Chicago Sun-Times

Bears make final cuts; move 3 players to injured reserve

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The Bears have made it official with a series of moves today to reach the 53-man roster limit before proceeding to the start of the 2009 season. The players will get back to work with practice Monday at Halas Hall. Here are the moves reported on the team's Web site:

CB Charles Tillman was promoted from the physically unable to perform list to the active roster

RB Kevin Jones was placed on inured reserve with a torn ligament in his left ankle

DE Henry Melton was placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury

S Dahna Deleston was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury

Melton's ankle injury was not believed to be serious and it could be a way to stash the fourth-round pick from Texas on the squad for a year. The problem is he cannot practice while on IR so the only work he can do is in the classroom and weight room. This marks the third time in four years the Bears have placed at least one draft pick on IR prior to the opening of the season. It could be concerns about depth on the interior of the line cost him a spot as the Bears kept tackle Matt Toeaina, who right now figures to be third in the rotation at nose tackle.

Here are the official cuts:

QB Brett Basanez
FB Jason Davis
FB Will Ta'ufo,ou
WR Eric Peterman
WR Brandon Rideau
G Johan Asiata
OT Cody Balogh
G Dan Buenning
C Donovan Raiola
DE Ervin Baldwin
DE Joe Clermond
LB Marcus Freeman
LB Kevin Malast
LB Darrell McClover
LB Mike Rivera
CB Rudy Burgess
CB Rod Hood
CB Marcus Hamilton
CB Woodny Turenne

Michael Gaines remains as a fourth tight end and an H-back capable of filling in at fullback if something happens to Jason McKie. The Bears are clearly concerned about depth on the defensive line and in the secondary where they went nearly all of training camp and preseason without their starting cornerbacks. They devoted nearly 38 percent of the roster to the line and defensive backfield.

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The only real surprise to me on this list is that there are no safetys.

OK, practice squad. It's a safe bet they put a QB on the practice squad. They almost have to do that. Seems like Basenez has eligibility? Personally I'd go after that dude from the Packers. Hey kid, did you make a copy of the playbook? Bring it along and we got a spot for you. They probably need some depth on O-line too? D-line is a given. I knew two weeks ago Melton was headed for IR. I wonder if they were keeping Turenne under the radar so they could park him on the PS? Haven't seen the last game yet, have to wait for the replay on NFL network.

Surprisingly little controversy, for me at least (except for Rideau who I just can't get over). The injury to Kevin Jones had a ripple effect, but Gaines looks good, as do Knox and Iglesias. I think we're solid. Go Bears!

I know he is not needed a whole lot, but im happy Michael Gaines is still on the roster. I have never been a McKie fan and think he is the best blocker on short yard downs we have at te.

Good to see Melton on the IR along with Deleston and Jones. Maybe by this time next year the Bears will have something special with Melton. He certainly has some very strong physical qualities of strength and speed that may translate well to a tremendous pass rush talent with the right coaching and Marinelli may be that coach to help develop him.

Go Bears, cant' wait for Bears vs Packers Sunday night.

McKies and R. Davis should not be on this team. Furthermore, R.Davis WILL cost you a game or two with clutch drops, and poor routes.
Redeau had much more promise along with size and speed.
Another bad move by Angelo.
The real killer of this team this year will Hester, yes, you heard it!
Unless he is taken off the WR core, and used occasionally at slot, and primarily at return, he will make goof up's by not running the right route, which he has been consistent at the last two years, or he will drop clutch passes with his alligator arms.
We finally have a QB who could take advantage of above average field position, and we defuse the greatest return man ever, for a 3-4th line receiver.
Great strategy Lovie and Angelo !

I was mildly shocked to see Hood get cut. I don't think he's any worse than McBride and at least he has proved he can be effective in the NFL. Hopefully Bowman stays healthy and Tillman gets healthly in a hurry and we never have to see anybody else play CB for the bulk of the season.

Otherwise, I think all the right decisions were made. I'm happy to see DA and Davis made the team ahead of Rideau. Not a knock on Rideau, but DA's got more potential and Davis is a great ST player which is what you're really looking for in the last WR to make the team. Go Bears!

BANG ON !!!!
Northside Joe is THE MAN ! McKie just sucks, when you need him to get 1/2 a yard...he can't even do that, that is not a fullback. Rashied Davis is SO afraid to catch the ball on a cross pattern he drops it everytime, and these two bums make the team...SAD. Unless a there's a long run in the playoffs, this will be lovie's last year.

