Chicago Sun-Times

Bears shuffle practice squad, bring back Asiata

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Guard Johan Asiata has been signed to the practice squad for the third time as the Bears re-shuffled the practice squad today.

Asiata returns and cornerback Woodny Turenne departs, not a surprise consider the Bears signed cornerback DeAngelo Smith to the practice squad on Tuesday.

General manager Jerry Angelo routinely ships guys in and out on the practice squad. Teams are allowed to carry a maximum of eight players on the practice squad, and by using a revolving door for some, the Bears can evaluate more than that number and use them in practice settings.

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DeAngelo Smith better be one heck of a corner to get rid of Turenne. Here we hid Woodny the entire preseason after the Buffalo game and did not allow him to get any further playing time, NOW we dump him? I know Jerry likes to shuffle the squad, but since they did not play Woodny during the preseason in order to keep him to themselves, they should have given him and opportunity over Smith. Anyone who did see Woodny in his lone preseason game with us should have been impressed! I really like this young corner, and with Bowman and Vasher not playing there A game right now, why not give the guy you hid all preseason a chance to play? Hopefully he is put back on our team quickly!

Bill, this isn't the first time Woodny has been released, signed and released again from the P-squad.... It won't be the last either !!

Go Bears !!

I'd have to agree with Bill Holland. Woodny looked awesome in the preseason and I think this kid deserves a shot. I know that the Bears' brass should know better than a fan, but I was very impressed with Turenne.

I'm not an Angelo hater, but I hate the way he uses the practice squad. In my mind the practice squad should be used to develop talent, not just evaluate it or to have extra bodies for the scout team. Even when the Bears do keep a player for a couple years they end up cutting him. It all seems pretty pointless.

bill, you need a fact checker. this is the second time the bears have released turenne from their practice squad (the first time was september 23rd) and no other team signed him, so that should tell you what the rest of the league thinks of him. yes turenne looked physical in the preseason against buffalo; however, it's the preseason, which is pretty meaningless overall. turenne was an UDFA, smith was a 5th round pick of the cowboys, selected 3 picks after the bears took johnny knox.

in general i see no reason to get up in arms over practice squad players. i remember people in here losing their heads last year when the bears let go of kirk barton. what's kirk doing these days? answer: he was cut by the detroit lions.

Cue the circus music. The Bears practice squad follies continue...

Question - why would a player agree to join the Bears squad, considering the way they drop and pick up guys at the drop of a hat?

Answer - they wouldn't, not if anyone else wanted them.


You said...
"and by using a revolving door for some, the Bears can evaluate more than that number and use them in practice settings."

By that account, how many times does Angelo have to evaluate Woodny?

Bill, I like your enthusiasm, but DeAngelo Smith was a 5th round draft pick by Dallas last april, #143 overall in the draft. Woodny Turenne was an undrafted free agent rookie. So obviously the pro scouts gave Smith a higher grade than Turenne, making Smith the better prospect. I wouldn't worry though, in another week here, Turenne will probably be back on the squad.


You said...

"By that account, how many times does Angelo have to evaluate Woodny?"

val, can't you see what Angelo is doing. By using a revolving door policy with his practice squad players, over the course of a year, Angelo gets to look at 9-10 prospects vs just 8, in a way giving Chicago's practice squad more depth. So basically he's cheating the system and its allowing him to look at more prospects. Good GM's do what they gotta do to keep looking for talent, I have no problem with this system Angelo has in place with his pracrtice squad players, especially if it allows him to look at more prospects GO BEARS!!

