Bears' WR, TE roster battles wide open

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by riczaj01, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Bears' WR, TE roster battles wide open
    Should go down to the wire
    By HUB ARKUSH - harkush@shawmedia.com - Wednesday, August 21, 2013 6:30 p.m. CDT

    http://www.hubarkush.com/2013/08/21/bears-wr-te-roster-battles-wide-open/a2vz9q5/?page=1

    The Bears have a ton of questions at wide receiver and tight end. While there is no doubt that Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Martellus Bennett will be the starters in those spots in Week 1 against the Bengals, who the other three or four wide receivers and two or three tight ends are is anybody's guess.
    The first two preseason games have done little or nothing to separate the players competing for those spots and when you realize the starters should play well into the third quarter against the Raiders, there is little game time left for guys to earn those roster spots.
    I asked wide receivers coach Mike Groh how important practices would be in rounding out his group.
    While he clearly stated that is more of a Marc Trestman and/or Phil Emery question, he did say "You have to base a lot off what we see in practice and i think that's the way it is in the NFL right now based on the CBA, I don't think it's unique to the Bears, I think it's an NFL issue."
    Devin Aromashodu is a wideout clearly on the bubble, probably sitting anywhere between Nos. 5 and 7 on a depth chart that most likely will only feature six. He is also a veteran who's been through this before and I asked him if that experience is helping him at all this time around.
    "It's the same feeling but you get to understand the process a little better, I guess you can cope with whatever happens a little better from having been through it."
    He also told me one guy who has impressed him is rookie Marquess Wilson.
    "He's definitely doing a good job as a rookie and he's doing a good job of doing what the coaches expect of him."
    Eric Weems would appear to have a leg up on other wideouts because of his contributions on special teams but he admitted learning Trestman's new offense has added to the challenge at receiver.
    "It's still coming along with the new coaching staff, we're still trying to get a feel for each other so they (coaches) can find a feel and put me where i need to be."
    Aromashodu, Wilson, Weems, Earl Bennett and Joe Anderson appear to be the five primary candidates for either three or four spots behind Marshall and Jeffery with many believing Anderson and Wilson could have two of those spots locked up.
    Steve Maneri appeared to have an inside track on the backup tight end spot coming into camp but that's no longer clear. He does feel like he knows what he needs to do to earn the job though.
    "I'm not beating anyone down the field, so I'm a blocking tight end and I'm doing everything I can to be the best I can be at that and anything else is gravy."
    Fendi Onobun, on the other hand, is a college basketball player trying to make it as a tight end who takes exception to the thought he's just an athlete and pass catcher who can't block well enough to earn a tight end job.
    "The aspect of my game I've been working on a lot is being able to block. There's a stigma saying that basketball players are soft or basketball players can't block. It's not that I don't want to block or aren't willing to block, I'm willing to block and I want to become a better blocker and be a complete tight end. It's definitely one aspect of my game I'm trying to improve and I'm starting to see the improvement on film."
    Maneri, Onobun, Kyle Adams, Leonard Pope and Gabe Miller are all fighting for two spots, although Onobun or Adams might qualify as an H-back, creating another spot in addition to three tight ends. This race is impossible to handicap right now, although Onobun does seem to be the one most consistently on coaches' minds.
    • Hub Arkush covers the Bears for Shaw Media and HubArkush.com. Write to him at harkush@shawmedia.com.
  2. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    3-point stance: Roster battles tough on players
    By HUB ARKUSH - harkush@shawmedia.com - Wednesday, August 21, 2013 7:37 p.m. CDT

    http://www.hubarkush.com/2013/08/21/3-point-stance-roster-battles-tough-on-players/abzkalk/

    Chicago Bears' Fendi Onobun (84) drops a pass in the end zone as Carolina Panthers' Jason Williams (54) and D.J. Campbell (26) defend during the first half of a preseason NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Aug. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone) (Bob Leverone)
    1. With just nine days remaining until all 32 NFL clubs need to get down to the 53-man limit, these can be torturous times for players on the bubble. Bears hopeful Fendi Onobun summed it up like this. "We're fighting for our lives. This (Raiders) is the most important game of my life and I'm sure it's the same for a lot of others. You know, as far as there being stress or pressure, I don't want to put any more stress or pressure on myself."
    2. I asked Devin Aromashodu if it's the same for every receiver in practice and he acknowledged if you're not with the ones, you never know who's going to be throwing you the ball. It wasn't a complaint, just a fact.
    3. It was interesting and instructive that, talking about starting tight end Martellus Bennett, both Steve Maneri and Fendi Onobun went out of their way to describe what a great teammate and role model he's been.
  3. little bear

    little bear Assistant Head Coach

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    Keep 6 WRs: Marshall, Jeffery, Bennett, Anderson, Wilson, Aromashodu. Cut Weems and hopefully sign Tolliver to the practice squad.

