Pope could be answer to Bears prayers

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by short faced bear, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. short faced bear

    short faced bear Assistant Head Coach DBS Writer

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    They need clear No. 2 to Bennett and veteran blocker seems to fit bill

    By Brad Biggs, Chicago Tribune reporter

    8:25 p.m. CDT, August 2, 2013

    BOURBONNAIS — The Bears came to training camp with a bunch of options at backup tight end although none of them have much experience.

    Now, the one behind starter Martellus Bennett with the most experience has departed as the team placed Brody Eldridge on waivers and is poised to sign veteran Leonard Pope, pending a physical.

    When the Bears arrived, they had five tight ends after Bennett and those five had combined for 25 NFL starts — 16 by Eldridge. Now, they'll look to see what Pope, 29, can do. He watched the majority of Friday's practice with a play script and could be in uniform for Saturday night's practice at Soldier Field.

    Pope played 16 games for the Steelers last season with two starts and he long has been a favorite of former Bears wide receivers coach Todd Haley, who coached him with the Cardinals, Chiefs and then last season in Pittsburgh. The 6-foot-8, 264-pound Pope is a solid blocker and can be effective as a receiver in the red zone. He caught five touchdown passes in 2007 for the Cardinals and had a career-high 24 receptions for 247 yards and one score in 2011 with the Chiefs.

    The Bears are hoping to develop Fendi Onobun, a former college basketball player with similar athletic skills to Bennett but he is with his sixth team. Steve Maneri was signed to replace Matt Spaeth, now with the Steelers, and Kyle Adams has been with the Bears the past two seasons. Gabe Miller is in camp but must serve a four-game suspension to start the season for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

    Pope would project as a No. 2 as the Bears don't have a clear one right now. A lot will depend on what direction they want to take the offense with the personnel.

    "We have different skill sets at that position right now and we have somebody in Martellus who really gives you the optimal — he's a three-down player, he can block the run, he can protect in the pass and he can run routes inside and out," coach Marc Trestman said. "Those guys are hard to find. But obviously tight end demands that you initially have to block the point. That's No. 1 and from there we try to work with our skill sets the best we can."


    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sport...3-brite-bears-chicago-20130803,0,813848.story
  2. exsomnio

    exsomnio Newbie

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    Todd Haley was a Bears WR coach?
  3. dachuckster

    dachuckster Veteran SuperFan

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  4. zelezo vlk

    zelezo vlk Veteran

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    Which would explain why that was the last time our wideouts were good before this year.
  5. Henry Burris

    Henry Burris Head Coach

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    Def. sounds to me like Trestman's going to run a lot of 2 TE sets for versatility.
  6. strockrocks

    strockrocks Veteran

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    I can't believe I had to start over and register again when the boards changed. I'm only posting this so I can have '1' post instead of '0'.

    Go Pope.
  7. Henry Burris

    Henry Burris Head Coach

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    They'll bring our post counts and all that back up in a bit, but it's gonna take a little time.
  8. JPosh2012

    JPosh2012 Pro-Bowler

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    Interesting signing but we could use some depth in the TE position.
  9. lklrlolnlilklsox

    lklrlolnlilklsox Position Coach

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    ßearz ßuckz:
    If Leonard Pope is the answer, it must have been a pretty dumb question. The Steelers let him walk to bring back Matt freaking Speath, 'nuff said.
  10. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    Yep, we don't have jack behind Marty at TE. And amazingly that's an improvement over last year when had even less than that.
  11. lklrlolnlilklsox

    lklrlolnlilklsox Position Coach

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    Pope isn't something we aren't missing. We have our all-around TE in Bennett and Maneri as our blocking specialist, so whatever receptions he contributes will be gravy. I'd prefer the third guy provide a certain amount of catching upside.
  12. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    Rumor is (and I don't know how credible this is) that Maneri isn't exactly impressing anyone as a blocking TE/Spaeth replacement. That seems to be the motivation to bring in Pope. I can't imagine both of them will make the team. It's possible neither will.
  13. Blue Horse-shoe

    Blue Horse-shoe Veteran

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    Average player at best . Meh
  14. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    We all did L but maybe somewhere of somehow Ski has a way of restoring that historical data and if not maybe we can just make up a post count, LOL. Shoot, I had over 20,ooo posts and some like Benji and others had over 40,000.
  15. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Sounds to me like Onobun either isn't progressing like they expected or he's more one dimensional than they'd like. Essentially Maneri is a smaller version of an OT so what we really need is more of a clone of Bennett who can block and catch and from the sound of it that's where Pope fits in.

    I really thought Onobun was the guy they were looking for and maybe he still is but to me this looks like a guy who's being brought in as a direct competitor for him for that #2 TE spot. I think if Adams sticks it's gonna be more as a FB/HB and STeams guy and he's up against Unga and Fiametta more so than the other TEs. It's pretty easy to see that the most versatile guys are the ones who are gonna make the roster.
  16. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Hall of Famer

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    I was actually going to make the observation that Onobun may not be where they want him to be, so we are thinking along the same lines.
  17. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    Conclusion: we haven't yet found a viable backup TE with receiving skills.
  18. Mr. Deliverance

    Mr. Deliverance Guest

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    LOL@ all who got so carried away about Onobun in that thread. Not surprised. He's been dumped by so many teams. Sorry folks, but we aren't going to find a Jimmy Graham or Antonio Gates, etc. just laying around out there after 4 teams have had a chance to evaluate the guy.
  19. short faced bear

    short faced bear Assistant Head Coach DBS Writer

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    Cinnabon>Onobun
  20. mdbearz

    mdbearz Veteran

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    Pope can be a decent #2 TE. I was hoping that Adams was finally going to get a shot, but it seems like he is just not making enough noise to get a consideration other than for STs.

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