Chicago Sun-Times

Brandon Hardin on IR; Knox on PUP; Bears cut 9 others

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As expected, the Bears placed rookie safety Brandon Hardin on the injured reserve list and wide receiver Johnny Knox on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list on Sunday. They also cut nine players, including defensive tackle John McCargo and rookie quarterback Matt Blanchard.

Hardin is out for the season after suffering a neck injury making a tackle in the second preseason game against the Washington Redskins on Aug. 18. Hardin also did not play last season at Oregon State after suffering a shoulder injury in preseason practice.

Being placed on the PUP list means Knox will be out for at least six weeks, though it is probably more likely than not that he will miss the entire season. Knox still is recovering from spinal fusion surgery after suffering a severe back injury against the Seattle Seahawks last Dec. 18 at Soldier Field.

There were no surprises among the other cuts as the Bears trimmed their roster to 77, with two more cuts due today to reach the 75-player maximum as mandated by the NFL. Blanchard, a local product from Lake Zurich who was 25-0 as a stater at Division II Wisconsin-Whitewater, looked like a practice squad candidate, but now won't even get a shot in the final preseason game against the Browns, which is normally a showcase for rookies and players on the bubble.

The other cuts were defensive tackle John McCargo, linebackers K.C. Asiodu and Adrien Cole, wide receivers Terriun Crump and Chris Summers, defensive end Derek Walker, safety Trevor Coston and guard Nick Pieschel.

The Bears will play the Browns on Thursday night in Cleveland, then cut the roster to 53 by 8 p.m. Friday.

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Hardin is out for season? That was quick, I knew he was an injury prone player, but man. I thought the Bears said all the test on him came back clear, so he has a magic neck injury? Time to do a little Emery draft breakdown even though the season has not started.

Shea McClellin, Emery is switching to a 3-4 right? No? Does not look like a 4-3 end. Most believe he was drafted to be a pass rush specialist, so not an every down player. Oh and he was never really a great pass rusher in College. This pick makes so much sense, really it does. If the team that picked him was New England and he was taken in the second or third round.

Alshon Jeffery, Looks like a good pick, maybe a future number 2.

Brandon Hardin, Injury prone safety. This was an Angelo pick right? I don't know but this pick screams Lovie given the Chris Conte pick the year before.

Evan Rodriguez, well the Bears love him, the media Loves him and one day he may develop into a part time player known as an H-Back. He will never be a real TE because he is to small and can't block on the line.

Sad isn't it, Creighton? Looks like Hardin led with his chin on his chest! Not an instinctive move for a true football player, which really casts doubt on Emery's instincts. Yep, McClellin is underwhelming by any stretch. Rodriguez looks like a midget TE. I feel sick.

You know it's nothing against Hardin or McLellin, but between Conte and Wright, and his injury history I am just not sure what they were doing going after another third round safety. I also do not like players dropping their heads to lay a hit, that's what your shoulders are for.

As for Shea, I don't dislike his game so to speak, but considering the Bears are taking away a large part of his game I am at a loss. His biggest asset was his versatility you could play him as an inside or outside LB in a 3-4 or hybrid and bounce him to end in nickle in a hybrid. The Bears took away his two best positions and made him a part time player. Now they talk about how good he is against the run and what a great pass rusher he is, although his only sack came on a pursuit play when he had dropped back into a LB like position. I also here he is going to get bigger and stronger. He is not getting any bigger, his frame is not going to change, he is not going to get any taller. What he is going to gain weight? So what, that will just slow him down. His last asset is his good speed, do they really want to take that away? He is not a power guy if he was he would already have more power. I am sure he will make some plays during the year but it is a total misuse of his skill set to make him a DE. Even Emery talked about his versatility, that's great, why on earth did he draft him knowing he will not be able to use that he would not be able to take advantage of it?

Evan Rodriguez, he is not even 6'2, he is closer to 6'1 is built like a FB but is more of a receiver. Can catch the ball out of the backfield well. Oh great, cause I am sure they are going to take away reps from Forte so this kid can catch the ball out of the backfield. The Bears just triedto copy the Aaron Hernandez pick and maybe that would work if the Bears ran the Pats offense. Ha! Hernandez played for the Gators and won the Mackey award along with being a first team All American. Rodriguez was a 2 TD threat at Temple last year.

Literally two of Emerys first 4 picks scream Patriot offense and Patriot defense. You know I am not a Lovie fan, but if Emery did this with eyes towards installing the Patriots system hoping Lovie would not make the playoffs and get fired. Then Emery should be fired, it does not matter if he wants a different system you do what is right for the team you have. You don't try to gimp the team hoping to get rid of a coach.

I think that's exactly what he's banking on. This offense is good enough to compete, sans the offensive line, but this defense is aging, and is slipping a lot. Peppers can't do it all, and we have very little on the rest of the DL. Melton is probably at his best as a 3-4 OLB, once he drops back down to 260. Idonije, Wootton, Paea, Toeaina, all could work in a 3-4 at least in the short term. Urlacher and Briggs however, are not ideally suited for the inside in that scheme. Briggs more than Urlacher, but at this point in their careers, they are not going to do well at stack and shed. McClellin is a great fit for a 3-4. Wright, Hardin, Steltz, and Conte are all less than ideal when it comes to range and coverage, but might be able to be disguised in the 3-4 because of the pressure packages.