BigBear, I think Angelo does have a pretty good set of players on the practice squad he's developing. Players like tackle James Marten could have a future as Chicago's swing tackle, FB Will T'ufo'ou might push for a starting job by next pre-season, center Donovan Raiola is a nice guy to have around because Kreutz isn't gonna be around forever, not saying Raiola's the answer, but developing a center isn't a bad idea, and DE Ervin Baldwin plays another position Chicago needs to be checking out as many prospects as possible, especially if Ogunleye is gone after this season. Marten, T'ufo'ou, Raiola, and Baldwin all seem to be set, these are the players Angelo seems to like. Players like guard John Asiata, DE Joe Clermond, and CD Woodny Turenne are probably the fringe players, who for whatever reason just aren't impressing the coaching staff enough to keep locked down like the others I mentioned. By keeping these fringe players coming and going, its allowing Angelo to look at more prospects, I think its a good idea by Angelo GO BEARS!!

the Bears have had enough problems developing players on the roster. look at some of the recent players who have been let go only to find success on other teams. I really could care less who is on the practice squad. as far as I know practice squad players can't play in games. at least they can pick up a couple or more decent pay checks.

I agree with what you are saying, but I am questioning whether we have the right positions being accounted for on the practice squad. I am 100% on board with Marten, Ta'ufo'ou, and Raiola, but I question whether Baldwin fits the DE mold we have. He is short, and not especially quick. Bell is a good call, because we need a developmental running back. The positions we need to be thinking long-term about are (in my opinion):

S--maybe Smith is a future FS candidate, or could play CB
DE--taller, quick twitch type guys who can get off the ball--neither Baldwin nor Clermond are this kind of player--Should have 2 of these, especially if we are planning on moving Melton inside when he gets back next year
QB--should always have a developmental QB. Is Basanez on the active roster, or practice squad now?
FB--McKie is basically average
The final position could be a wildcard, where we look at an intriguing prospect that comes loose. John Asiata and Woodny Turenne do not fit that mold in my opinion.

We will address some of these long-term needs in the draft going forward, but the bottom portion of the roster needs to turn over, and we are not turning it over as well as some other teams. That means we are getting older as a team, and not developing the "farm system" at key positions. I am excited about the potential of the young WRs we drafted, and Gilbert/Melton has a chance to be interesting. I also like the idea of Bowman/Graham/Moore as our young CBs, complementing Manning/Payne/Afalava at safety.

But in the next 2-3 years, we could lose the following players to free agency or retirement (or cuts)-

Cutler--not likely, but he is still on his rookie contract
Dez Clark--TE
Jamar Williams--LB

That tells me OL and DL are the positions where we have the least amount of stability for the long term, and are arguably the most critical pieces of a successful franchise.

I would not be averse to 6 of the 8 practice squad positions being OL and DL. We need to be thinking about stockpiling talent, in whatever form we can.

Maybe one of these guys pans out long term to the active roster, maybe none of them, but you have to at least take advantage of the pipeline this represents. I wonder if the NFL will come to an agreement with the new UFL, and allow for players from practice squads to be "farmed out" to that league to get game experience, like they did with Europe? It would be nice for these guys to play in a game while they are learning.

At $88,000 a year, practice squad players are willing to take a chance for the bigger bucks and not starve in the meantime. Also, good points by Kevin A. Why not get better looks at as many as possible for a relatively cheap price?

You have to be realistic about the practice squad players. Considering their odds, if a couple of them make the 53 man roster this year it would be about normal. If more than one of them is activated this year and sees the field on game day it would be mildly surprising. It would probably mean the Bears are dealing with bad news about injuries. If one guy from the practice squad this year makes the 53 man roster NEXT year, the squad as a whole would already be a good investment.

That said, it is still important for the Bears to pay attention. That one player you elevate from the practice squad because of injuries might make a play in the Super Bowl.

I think karl is right. Brad says the PS players make about $5,200 a week. When the Bears move players on and off their roster, it allows more of these guys to keep make living expenses while are waiting and hoping for "the" call. That's probably not the over-riding reason they do it, but it could be a factor.

Basanez is an example of a guy who could leave if he had true talent. He's on the sideline every game looking like he ain't going anywhere. Let me make 5,000 a week getting the yo-yo action doing what I like to do. It would hurt somewhat but I'd still have faith. Better than never getting that call. You just couldn't get comfortable. They have to make the best drones.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on October 7, 2009 4:28 PM.

Tinoisamoa returns to practice; Knox captures award was the previous entry in this blog.

Angelo: "The byproduct of the holdout for the player is bad" is the next entry in this blog.

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