Chicago Bears: Possible Surprise Cuts of Preseason

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by BSBEARS, Jul 19, 2014.

  1. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    Oct 20, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Chicago Bears center Roberto Garza (63) during the first half against the Washington Redskins at FedEX Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
    NFL
    Chicago Bears: Possible Surprise Cuts of Preseason

    by Erik Lambert 3h ago Follow @@ErikLambert1

    Every year a team execute a surprise cut or waive of a player fans might not expect. Who are some possibilities for the Chicago Bears?
    Roberto Garza – C
    Most fans would not expect to see the name of a team captain on this list but the situation is unusually fluid for Roberto Garza. He played well last season and was a steadying force on an offensive line that featured four new starters. That being said, he’s 35-years old, which is hard to ignore for that position. On top of that the Bears signed Brian De La Puente in free agency, who started for the New Orleans Saints last season and is 28-years old. If Garza begins to look ineffective, the team may feel compelled to make the switch.
    Eric Weems – WR
    He took a pay cut to stay with the team but Eric Weems is by no means guaranteed a roster spot. As it stands he is likely the fifth wide receiver on the depth chart behind Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Marquess Wilson and Josh Morgan. That is tenuous territory, which means he must continue to show his value on special teams in order to keep it. Five other players are behind him at the moment, some of them like Chris Williams with returning ability. If any of them show quality as a gunner and receiver as well, Weems could be in trouble.
    D.J. Williams – MLB
    A year ago there was little doubt that D.J. Williams would be the Chicago Bears starter at middle linebacker. After missing ten games with a torn pectoral, the doubt has increased significantly. Part of it is the injury risk, but another is the rising threat of second-year man Jon Bostic. Reports out of camp are that Bostic has shown a lot of progress at the position compared to last year, enough to the point that he is close to equal footing with Williams for the starting job.
    Losing it would be bad enough for him, but the wild card is undrafted free agent Christian Jones. Chicago signed him back in May, a player scouts believed was good enough to go in the 4th round of the draft given his superb athletic potential. One thing expected of backup linebackers is that they must play special teams. It’s hard seeing Williams do that over a younger player like Jones. So if Bostic does win out, the Bears may feel compelled to let the veteran find work elsewhere.
    Kelvin Hayden – CB
    An unfortunate hamstring injury sidelined Kelvin Hayden before he ever got a chance to play last season. Still, the Bears brought him back for his experience and how well he played for them in 2012. Beyond that is nothing but fog. Hayden has always had trouble staying healthy in spite of his ability. With the addition of rookie Kyle Fuller, the presence of third-year man Isaiah Frey and return of special teams ace Sherrick McManis, Hayden is already facing a crowded depth chart. Throw in intriguing youngsters like Demontre Hurst and Al Louis-Jean and it becomes a dogfight just stay on the roster. Hayden has the edge in knowledge, but that may not be enough for the Chicago Bears brass to justify keeping him.
  2. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    I would be surprised if DJ Williams was cut, unless another MLB is picked up off of waivers with experience who is younger. The other 3 would not surprise me that much. If one of the rookie linemen can make a case to make the roster I suspect it may be at Garza's amd Browns expense. Hayden and Weems I am hoping get cut in favor of the younger guys.
  3. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Garza - No way. First of all the OL still sees him as their leader and team captain. Second would be that the starters won't play enough in the preseason for him to even be judged ineffective. If that happens then it will be because de la Puente is tearing it up in camp. The author obviously knows very little about the Bears but he had to come up with names and at his age Garza was a logical choice but it ain't gonna happen. Even in the unlikely event DLP did win the starting job Garza still has value as a vet backup at both OC and OG. I don't see any top rookies or younger vets we'd cry over losing in order to keep Garza.

    Weems - Don't sign any long term leases Eric. Your replacement showed up in town last December from Canada via NOLA. Now this is a perfect example of where keeping an aging vet whose top return skills have been long gone and his receiving skills never were in favor of giving a guy like CWill a shot would be dumb. We don't even need him as a coverage guy because we have far better. Overall Eric Weems has been an expensive mistake. One of Phil Emery's few but a mistake just the same.