Three stupid fan (and some journalists) ideas for the roster moves that, thank god, did not pan out:

1. The idea that two #1 draft picks and Orton were too much to give up for Cutler... Is there any idiot still thinking that? Angelo was brilliant in pulling this off. Regardless of what many people perceive as Angelo's history with first round picks, reality beats perception every time: there's no hard firm guarantee that first round picks turn into Pro Bowlers for any team. Research this: what percentage of NFL teams over a decade's time drafting in the middle of the first round consistently string together consecutive picks that become NFL stars? Make the over-under on that one 50% and I'm taking the under. Although the league brain-trust does not want to promote this idea, the draft in any round is a crapshoot. Chicago gives up top picks (in the middle of the round) and adds in what really is a very good backup quarterback, and In return gets a guy who starts, one with size, speed, accuracy and a freaking gun for an arm in the prime of his career (with a Pro Bowl and a franchise throwing record on his resume). It's a no-brainer. Be glad Cutler's a man who when he gets bigtime dissed by the rookie coach with blinders on, Jay telling the guy you know where you can go, because I'm out of here. What was the song? “Take that job and do what with it?” Welcome to Chi-town, Mr. Cutler. You have found a home.

2. The idea that fans up until at least a week ago we're pulling for the Bears to bring a veteran wide receiver... Yeah right, like there's a good one out there? And then who do you dump if they did sign a vet? Aromashodu? Knox? Iglesias? Get real. These guys demonstrated genuine potential. It was vet Marty Booker (Mr. Dropsy-whoops) last year who (along with another fumblehands, Rashied Davis) kept Bennett on the bench and Rideau on the practice squad (what does that say for development of talent? Also give an assist to R. Turner). Bringing in a vet at this time proves people don’t learn from past mistakes. Next off-season, things don’t work out, then a trade maybe, or sign a quality free agent, or draft another WR in round two. For the present Angelo’s smart sticking with what he’s got. There’s other more severe problems for this team to pay attention to.

3. The idea that Plaxico Burress had a chance to be a Bear. Well ladies and gentlemen, now we all know the answer to that one. The only thing being that anyone familiar with the specifics of the law in New York knew the moment he was arrested - that Burress was facing at least one year minimum... that is minimum: one year behind bars – no other better option. Too many people bought into the spin by the Plaxico defense lawyer. Not Angelo though, he played his own spin in saying the Bears had 'interest', knowing all along the jail term was coming - only real question there was it going to be one or two years. Jerry was just throwing fodder out there for the dreamers. You know - kind of to keep things lively.
- LH

As Bearstradamus of Chicagoland, I say the Bears should sign LB Zack Thomas and let go of Hunter Hillenmeyer......Hunter is a decent backup, but, is too slow to react to plays and catches way too many blocks and gets carried by ball carriers...if the Bears are serious about winning another Super Bowl, Zack Thomas would be an asset...........Bearstradamus has spoken..

BTW: ......Go Fresno State and future Bears LB Ben Jacobs (#54) against UC Davis On Saturday night

That final roster will not be the FINAL roster. Someone will get cut that you don't like. They will pick up somebody to help and get rid of someone like Mcbride.

Caleb Hanie as backup? Somebody on this coaching staff must have the hots for this guy. Basanez is the better QB. You folks better pray that Cutler doesn't get his head handed to him. If that happens, this team is at the bottom of the division.

All you fans who want to see Hester go back to returns only need to wake up! He is our best scoring threat and the objective is to get him the ball as much as possible. He is still on punt return but for everyone who wants to see him on kickoff needs to remember that for him to get those returns we have to get scored on and I dont want to have to give up points just to see Hester touch the ball. Thats why no one takes fans seriously the stuff they say make no sense NorthSide Joe I am talking to you. Davis is the last reciever on the depth chart how many game winning balls do you think he is going to see, his only real role is st and to catch defenders snoozing.

All is well.......Orton is not on the final roster!!!!!...Orton SUCKS!!!!! BEAR DOWN!!

I think the Bears should go get Ian Johnson, he would make an excellant back up to Forte! Go Bears!

