Chicago Sun-Times

Projecting the 53-man roster for the Chicago Bears, Part II

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My final cuts are in.

Sorry, no refunds for a lack of accuracy on this one. Got a chuckle with David Haugh from the Tribune when we e-mailed back and forth about undertaking the same project. Our selections are pretty similar, and we didn't share notes.

Here is my list, and you can find the story from the print edition here.

Quarterback (2): Jay Cutler, Caleb Hanie

The Bears will find a practice squad quarterback and it could be Brett Basanez.

Running backs/fullbacks (5): Matt Forte, Kevin Jones, Garrett Wolfe, Adrian Peterson, Jason McKie

Two weeks ago, Peterson would not have made my cut.

Wide receivers (6): Devin Hester, Earl Bennett, Devin Aromashodu, Rashied Davis, Juaquin Iglesias, Johnny Knox

I hope Brandon Rideau gets a shot somewhere because the guys does the right things, says the right things and probably can play. Draft picks who won't play block his path here.

Tight ends (3): Greg Olsen, Desmond Clark, Kellen Davis

Just didn't see enough of Michael Gaines in preseason.

Offensive line (8): Orlando Pace, Frank Omiyale, Olin Kreutz, Roberto Garza, Chris Williams, Kevin Shaffer, Josh Beekman, Dan Buenning

The Bears didn't expect to keep Lance Louis when they drafted him, although he's done plenty to stick around on the practice squad. On paper, it's the deepest line Jerry Angelo has had with the Bears.

Defensive line (10):
Alex Brown, Anthony Adams, Tommie Harris, Adewale Ogunleye, Mark Anderson, Henry Melton, Israel Idonije, Marcus Harrison, Jarron Gilbert, Matt Toeaina

If they drop down to nine here the final cut is between Melton and Toeaina. And for my money Toeaina is the player they will need more this season.

Linebackers (6): Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Pisa Tinoisamoa, Nick Roach, Jamar Williams, Hunter Hillenmeyer

Tried to find a spot for special teams man Darrell McClover but couldn't make it happen. I could be wrong. Undrafted rookie free agent Kevin Malast will get a job somewhere, even if it's just on the practice squad.

Defensive backs (10):
Charles Tillman, Zack Bowman, Danieal Manning, Kevin Payne, Nathan Vasher, D.J. Moore, Corey Graham, Rod Hood, Al Afalava, Craig Steltz

Josh Bullocks doesn't warrant a starting job but probably deserves a job. Here we'll find out how much draft status means. As uncertain as some of the cornerbacks are when it comes to durability, I think they have to keep Hood.

Specialists (3): Robbie Gould, Pat Mannelly, Brad Maynard

Most reliable bunch on the roster.

We will see by Saturday where I went wrong. For now, you can tell me where I have erred.

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I'd like to see them try to sneak Iglesias onto the practice roster and take a long, hard look at Matt Jones

Waive Melton?
People, he's a 3rd rounder:-0 - you just don't do that with high draft picks. I'm really fed up with those projects JA drafts every year.
Louis and Melton are busts and should have never been drafted.

I think this is a pretty accurate list. I really hope that Malast, Freeman, and Rideau find a home somewhere. I think with time they can all be special players. The only slight change I can see happen is if they decide to keep McClover they'll have to release Melton. I think Melton has a lot of upside but if they are going for the win NOW then that is a move I would make.

In your list of Linebackers you forget Marcus Freeman.... Oops..

There's' no such thing as a seventh-round bust.

List is spot on.

Yeah, what about our draft pick Marcus Freeman, where does he land? And if Freeman stays, who on your list goes? Can we get an edit Biggs?

Gains and McGlover both make the roster. Out are Matt Toenia and Hunter Hillenmeyer. On the bubble is Vasher, salary makes him expendable. Never forget "they throw nickels around like manhole covers" Gawd I miss Ditka! Da Bears are cheeeeeeeeep!

H.Melton will be "red-shirted" and put on the IR with "ankle issues". He's raw and just not ready to play. They will use Anderson, Izzy and Gilbert as depth at DE. This will free up a roster spot for another LB, OL or 7th WR (they're thinking hard about this one).

I would have thought the point of keeping Peterson instead of Gaines would be to add more depth to the special teams unit. That would allow the Bears to cut Davis and keep WRs who can actually catch the ball.

Brad I like the list. I just hope its Rideau instead of Davis. Also, why does Nick Roach warrant so much respect. He was mediocre last year and has been injured this year. Send him packing. Keep McClover, Freeman or even Malast.

BEAR DOWN!!!!!!!