    DWill - Nah, I don't think so because even if Bostic were to beat him out at MLB DWill still has value at both other LB spots and he's cheap considering both his ability and his experience. We're still unsure whether McClellin can become a 3 down player yet so if Bostic plays MLB then DWill could move to SLB on running downs and be replaced by McCellin on passing downs. I don't believe that's the way it'll come down but what I'm saying is that DWill should have a job somewhere at least for this year. The competition for the 5th and 6th LB spots should include Jones, Greene, and Senn and from that bunch we'll have out STeam LBs.

    Hayden - It's possible but only if Frey or one of the kids who spent last season on the PS makes a huge jump forward and proves they can play both at RCB and in the Slot CB spot. Like Garza and DWill certain vets will be important to have around this year for depth and given the minimum deals they received they really aren't much more costly than a younger player would be. Yeah, I know the argument about developing younger guys but unless one of those guys really stands out they're all the kind of players you can get every year late in the draft or as UDFAs. So far none of them have stood out as being special in some way.
  4. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Cannot see Garza, wouldn't mind it, but I cannot see it. The team wants that OL around intact for another year.

    DJ, nope, even if Bostic does somehow win, this team still has last year in it's memory and cannot afford to have UDFA's as their primary backup plan.

    Then again we are talking "surprise cuts" so they at least fit the bill

    Hayden and Weems, wouldn't call those surprise cuts, not sure anyone would be surprised.

    I would put Conte as a surprise(one I hope for) b/c he's still in his rookie deal and at least has starting experience, even if he does lose his job.

    I would also put Greene as a surprise cut, he was picked high last year in the draft and I would be stunned if they gave up on him after a bad showing last year where the entire D was bad.
  5. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    Garza would be the biggest surprise cut for sure followed by DJ. As stated earlier one of the rookies would really have to have a great showing to replace Garza, I forget if it was Leno or Groy who claimed they could play center shortly after the draft. If one of the young guys can play both positions and have a strong camp it may be a tough decision pitting the future against the present. Garza being a captain will make it harder but if DLP wins the starting position Garza may or may not be voted a captain.

    DJ is more interesting. If Bostic beats him for the starting role the back up position will need to be addressed which at first glance seems it should be Williams. Much like Garza though, DJ is close to his final tour. I do not believe we have a person on the team to cause DJ to be cut, do not believe they would trust a Rookie at backup after last year so Jones is probably not a viable option. Thus DJ's security will probably be dependent on Bostic and the players who become FA's after roster cuts are completed. I guess I would say 10 to 20% chance DJ is not on the team.
  6. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    I pretty much agree with the above.

    I doubt Garza gets cut unless hurt. He can play 3 positions on the line and is being paid like a starter (for his age). Now if he struggles during the season I could see him getting benched at some point but cut in August? Nah

    DJW is pretty much the same story. Vet presence who can play all 3 LB positions. He will make the team unless hurt, at least as a backup.

    Weems on the hand I HOPE GETS CUT. I don't see this "stellar special teams play" supposedly attributed to him. It better be damn good because he adds nothing on offense. I'd rather keep Tolliver or a different young WR who might actually be able to catch a pass if need be in addition to playing STs.

    Hayden I'm 50-50 on. If he's recovered and looks good, I'd be tempted to keep him despite age since he can backup inside and out. If one of the young guys beats him out, that's fine too.
  7. weneedmorelinemen

    weneedmorelinemen Veteran

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    I don't care what Leno or Groy say or think they can play center. They are rookies, and rookies dont know shit. They dont have the experience. Coaches won't risk the team based on what a player says he can do, omy what they can do. And neither of them are going to get a look at center long enough to make cutting a vet captain in his last year sound good.

    We have Slauson and DLP on the roster who can play center, and Boggs has been floating around the league as a center for years now. I looked it up, and it's Groy that says he can plan center guard and tackle. The Bears have plenty of centers that a UFDA rookie saying he can play center isn't going to help make this team.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014
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  8. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    Exactly the kind of thinking that got the Defense old and laid a turd last year. I do not believe a rookie will be the one that unseats Garza, if he even gets unseated, it will be DLP.

    You are correct in that we have several players who can take over the center position. If DLP wins the position then I am not so sure Garza would even be a captain. Anyway as I stated one of the rookies would have to play very well and looking ahead to the future would be the only way I see Garza not making the team.
  9. weneedmorelinemen

    weneedmorelinemen Veteran

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    The defense didn't get old last year, it got injured. It was the young players and rookies that were supposed to step up that dragged that defense into the crapper. Adding old man Ratliff helped our defense. If that's the case you must be unhappy with all the old guys the Bears just signed.