Much as I would like to debate with u folks, the real queation isn't whether fringe players (like Gaines, Davis, or McBride) made the 53, but what castoffs from other teams are better than some on our roster. I'm scanning the waivers wire for a solid No. 2 or 3 RB or an experienced (though not a bum oldie, a decent jourmeyman at least with no injury-proneness) DB or two (CB and or S). Although Wolfe has spunk & quickness, he has no chance against a 1st string 300pound D-lineman or a 220pound plus Linebacker (he's a dumbed-down version of Sproles, NOT his clone). Names come to anyone's mind?

Northside Joe wrote:
"McKies (sic) and R. Davis should not be on this team. Furthermore, R.Davis WILL cost you a game or two with clutch drops, and poor routes.
Redeau (sic) had much more promise along with size and speed."

What promise does a soon to be 27 year old WR who has been cut five times from two teams bring? He can't play Special Teams. He can't play the slot. He can't down field block. He is very good at running deep routes and out routes. He has good hands too. But he had a golden opportunity to make this squad with no known proven WRs on this team and in the first three games you never heard his name called. Why? Probably because he can't get open against the D's 1st team corners.

This love of a one dimensional WR is amazing. Are you ready to go to his HOF ceremony. As for Davis he is a ST teamer not ready for key possessions on the O. His drops proved it. But Davis will be of more help on the ST than Rideau can ever be.

The bottom line is Rideau can't play ST -- a requirement for a 2nd teamer. (Davis gets that spot.) Brandon couldn't outplay the 1st team slot (Bennett gets it). He can't supplant Hester as the 1st team outside WR.

So it was a four way battle for three spots and he lost. He is not as fast as Knox; Rideau does not have the promise of Iglesias who is 5 years younger and is as fast as Brandon; nor did he beat out Aromashudo who is two years younger and most importantly outplayed Rideau in the preseason.

I really wanted Brandon on this team but he blew it with his inability to get open against the opposing teams' 1st team defense. He disappeared when it counted the most.

Now if we carried 7 WRs then yes he has a role. But what do you give up? Keep in mind that making the 53 does not get you on the game day roster. There are still six players who don't suit up on the game day.

MD Kevin wrote -

"The bottom line is Rideau can't play ST -- a requirement for a 2nd teamer. (Davis gets that spot.) Brandon couldn't outplay the 1st team slot (Bennett gets it). He can't supplant Hester as the 1st team outside WR. "

Sorry to disagree with you and the vocal minority of Rashied and Lovie supporters, but this is nonsensical. Keeping the best ST guys is a luxury reserved for teams with a clear, proven set of WR's. We don't have a true number 1 or even 2 on this club. Moreover, Lovie and his coaches have shown no ability whatsoever to develop decent offensive talent consistently.

The fact is, Devin and Bennett could both prove to be disasters by game 4. Then what is left? DA and two rookies, because we know Davis cannot catch the ball consistently. He is a good 6th WR for a team that might never need to get catches from that spot and is looking solely for ST help, but until the five guys ahead of have proven something, he is a big risk for this squad. Period. He is also 30 - approaching old age for a wide out.

And please don't tell me to trust the coaches. I was the biggest Lovie booster around, but I'm through cutting him and his staff slack on all their weird moves, and lack of concern for the future.

I once picked up a piece of tin and found a nest of 17 rattlesnakes under it. It gave me approximately the same feeling as reading some of these posts. I have a few questions:

Joe is the northside of Green Bay as cold as it sounds?

Bear a holic is it really true that the best cure for a hangover is to get drunk all over again? If you find a lucid moment this season I hope there is a game on.

Bearstradamus, wouldn't you rather have Matt Millen? He's available again.

Heracles you have a future in mythology. That's good because you don't know jack about football.

NBS, the dude got traded and has shaved the beard. Either get a life or find a Denver blog to haunt. I don't need to take a vote to tell you that everybody was tired of you even before the trade.

This is a time when fans are supposed to be optomistic. The Bears have a great roster for a playoff run. They only lost two backup players in the preseason, which is probably some kind of record. The defense is back and they have a francise QB for he first time in about 50 years. Green Bay is in real trouble and then they go on from there. Whoever you people are, deal with it.

All you Bear fans out there chime in, I can't keep this up forever.

Very well said Dave...check and mate!

A good quaterback,makes wide receivers better.One of these young receivers will be come the next Eddie Royal.

So what players that have been cut by other teams could be worth bringing in for a tryout?