They did the same thing with Okwo and bazuin a few years ago, so that would not surprise me.

Practice Squad bound:

1.Rideau--is it time to ask him to bulk up and become the new Fontel Mines? He is not going to succeed here as a WR, especially if the guys we keep show any signs of life this year.
2.Louis--shady past will allow him to slide through and stay for a year on the PS
3. Melton (if they don't stash him on IR)
4. Malast--I think he would be an interesting player to keep around, but likely will not happen
5. Freeman--needs another year to get his range and speed back. Was pretty dinged up as a senior, and could benefit from watching Briggs for a year
6. Asiata--need a new Tyler Reed who languishes on the PS for as many years as possible with no chance of making the roster
7. Balogh--Still has not shown enough to make the team, but Pace is only going to play one year in all likelihood, so we will need a backup next year for Shaffer on the right when Williams takes over at LT
8. Turenne/Moore--one of them they will try to keep. Likely Moore makes the active roster because they will drop McBride.

I agree about Roach.. the guy has done nothing. I keep Marcus Freeman over Roach. Pisa is the man at SLB. Jamar and Hunter can fill in there. I also keep McClover. Hes a stud on ST. Also the Henry Melton thing needs to go away. Hes a DE that they have playing DT and Gilbert who should be inside is at DE. I really scratch my head with this coaching staff at times. Melton is at least 2 years away. Another thing.. all this Josh Bullocks stuff about how bad he is.. the guy has been solid in every game. He is heads and tails above Steltz in terms of ability. I like Steltz, but he has no wheels what so ever. Also Adrian Peterson has played well. He is one of those Jim Morrisey type players that you need to have. Hes a good ST player and he has really run well in the preseason. He has looked better the Kevin Jones. In any event.. lets have a good season bro's. We have a QB (for once) and a fairly decent D.. if they stay healthy.. 11-5 seems very reachable.

Time to cut Wolfe, Peterson is much more valuable and can play RB in a pinch – Wolfe can’t. Davis stays over Rideau because of ST play. Gaines is gone, Kellen Davis is the heir to Clark. Stashing Davis or Ta’ufo’ou on the practice squad covers the need for an h-back since Olsen lines up in the backfield a lot. Lance Louis goes to the practice squad but will get claimed so he gets the spot by dumping Wolfe.

If you can put Toneia on the practice squad you can keep either McClover or Malast, I like Malast, he’s always around the ball, but he’ll make it to the practice squad easier than McClover. Not to sure about Hood but with Tillman still unsure you need an experienced CB on the squad

We have an interestin' dilemma folks. Do we find a spot for "the Commando" or stick with what we got? And if u do go with McClover who gets da boot? Wolfe, Toeaina? Because Gaines will already be cut to make room for AP. We also have Bullocks vs Steltz ( I personally don't like Josh of YouTube fame, but professionally, he is more experienced than Craig). Melton will be red-shirted hopefully. Rideau, Louis, Malast, Turenne, Balogh, Baldwin, Raiola/Kinder, Gaines, Ta'ufo'ou, & Basanez will make the practice squad. Clermond, Peterman, Freeman, Asiata, Davis, Rivera, & Deleston won't. Freeman may have a chance for practice squad eligibility, if he performs superbly vs Cleveland... But back to my original topic, McClover will not edge out Wolfe or AP, & Toeaina is needed for depth, unless Melton is placed on IR.

I gotta believe that Roach should be cut(because of too many concussions, bad sign) and would love to see Malast make the team, this kid seems to have a nose for the ball and makes good contact. McGlover probably makes it but I would like Malast to be the guy who gets the nod.

Gotta find that one other player to cut so that the Bears can pick up another wide receiver. Matt Jones would be good and I am sure there are others Branch may be cut in Seattle, does he have anything left? Of course the dream of getting a Boldin or Marshall in some type of trade plus draft pick or two would be great.

Maybe Wolfe should be cut or yes put Iglesias on IR but the Bears need a spot for a NFL proven WR.

I understand Rashied Davis has made a few plays on Special Teams, but was Rideau given the same amount of play time on special teams as Davis to compare fairly? If he hasn't then it is unfair to use it as justification to keep Davis. I bet Rideau would contribute nicely on ST too! Plus, don't we already have enough small, speedy, shifty guys on our recieving corp. We need bigger targets for Cutler, which he prefers. Has anyone noticed the big name recievers in the NFL are typically BIG bodied recievers. The Rashied Davis experiment has run its course. Give Rideau a legitimate chance for once and see what he can do. This guy has a big heart. Remember his numbers from last years preseason...pretty respectable, but of course we put him on the practice squad.