    Garza'a not in a competition with DLP. It's more like DLP is going to be his successor. He's on a minimum one year deal plus a dollar, so they can extend him midseason. The only way Garza doesn't make this team is due to injury.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014
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  10. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Groy played all of the OL positions at Wisconsin including snapping but at best he's a project they may keep on the PS. As we found out the hard way most Badger OLinemen need a lot of coaching up before they become adequate pass protectors and I don't think Groy is any exception. If he was a complete player at this stage of his career he would have been drafted in the early or middle rounds not signed as an UDFA.

    Leno is in somewhat the same position only in his case the scouting report says that run blocking is his biggest weakness which is probably why he fell to the 7th round. He's a LT but far from a complete player. Good college LTs don't last that long in a draft if they are. Under Kromer and Meyers these guys may have some decent upside but as far either of them unseating any of the vets right now I just don't see that happening in my wildest dreams.

    If we expect to be in and stay in the hunt for the playoffs and a potential NFC Championship there's a value to having some vet depth across the board at all positions. That's where guys like DLP, Hayden, DWill, Collins, Wilson, etc. have an advantage. These guys have all been signed to inexpensive one year deals for a reason. The only exception may be DLP whose probably the 2015 OC in waiting.

    I don't deny the importance of developing younger talent but to me if you're gonna cut a serviceable vet who can come in and play if an injury to a starter happens then that younger player should be something special and not just a guy who could easily be replaced by another draftee or FA the following year. A lot of any teams third tier guys are a dime a dozen type players most of whom are little more than STeam guys who can pretty easily be replaced.

    It's not just about depth, it's about having quality depth so the caliber of play doesn't decline much if the backup is called on to play. I'm not for keeping guys just for sentimental reasons I'm looking at the logic that says if all it's costing you is a few 100k more to keep that vet and assure yourself of being able to win with that guy versus lose with a less expensive rookie then you should probably keep the vet if your goal is to win games.
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  11. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    First off, I like Garza and he has been a great player pick up for us. Lots of questions when we signed him as he is missing cartiledge in his Knee if I remember correctly and he has been solid for several years with the Bears.

    As far as not in competition, I read that too when they signed Garza but I really hope that is not the case. No player can be given a spot, DLP should be given the opportunity to win the position and quite frankly, I expect him to beat out Garza. A couple years ago I would have picked Garza, but he started breaking down a bit last year in my opinion. We also have a hard time running the ball up the middle in short yardage situations and Garza is a large part of that. If DLP can not do better than that then we need to find two more players. We have to be able to run the ball in from inside the 5 yards line, especially the 2 yard line and this to me is probably one of the major weaknesses we did not resolve last year. This is the main reason I hope to see Garza replaced hoping DLP can get it done.

    As far as the rookies, as I stated:


  12. weneedmorelinemen

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    A couple years ago, I would have taken DLP, and I'm a Garza fan. Garza had a bad 2012 under Tice while DLP had an amazing one. I don't think one poster here would have chosen Garza over de la Puenta back then.

    As for the rookies, how would they have a great showing at center when they are not going to get a shot playing there? Between Garza getting starting reps, and DLP and Boggs playing center on 2nd team if DLP is playing 1st team guard for Slauson still, there's no room barring injury to prove anything.

    How the hell could they "prove" they could play two positions well enough when they won't get a shot to play one? If either one was better at center than Roberto is now they'd have gone higher in the draft.
  13. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I haven't seen any data that tells me that de la Puente would do any better in short yardage or goal line situation than Garza so until there's some data available that shows it to be true I'm not assuming that's the case and that simply replacing Garza would help.

    To hang 100% of those failures on Garza when he's playing next to one rookie OG and another known more for his pass blocking work than his run blocking is heaping way to much of the blame on just one guy. Add to that a RB whose never been a great straight ahead power runner and the recipe for success on short yardage runs lacks more than just one ingredient.

    If only to repeat what's been said and printed before, Garza is the emotional leader of that line so if you remove him over just one type of play a team runs just a handful of times a game then you risk doing the same thing to your OL that losing Urlacher from the defense did last year. Sorry but you can't under value the leadership and stability Garza bring to that line right now.