QB: Garcia, Brohm, Booty, Walter
HB: Ian Johnson, Cedric Peerman, Dominic Rhodes
CB: Brian Williams, Marcus McCauley, Corey Ivy
DE: Tim Crowder
DT: Shaun Smith


I knew that mentioning Davis and special teams would sidetrack the discussion. ST is not a luxury when they account for approximately 25% of the game snaps.

But you are missing the main point: Rideau could not out play Knox, Iglesias, or Aromashudo when given a golden opportunity. He could not get open in the preseason. He disappeared when it counted. That is the reason he is not on the final 53.

He is a 27 year old WR who can only play the outside WR and neither of the two inside positions. That is a reason he has been cut five times.

The Bears are putting a LOT OF FAITH in Peanut getting back healthy and "Blind Faith" in Vasher. Sorry but I've grown WEARY of Vasher, and Peanut might be at the end of his rope as well.
BIG LEAP of faith Lovie.
As far as the offense is concerned, I said it before training camp and I think it will bear out, Time the Bears "developed" some talent at WR, and not waste time on troubled vets. That Green Bay is gonna be an EYE OPENER for our young Wr's. G-Bay's DB's JAM YOU AT THE line, hold, grab, couple that withe rivalry and hostile crowd,- It will be a "QUICK" Indoctrination into Pro Football NFC North style.

Oh, and we NEED another RB,- Wolfe and Peterson won't cut it...

Dave --

Contrary to Bear a holic, your post is hardly checkmate.

If you are so worried about the wide receivers not panning out, I have a better solution.

Instead of keeping a marginally talented 5th WR who can't play special teams on your roster -- just in case -- you go out and sign one of the 6 -to -12 experienced WRs who will be on the street looking for a job, a la Matt Jones, Marvin Harrison and others who were cut yesterday. Many of them will still be looking for a job in a month.

In fact, you give them a copy of your basic playbook now -- the one's people already know you run -- and tell them to be ready in case something happens.

After all, if your concern is that they don't have proven WRs, keeping a career practice squad player who has zero starts, zero catches and two game appearances does not solve that problem, either.

In the meantime, you actually see what your receiving situation looks like, while enjoying the services of a solid ST player who can play in the slot in a pinch.

And if you don't like that -- cut Davis now and go after Omar Tyree, a big guy who can play special teams.

But you don't keep Rideau.

I hate to say this but mark my words...

The Packers will be up 21-3 by half time.

Weak pass rush plus sketchy secondary = 21

Bears "O" up against an agressive 3-4 = 3

I have hope but don't share the optimism. Our defense has been operating with smoke & mirrors for 2 years now. I don't see much improvement there. I see a number of 35 to 33 losses this years. We'll end up behind the Pack and Vikings in the division.

And by saying this...I'm trying to put the reverse-mush-whammy on my prediction.

However...Jay Cutler is by far and away the most exciting thing to happen to this team in years.

I've updated the list from my last comment with a few more players to think about bringing in:

QB: Garcia, Brohm, Booty, Walter
HB: Ian Johnson, Cedric Peerman, Dominic Rhodes
CB: Brian Williams, Marcus McCauley, Corey Ivy, Jack Ikegwuonu, Eric Green, Rashad Barksdale
S: Brian Russell
DE: Tim Crowder, Maurice Evans
DT: Shaun Smith

I'm hoping that they replace McBride with one of these CBs and that they at least give the two rookie HBs a serious look (they both have a nice size-speed combination).

Here, here MS.

One more week baby! GO BEARS

1st move should be to sign D. Rhodes as a #2 RB and dump Garret Wolfe. IF Forte would get hurt we are done.

Can't resist. Plain and simple, the Bears need a veteran wide receiver to make a run in the playoffs, get to the NFC chamionship and have a shot at winning the Super Bowl. I think the Bears without a vet WR will make the playoffs but it would truly help to have a veteran WR who has "been there and done that" before in the playoffs as the pressure may too much for these young kids at crunch time.

I do not know but to me it would be worth cutting another corner or safety, McBride or Steltz comes to mind. If you bring in a running back to compete the cut has to be Wolfe instead of Peterson.

Just one good proven VET wide receiver will make a difference in the playoffs. I don't want to wait till next year for the BEARS to be the Super Bowl champions. Why not now? This NFL Season.