We have an interestin' dilemma folks. Do we find a spot for "the Commando" or stick with what we got? And if u do go with McClover who gets da boot? Wolfe, Toeaina? Because Gaines will already be cut to make room for AP. We also have Bullocks vs Steltz ( I personally don't like Josh of YouTube fame, but professionally, he is more experienced than Craig). Melton will be red-shirted hopefully. Rideau, Louis, Malast, Turenne, Balogh, Baldwin, Raiola, Gaines, Ta'ufo'ou, & Basanez are practice squad-bound (if they clear waivers that is). Clermond, Peterman, Freeman, Asiata, Jason Davis, Rivera, & Deleston won't. Freeman may have a chance for practice squad eligibility, if he performs superbly vs Cleveland... But back to my original topic, McClover will not edge out Wolfe or AP, & Toeaina is needed for depth, Melton being placed on IR is his best bet.

I realize Chicago won't do this, but I would keep rookie fullback Will Ta'ufo'ou over running back Garrett Wolfe. Wolfe simply hasn't shown anything during the pre-season, and this Ta'ufo'ou kid looks like he has potential at fullback. Ta'ufo'ou could contribute on special teams for a season, and then challenge for the starting fullback position next season. I'd keep him, Chicago needs a fullback that can pop someone at the line and Ta'ufo'ou has the potential to be that player. Hopefully Chicago keeps Ta'ufo'ou around on the practice squad at least. Also, I think it would be a good idea to have another fullback on the roster in case starter Jason McKie ever goes down.

At linebacker, I believe the odd man out will be Nick Roach. Roach has been banged up for most of camp and the pre-season. If free agent Pisa Tinoisamoa didn't establish himself as the starter, like he did, maybe Roach would have had a better chance of sticking. But at the end of the day, Tinoisamoa came on and played better than any linebacker on the roster, he really stuck out during the pre-season. Also, rookie Marcus Freeman might not have impressed, but he at least played. Also, Freeman has draft status. I just can't see Angelo ditching a player like Freeman who he took in the 5th round just because he didn't "stand out" during his first pre-season. The key phrase being "first pre-season," you gotta give a rookie more than one camp to see if he can play. The fact Chicago drafted Freeman in the 5th proves they must have felt he had some kind of potential, and again, you gotta give a player more than one chance to prove they can play, especially a rookie.

I think rookie guard Lance Louis played a lot better than a lot of people think also. In a season or two, Chicago will need a new center and right guard. Kreutz could probably stick around for another contract, if not, Chicago has Josh Beekman. At right guard, Chicago seems to like Garza, but his contract is up in a couple seasons. It might be a good idea to start developing someone to potentially replace Garza. Lance Louis is as good of a prospects as any. I didn't think he played all that bad during the pre-season, and you gotta love his size to speed ratio he's got going on, 6-3 300lbs and can run a 4.8 40. Louis also had a 30-inch vertical jump to go along with putting up 30 reps on the bench press. Louis should stick on the practice squad, just my take now GO BEARS!!

Brad the major argument among fans of the Bears is who will be available for Cutler to throw the ball too. Timing has been off between he and Hester and he has as of yet to even notice Rideau and Davis on the field. I know he likes Aromashodu but I think Rideau plays better on special teams. I fail to see the appeal of holding on to an unproven draft pick to barley knows the playbook over a guy you’ve spent the last three years developing to play. I’d take the chance of bumping Igleseias to the practice squad and putting Rideau on the field its not that he deserves the chance more like he’s earned the chance and should not be blocked based on draft status.

On the line I like the choices but with Pace probably playing a year and the pending move of Williams to his position you have no one to shore up the line at RT under Shaffer. Is there any consideration to move Raiola to the practice squad?

The secondary is a bust the first three names aren’t even healthy enough to play so that will be a challenge going into Green Bay where Aaron Rodgers is having a splendid pre season. I say not only drop McBride but have Vasher pack his bags as well from what he’s done in the preseason he’s not ready for another NFL season move up hood and make Woodny Turenne a permanent member of the secondary. I would like to see things mixed up a bit so that everyone knows that on the field performance is paramount.

I like what I'm reading from everyone. To add to my earlier post, Wolfe also needs to go. I'm so sick of watching them run him up the middle only to get blasted by a DT that weighs 130 more pounds then he does. He is like a feather out there. AP runs harder and we need to keep him at 3 and cut Wolfe. That project is over. They keep saying they want to create ways to get Wolfe on the field. That only means they take off our best offensive player Forte. Sorry that makes no sense. CUT TIES WITH WOLFE.