    My guess is that de la Puente is here not just to backup at OC and OG but also to get the lay of the land and to build a relationship with the other linemen so that he can replace Garza. If you took Garza away now I can guarantee you'd end up with some unhappy guys and Kyle Long would be the first to tell us that.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2014
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  14. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Problem w/not putting the majority of the blame on Garza, and not the rookie, the vet known for PB'ing or the RB not great at running inside is that these were issues before the OL was replaced, and all of the RB's broguht in for short yardage sucked at doing it also. The one constant is Garza, and he was old before the fix, now he's 2 years older.

    Slausen and Long might well have contributed, no doubt they did, but their upside is still there. While Forte does struggle on the inside, I think he proved last year that when the blocking is there he can do it.

    I don't see Garza going this year, but I could see it if BDLP just shows that much more, that's just not going to happen.
  15. weneedmorelinemen

    weneedmorelinemen Veteran

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    Something to consider for the complaints about run blocking. We all know run blocking for guards and the center is more complex than pass blocking. Really, pass blocking for a guard is "Don't Let Guy Get Past". I kind of think since the Bears sucked at both for so long, Kromer and Trestman put a premium on keeping Cutler upright and giving him an interior pocket. I don't know if they really emphasized run blocking so long as they were keeping the QB protected. When you have so many new pieces, and two starting rookies, you just want to get through the season, and not worry so much about the timing and, God, I hate to say it, but the line gelling together because there was no continuity with four new guys on the line.

    I think this year, we are going to see Kyle Long destroy some humans on the defensive side of the ball. And, while Garza is absolutely going to be starting week 1 of the regular season, Kromer is very quick to move on from incumbent players that aren't getting it done a la Webb style. Given his past relationship with DLP, I could easily see him ending the season at center if the guards are still healthy.
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  16. mdbearz

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    Weems is the only cut that I see is realistic, the others are starters/vet back-ups.

    I like Demontre Hurst as a kid that could step in (as depth and ST) if Hayden gets hurt again.
  17. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Bingo! I believe it's exactly that. It takes a while to install a sophisticated zone run blocking scheme but when it works well there are huge running lanes for a RB to use if he has the vision and instincts to get to them. It's exactly the type of scheme Forte will run best behind because it's built for a one cut type back which he is. Still, it takes time for both the line and the back to get that dance down because often a defender is left unblocked and it's up to the RB to avoid him and make haste for the lane that's been opened.

    Tice often claimed he used some of that type of blocking but he never really did and I don't even think he can coach it correctly. Even behind a line with 4 new players, two or whom were rookies, Forte had his most productive year as a runner. With another year under their belts all of them should be a little better at it this year. Personally I though we passed a little too much last year and I'd like to see us use the backs more often especially if our passing game can get us some quick scores and a nice lead.

    We're up against some good teams with some good QBs this year and 6 games in our own division come against good QBs. Yes I'm even gonna include Bridgewater in that because I think he'll be a big improvement over Ponder or Cassell for Minny. We need to find all of the ways we can to win TOP battles and to me that says have a great running game because if not we're gonna be in some shootouts and that's not Bears style football.
  18. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    So it seems everyone just want to hand the job to Garza. What happened to best man wins.
  19. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Um, I don't think you understand just how much of a leader both in the locker room and on the field Garza has become. It's not about just handing him the job. There's also more to playing OC than just X's and O's.

    He's the QB of he OL. He makes the line calls, he gone into battle with them, and the other guys trust him. When it's time for DLP to take over I'm sure he will. That's why they brought him here this year. Let those guys develop some of that same trust in him and then he starts.

    If de le Puente proves to be the better player and OL leader then I think we can all assume he'll play but if it's "even steven" the nod goes to Garza. I haven't seen a single stat or metric that proves DLP is a better run blocker in short yardage situations than Garza so I have to go with Garza until he's been beaten out for the job and so far that hasn't happened and I'm not assuming it will.
  20. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    I agree DLP needs to win the job outright, I do not want to give it to him either, they need to compete and the best man wins. Thats why all these are predictions right now. DLP had some good years with the Saints and my feeling is he is better than Garza at this point in their careers. You are correct on the line calls though, that may be what keeps Garza in as the starter, however DLP made the same calls for the Saints with Kromer so I presume he knows them potentially better than Garza as he knows Kromers system for many years compared to one Year with Garza and Kromer.

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