    Cut Onobun who's been a major disappointment and keep three tight ends: Bennett, Maneri (really good blocking TE) and Kyle Adams who can contribute on ST plays.
  4. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    They aren't cutting Weems who is a 4 phast ST starter to keep DA who's not a ST player at all. Kyle is playing H-Back, not TE. I could well see them keep all 3 but you won't see Adams at TE unless there is a major issue.
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  5. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    I agree. Lets keep guys with upside and guys who can freakin CATCH over this Lovie-esque obsession with pure STers. Weems adds nothing on offense and has no offensive upside/development ahead of him. Cut Weems.
  6. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    I have no problem keeping Weems over DA (who's a so-so vet at best with no upside) but no way should he beat out Wilson just because Weems is better at STs. Wilson could become a real weapon down the road, Weems never will be anything more than a glorified gunner.
  7. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Ya but the 4-7 WR's have to be ST's participants b/c they are not going to play much on O. I would assume, according to the article, that Wilson and Anderson are safe, mainly b/c Wilson won't make it to PS. Weems and DA are the ones fighting for a spot, and I think Weems might beat him out.
  8. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    It depends upon how many WRs (not counting Hester) we keep. If its 6, I have no problem choosing Weems>Aroma for ST ability. But if its just 5, Weems needs to go.
  9. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Hester is going to cost anothre postition their job, backup FB maybe?
  10. Bearstuff

    Bearstuff Yes, in the woods. Staff Member SuperFan

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    Bottom line, the club likely can't afford to keep 6 WR, 3 TE & a KR. That's 19% of the entire roster for 4 positions (16% of total positions). Someone is going to have to give here and more likely two people. Don't be surprised if a "freak injury" lands someone like Wilson on IR.
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  11. short faced bear

    short faced bear Assistant Head Coach DBS Writer

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    I'd like to see us keep Fiammetta as a FB but he just may be PS.
  12. little bear

    little bear Assistant Head Coach

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    It's a shame HH doesn't have the balls to finally move on from Hester. He's taking up a roster spot just for returning kicks. Are you kidding me?! -_-

    We all know that there are enough guys on the team that can return KOs and punts. EBennett, Weems, Ford just to name a few. Hell, even FS Tom Nelson was a KR in HS and college.
  13. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    not just returning kicks Lil B, he's been lining up to try and block kicks also
  14. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    The only TE on the roster I like is Bennett. The others are very mediocre players at best (Pope is the best of the mediocre TE's). It is tough to watch them practice and play because we clearly need better talent behind Bennett. If Bennett goes down to injury we're pretty screwed at TE. It makes me sick to think about, because the TE will be very important this year.....especially in a Trestman offense. We need to draft a guy who can catch the football.

    I actually feel pretty pumped about our WR's. I believe we have more talent there this year, than I've seen in 50 years of Bears football. I've never cared much for Weems, but I have to admit he's looked a notch better this year receiving - and he's a stud on ST's. He's better than in past years. No way he's getting cut.

    Wilson is amazing. I hoped he'd be a stud, but I also thought he'd be a very rough "project" this year. But he's amazing. He's not too far behind Alshon Jeffery (although he does need to bulk up over the off-season). Wilson is a lock to make the roster. He's our future (with Jeffery) at WR. Those two are the young guns we'll need in future years.

    Anderson is solid too. It would be a shame to see him get cut. So, B.Marsh, Alshon, Bennett, Wilson, Anderson & Weems. I can't see keeping DA. He's a very mediocre player with zero upside. I just don't see how he helps us much when we have exciting young players with tremendous upside. Also, I would love to see the 6'5" Tolliver make the practice squad. He's looked good receiving and as a gunner on ST's. He had one heck of a solid tackle on ST's.....he looks fast for a tall guy. Anyone know what his 4o time is?
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  15. Adibear

    Adibear Pro-Bowler

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    Not so worried about the WR"s it's the TE"s that has me concerned ..we don't really have a blocking go to guy IMO
  16. little bear

    little bear Assistant Head Coach

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    Honestly, I don't think he can blcok either. But that's just my opinion.
  17. little bear

    little bear Assistant Head Coach

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    2 QB: Cutler, Edwards or McCown (Blanchard on the PUP list or IR)
    4 RB: Forte, Bush, Ford, Fiammetta
    6 WR: Marshall, Jeffery, Bennett, Anderson, Wilson, Weems
    3 TE: Bennett, Maneri, Adams
    8 OL: Bushrod, Slauson, Garza, Long, Mills, Webb, Scott, Williams
    9 DL: Peppers, Melton, Paea, Wootton, McClellin, Washington, Collins, Minter, Moore or Williams
    6 LB: Briggs, Williams, Anderson, Bostic, Greene, Thomas
    5 CB: Tillman, Jennings, Bowman, McManis, Frey
    6 S: Wright, Conte, Hardin, Zbikowski, Nelson, Steltz
    4 ST: Gould, Podlesh, Mannelly, Hester
    -----
    53

    Problem solved. :)
  18. Bearstuff

    Bearstuff Yes, in the woods. Staff Member SuperFan

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    Fixed it for ya. Can't believe you left off James Brown or Leonard Pope. Edwin Williams ain't making the team, leaving room for Britton. I also think Walters makes the team over Zbitkowski or Nelson.
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  19. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Position Coach

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    boy... IDK. If Hester can get back to his old form, there are not too many players that can affect a game like he used to. Sometimes he would score twice in a game and he would virtually guarantee great field position because they would either try to kick away from him and sometimes get usgood position or he would run it back for about 20 even on a bad return. He was really one of those rare game changers that put you on the edge of your seat.

    We have not seen it in a while, but Lovie neutered him. Why you would have the leagues best returner EVER as an active roster player and then try to turn him into something else is beyond me. Brady is the best QB out there. It would be like trying to turn him into a CB or something but still put him out there to make throws every so often. He would suck at CB and he probably would not do as well at QB either.

    Lovie was nuts.
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  20. little bear

    little bear Assistant Head Coach

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    Sorry JD. Totally forgot Brown. ^^
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