Wolfe is the best special teams guy the Bears have, he's in there seemingly on every play. Even if he doesn't pan out for any running duties besides a 3rd down back, his stellar special teams play keeps him on the team.

The Commando and AP are the best special teams players on the team. Wolfe needs to kick rocks.


Kevin, the Bears are going to be running plays mainly from the two TE set. McKie will sparsely be used as it is, so there is no need for another fullback to be on the roster. The Bears will for sure have one on the practice squad though in case McKie misses time.

Defensive line: Not sure why you need 10 players for 4 spots. Keep the best, and cut the rest.

Like gz alluded to, there is no way Wolfe gets cut. He is simply invaluable on STs making tackles or recovering fumbles. He's always around the ball.

And oh yeah, can we stop with the Matt Jones talk already???

People are putting too much stock into the third and fourth receivers.

Based upon the last game, Cutlers first three targets could be Olsen, Forte and Dez Clark.

In fact, I would expect it to remain the same, since the Bears are going to run a lot of two TE sets, or place Olsen in as the slot receiver.

My point? Whoever the No. 4 and 5 receivers will be (not going to dress six) will only play special teams.

If Devin A is Cutler's favorite out of those three guys, he will likely be the one who is on the field the most. And he should be, given his ability to go long.

The No. 4 guy should be someone who can play ST. Davis is by far the best ST WR, and he is more than competent to play as a No. 4 receiver.

Rideau is just another guy.

And you don't give up an a first-year WR, especially if you think he could become a productive player. 8 out of ten first year receivers are worthless, and in recent memory, that would have included Earl Bennett, Bernard Berrian, Michael Robinson and Marty Booker. Give the kid a year to learn the system.

As far as RB, I'm beyond sick of the little boy.

I also think the team needs to think hard about dumping Roach and keeping one of the young guys AND McClover, whom they missed deeply.

Adrian Peterson, Rashied Davis, Hillenmeyer, Vasher, Rideau all need to go for reasons of talent or cost. Melton and Freeman should both be on IR. Malast and Louis should be kept, since there is a big risk they don't sneak through to the practice squad.

Once again I'm afraid we end up cuyying young talent in favor of special teams guys who have ZERO upside - it's why we never develop talent around here at some positions..

These are the two players that I do not like. Davis and Wolfe. Only one will make the team because of special teams play. Man, that's a hard question. I see Davis playing with a lot of emotion and that's something they will need. Wolfe doesn't do enough for me. Put somebody in that will appreciate what he did and ask him to do it. If it doesn't work I bet Wolfe will still be available. Rideau, was on the practice squad last year and any team that wanted him could've had him. There comes a time when experience means more than potential. 3 years in the league without setting yourself in stone on a roster just doesn't bode well for anyone. Now, there are more bottom feeders on other rosters that he will have to compete with that he didn't have to compete with last year. If he hasn't set this world on fire I doubt he sets anyone on fire. Roach, hasn't shown anything special throughout his time here and hasn't shown anything this pre-season. Pisa makes him moot. Every other roster spot is alright with me.

AP is possibly the hardest working man in football. He stays. Wolfe is simply too small, and doesn't provide the flat-out speed that would be required to off-set this. With Jones' bonehead sideline jump and resulting injury - it's a toss-up as to which one goes.

Knox offers a "what if" scenario for safeties. If Forte and Olsen are the two top receivers this year (which they should be) - we'll see a scary tandem in Hester and Knox out wide, and a QB who can get it to them. Can they run routes and actually catch? We'll see. But it's an experiment worth looking at. Having two guys that quick will cause a whole bunch of open field in the middle for Olsen and Bennett.

Melton? He has ball-carrying experience. Methinks he gets remolded as McKie's replacement. Bears biggest problem last year was 2nd and 1... 3rd and 1... 4th and 1..., and Lovie was insistent on shoving it down the middle. Melton would help invaluably.

Vasher should be gone. And I HATE Tillman. Always have. He's a boom or bust player who takes huge chances, and gets burnt just as often as he makes a big play. I know I'm one of the few who wants to toss the peanut, but I've never, ever seen him as a consistent guy.

There. Go ahead and jump on me.

So what you are saying is, that until last week you didn't know how talented a Bear player in his 8th year was? It took a preseason game in his 8th season for you to come to a conclusion on how talented a player was?

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on September 3, 2009 5:47 AM.

Projecting the 53-man roster for the Chicago Bears was the previous entry in this blog.

Projecting the 53-man roster for the Chicago Bears, Part III is the next entry in this blog.

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