Go Bears!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think to many fans are missing the point of the Bears philosophy under Angelo and Smith.

It's flexablity. Both Angelo and Lovie like flexiblity in their players. They love flexible players who can play more than one position and line up on at a different spot on any given down. Three fifths of there offense can be run from there base package. Why they like this? Because guys like Olsen, Bennett and Hester can line up at any recieving position without changing personel. This means they don't tip there hand with personel changes. Remember when Benson was with the Bears in 07? Everytime AP would come in teams new that there where only a few set packages that they would run with AP and new it would probably be a passing play. Any team hates tipping there hand like that. Thats why guys like BR don't have much chance of making the Bears, they have never been big on specialized players because they do not fit the system. If BR comes in the other team probably knows what play the Bears are going ot run and what he will do.

On defense you see this problem occure with Anderson, they know what the Bears run when Anderson is on the field and know how to play against it.

The style of defense they play is bend don't break, again flexible. Brown and Goon can play every down because they are both decent pass rushers but are also good against the run. This is why the Bears did not put Adams in until late in the year, he is a pure NT who is very good against the run. There LB's can all play the pass very well and play the side to side run defense they like. There corners are suppose to be good against the pass as well as the run, like Tillman, and there safety's are suppose to be interchangable. Guys like Izzy and Gilbert can play both DT and End.

If you are a backup on this team then you need to be able to play special teams. The reason for this? It helps them keep a limited and more flexible roster. There are very few spots on this team that need a specialized player, maybe only the under tackle.

It's mostly done as a way to help disguise what you are doing on the field. It's a good philosophy in theory, but you do loose some things. You will never see a shut down corner and usually they will not have a pure pass rushing end to play every down. You tend to get a lot of players who are good at a lot of things but not great at anything. You also tend to need a special QB, which the Bears finally have, to give you an idea about the QB position. Montana, Elway and Young are the three best examples WCO QB's. All the QB has to do is be really smart, make great reads quickly, have a gun, be mobile, be able to throw on the run and extend plays. It's also the reason Turner likes his recievers to know how to play every recieving position.

The only exception to the recievers is probably Hester, who the Bears are overly committed too being there number 1. He is limited in what he can do, and is mostly a deep threat, but you do notice they try to line him up at as man different spots as possible in order to disguise what he actually does. Which is go deep and stretch the field.

The problem is if you want both systems to work at an elite level, you need very good players, the T2 only worked with Rice because he committed himself to the run in Tampa, the UT has to not only apply pressure and disrupt plays but be solid against the run, corners need to be willing o play the run and be strong against the pass. Your RB needs to be able to run, catch and block at a high level, you need a TE who can be a TE and a reciever.

With a league that is becoming more and more specialized, it makes it harder and harder to find players to fill these rolls. The philosophy the Bears have does not fit the current make up of the league all that well and that is why you are seeing holes in the system and weaknesses that you did not see 10 years ago.

It's not about being behind the times, it's more like whats available this year for you to draft or in FA. It's why teams are moving away from the T2. Because it's easier to run the 3-4 right now, it's easier to find players that fit that system. It's like Sapp said, "I went to the combine and I look at all these college teams and I don't see any Under Tackles anymore." You don't see corners who want to play the run, Safety's tend to be either FS or SS, but not the Hybrid T2 safety, Ends tend ot be either undersized pass rushers or over sized run stuffers, both fitting the 3-4.

Just an FYI but Lovie and Angelo appear to still want Kevin Carter. But not to play end.

You know I want a good vet WR signed, but the more I think about it I would rather have a strong pass rushing DE! Dang, we need more sacks - period. I liked our 2nd team against Clev. but stil I thought the Bears were run oriented/strong defense? Why then do we not replace Goon with a better pass rusher?
With Cutler/Forte/Olsen we are sure to score points, so the opposing team will have to throw more passes. So we need a pass rusher, and no I don't feel Brown has done enough, he looks better but he is nowhere near a great rusher. Rod was supposed to fix that, but I don't feel even Rod can make Goon more motivated and actually learn a different rush technique. I feel Adams/Harrison (not Harris yet) can push the middle, so where are the ends? Brown showed a little but nothing to send him to the ProBowl yet.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on September 5, 2009 4:57 PM.

Forte confident Peterson, Wolfe and can fill void at running back was the previous entry in this blog.

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