But if you look at it, Lovie and Angelo drafted almost all of these guys. They were trying to get athletes and convert them to Lovie's system, at least on the DL. Jarron Gilbert was another. Bazuin was probably a better fit as a 3-4 OLB as well, had he not gotten injured. A lot like McClellin in his playing style, and the nature of his sacks in college (lots of hustle, not a ton of natural pass rush moves). The Bears have been pushing themselves in this direction for a long time. The Bears have not drafted a single player who fits their defensive system that has come in and taken a job. Their turnstile approach at safety has not worked at all.

Now whether Emery should be fired is another matter, but I don't think he is doing anything to sabotage the team. Lovie has gimped himself by refusing to adapt to a changing NFL. He won't modify his defense, and refuses to replace players who are aging, ineffective, or just plain bad because he likes them. Emery is giving him players that can help, in most cases players Lovie wants, and he will succeed or fail on his own merits. based on past results, Lovie will neglect to maximize the talents of his players, and will continue to fail to develop the young players into future starters. That has been his legacy, and should be the reason cited if he loses his job with another sub-par season.

Call me crazy, but I just don't want to see a 3-4 in Chicago. Maybe I am too traditional, but I like the idea of a single middle linebacker in the middle of the Bears defense. It would be a shame to have the place that brought us Butkus, Singletary, and George, not to mention Hampton, Dent, Atkins, convert to a space eating DE scheme, and two thumper MLBs at the same time.

Yeah I here what your saying about Emery and Lovie, but I have no idea what the situation is. I am just saying if he gimped with his eyes on a 3-4, then that is just wrong. I don't know if that is the case. It's just the picks make no sense to me, McClellin most of all. McClellin wasn't even the best athlete at the position they wanted, Chandler Jones was. Every sense that pick was made, you know how shocked I have been. I don't dislike McClellin, I just don't the pick which is not uncommon with me and Lovie, Angelo and the Bears as you know.

Yeah I hate the whole make athletes into football players. Melton is a great example. About once every couple of games he makes an nice play the rest of the time he is getting killed or being mediocre.

Did you read Seans latest on Shea McClellin? I got some quotes here from it.

“ ‘He can’t play the run. He’s too small. He’s this, he’s that,’ ” Smith said, rattling off criticism of McClellin. “But he’s a perfect complement for Julius Peppers when they start running from the big dog to him. We’ve been saying all along, ‘He’s right on time.’ ”

If he is right on time why is he practicing with the 3's? Better yet who uses a first round pick on a complimentary player? "Well Peppers will do all the work and Shea can just stand there and wait for Julius to bring the QB to him. What happens when Julius is tired, injured or gone. What does Shea do then?

"The staff ranked each of the players, and McClellin ranked “very high,” Emery said."

"But McClellin wasn’t a full-time end. They evaluated his athletic attributes, then determined whether he was a fit for the scheme and locker room."

“This guy is made of the right stuff,” Emery said. “He’s got a very high motor, and he’s a very good, earnest, hard-working player who is going to fit in any locker room."

First off the staff is the short handed Angelo left overs right? The two big things they noticed, he has a high motor and is hard working, he is also a locker room guy. Look that sounds like a nice teammate, but how on earth does that make him good? You know how many hard working athletic locker room guys are running around the league? Tons of them some are good because they are talented and some are mediocre. By the way notice they believe he fits the scheme.

Also they basically want Peppers to do all the work and Shea to cherry pick. They spent the 19th pick in the draft on a complimentary player, took away his versatility edge, and are going to rely on another player to do all the work. I saw Shea in College and he was a cherry picker, coming free, 7 second coverage sacks. But he is not a base end and is not even a good pass rusher. They spent a 19th overall on a cherry picker and then gimped him with their system. Are you kidding me? When Peppers retires then what? Shea will have to wait till the Bears find an actuall pass rusher so he can be his bag man?

You ever here of Kroy Biermann ? He plays for the Falcons, he is not as fast as Shea, but fast enough, and is a bit stronger. Very athletic player who came from the big sky. Played LB in college, plays end for the Falcons. Great locker room guy, high motor, smart, plays hard and makes a play every now and then. He is a nickle guy 6-3 255-260. He is a good player a solid backup. You want players like that on your team. I get that. He was a 5th round pick. Really athletic, great vert, great change of direction quick first step. I don't really see much difference between the two other than where they were drafted. In his 4 seasons he started only one year for the Falcons and yeah they ran right at him, and in 14 starts had 3 sacks. John Abraham plays across from him, I here he is a good pass rusher like Peppers too. Similar system, similar players, and I don't think the results will be all that different. The Bears just payed a lot more for their backup complimentary player who they want to Cherry pick for their star end.

Every player is different, but this was somewhat telling (from Hub Arkush last night). Boise State over their tremendous run in college football over the last 7 years, has put 16 guys into the NFL. Only 3 are starters, and only one (Clady), has been to a Pro Bowl. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for how they translate to the NFL.

Seems like we took the guy the Packers should have taken, and they took one that fit better as a 4-3 DE.
Bierman might actually be a better 3 down player than Shea will be. He is stronger at the point and plays the run pretty well. MIght be the result of an NFL weight room program, but he can be on the field in any situation and represent himself well.

That's been Boise stats rep for a long time. Bierman has always been strong 29 reps at the combine. His knock is his size, fits the sub mold. Shea is more of a LB and Bierman is more end but both are tweeners. Difference is the falcons know you don't draft backups in the first round.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Potash published on August 26, 2012 12:44 PM.

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