from Family Day...

Checked out your blog docksquad and it is great fan material. Reminds me of Biggs.

From the outside looking in, as a fan, it seems like Josh Beekman is winning, or should I say, holding onto, his job as the Bears starting left guard. We'll see how he does saturday. I'd like to see the Bears name a starter at left guard so the line can start to build some continuity. Beekman could surprise now that he is a 2nd year starter. I think his biggest problem last season was just getting the playbook down and executing it on the field. With a year under his belt, Beekman could be a pleasant surprise for Chicago this season.

I do like what I'm hearing about Mark Anderson, hopefully the guy gets back to form this season under Marinelli. I also like the combo of Anthony Adams and Marcus Harrison at nose tackle. Tommis Harris does concern me although.

I'm not big on the whole Kevin Payne at free safety, but if this Afalava kid is making plays, you gotta get your best set of safeties on the field. Payne could be a heck of a strong safety, thats where he belongs. But again, he must be simply making more plays than the other safeties, thats probably why he's getting another look at free safety. I hope Manning isn't gonna have injury problems all season, he has a heck of an opportunity to win back his free safety spot. If rookie Al Afalava is making plays, and the kid can hit, you get him in there. Payne and Afalava could work. The corner position is what worries me the most right now for Chicago secondary wise. I hope Tillman will be alright, he has a lot of heart and is a pretty solid corner when healthy. Draft wise, the position needs to be addressed next off-season. I like Kentucky's Trevard Lindley the best out of the upcoming crop of corners in next years draft. The kid has nice size at 6-0 180lbs to go along with his 4 picks and 11 pass breakups, but alas, Chicago doesn't have a 1st rounder next april. But Boise States Kyle Wilson and his 5 picks and 10 pass breakups could be an option in the second for Chicago. I'll be keeping a close eye on the corner position in college draft wise, unless Chicago can get it together health wise. Yes, the corner position worries me enough to be checking out next aprils prospects at the position. Not that my opinion really matters, but the position needs to be addressed next off-season, especially if the injury bug keeps coming after the Bears corners. Oh well, maybe Bowman will come back stay healthy and pan out, can't wait to find out GO BEARS!!

Good. We're finally starting to worry about our safeties. Beyond Payne, we have inexperience and not-very-reassuring past performances, and now you have a guy who came in late because of academic reasons in Afalava taking the veterans. How bad is that?

But I'm happy for Afalava (does the kid need a nickname or what), and I really hope he's the real deal. That would be exciting; two big hitters at safety in Afalava and Payne; "Afalava and Payne" has a nice ring to it. Of course you hope they can cover too, but...

And to all us Rideau fans, it's time to rejoice! Make the coaches look bad for not playing you last year, Rideau!

Any hoo, let's not get too critical of the provisional depth chart my friends. It will all be settled soon. Go Bears!

I think naming "co-starters" is just Lovie Smith's way of saying, "up yours" to the league in response to the league making this ridiculous demand. I know that would be the reason I'd have done it.

Payne is as dangerous to his teammates as he is to the opposition.

I will be watching to see if the starters can control the ball on offense and to see what kind of impact that will have on the defense. Special teams are always a kick in preseason games because everyone is flying around trying to make an impact while not quite sure what the plan is. One is reminded of "mite" age hockey players, like a bunch of crows all trying to get at a kernel of corn they call a puck.

I wouldn't mind seeing an "Awful lot of Payne" out there next season.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on August 11, 2009 10:22 PM.

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