Chicago Sun-Times

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Either I missed the story online that is in Saturday's print edition, or somewhere it got lost in the shuffle on the World Wide Web. So here is the unedited version of the story that is or was to be printed in Saturday's paper:

The Bears are going to have to evaluate one of the first goals of their offseason after discovering Friday running back Kevin Jones will miss the season with a torn ligament in his left ankle.

Jones, who they were featuring Thursday against Cleveland at Soldier Field to get a little extra work in before the regular season begins, jumped into the air along the sideline and when he landed on his left foot it buckled. An MRI revealed the damage and he will undergo surgery next week. Rehabilitation is expected to take 10 months, but Jones proved he was a quick healer when he came back from a torn ACL in his right knee last summer.

While he was a luxury addition last year, Jones was headed for an expanded role as Matt Forte's primary backup when he returned with a $3.5 million, two-year contract. Adrian Peterson might have been on the bubble to make the club and now he's a lock for the 53-man roster when it's officially announced later today along with Garrett Wolfe. The Bears could seek a free agent but word around the league was they are content to roll with three backs for now.

``We were anxious to give him a lot of carries and see where he was,'' offensive coordinator Ron Turner said. ``I feel bad for him. He's had a good training camp and I know he was looking forward to getting a chance to make some plays and was excited about playing. You hate to see it.''

The question is whether or not Forte will get off the field. He rarely did last season, participating in 84 percent of the club's offensive snaps, the highest figure for a back in the league. Forte was third in the NFL with 316 rushes, and when you add in 63 receptions, he had 379 touches, most for the Bears since Walter Payton had 434 in 1984. Turner talked on multiple occasions last season about working in others, and the danger now is it will be all talk again. Forte was dogged by a toe injury late last season and the workload wore on him a little bit on his way to setting a rookie franchise record with 1,238 yards.

``It's tough,'' Forte said. ``A.P. has been playing, this is his eighth year, he knows what he's doing too. We've got Garrett too. We don't have any issues with that. We're real confident with both of them getting in the game.''


We published a Q&A with general manager Jerry Angelo in today's edition of the Sun-Times and as the case often is with things like this, not quite all of it made it into the newspaper. The beauty of our space here is that it's unlimited.

Maybe the most interesting thing Angelo touched on, or at least something we found interesting, was how he viewed the construction of the roster.

There have been a couple sayings around this team for some time.

One is the Bears are a draft-driven organization.

The other is the Bears get off the bus running.

Is it possible both will fall by the wayside after the trade for Jay Cutler? With a player they believe can be a franchise quarterback, are the Bears going to continue to beat the silly line about getting off the bus running? This team was 24th in the league in rushing last season.

It doesn't sound like Angelo is going to be calling the Bears draft driven any longer, not after peddling his first-round pick this year and his first-round pick next year for Cutler. Truth is, the roster doesn't support his statement either. More on that in a little bit.

Angelo started talking about the construction of the roster after being asked if he has been too conservative.

"How do you define conservative?'' he said. "What do you have to do to not be conservative? What we have always done here, the art of this business, every team has decisions to make each and every year and there are always going to be some big decisions. That is very difficult to do and what you don't want to do is miss big. So we have a very pragmatic approach to making decisions. We don't do things knee jerk, we don't do things based on perception. We do things based on how it is going to impact us now and going forward. Nothing great probably looked good early. So being conservative in this business, in a of of ways, is a good thing. Because the one thing you don't want to do is make decisions based on emotion because when you do that, then you become desperate. There are a lot of casualties in this business from desperate thinking. If conservatism isn't going out there and doing some things where people say, `Wow, what was he thinking?' then yes we are conservative and I don't have any problem with that.

"I feel this, we built this team many different ways. We've done it through the draft, we've done it through the free agency system, we've done it through trades. When you look at our roster over my tenure here, we probably have done it every which way you can do it. We really have. There are some teams that really abide by the draft. There are some teams that really look at free agency. I think we have had a good mesh of both in how we've done this and in a sound way. In terms of free agency, we've had a pretty good track record in terms of our free-agent signings and that's not easy to do. There is probably as big of a bust ratio when you bring in free agents as the draft. I think we've done a pretty good job of meshing the two and we've always looked at every avenue, the Arena League, NFL Europe, I don't know any more we can do. Is that to say we've been great at everything? No, I'm not saying we've been great at everything but we've explored everything and I think we've been pretty good at most things. Whatever we feel like we have to do to win now and keep an eye on the future, I think we've done a pretty good job.

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the Roster breakdown category.

Ron Turner is the previous category.

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