Spurlock next up in returner derby

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by The Newsman, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. The Newsman

    The Newsman Veteran SuperFan DBS Writer

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    ChicagoBears.com News:

    After releasing Eric Weems on Saturday, the Bears will continue their search for a return specialist by sending veteran Micheal Spurlock up to the plate to take his swings at the job.

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  2. Bearstuff

    Bearstuff Yes, in the woods. Staff Member SuperFan

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    a waste of time
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  3. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Spurlock next up in returner derby

    Posted 1 hour ago
    By Larry Mayer
    After releasing Eric Weems on Saturday, the Bears will continue their search for a return specialist by sending veteran Micheal Spurlock up to the plate to take his swings at the job.

    Spurlock signed with the Bears June 3 after appearing in 67 games over seven seasons with the Cardinals, Buccaneers, Chargers, Jaguars, Lions and Cowboys. He has averaged 9.6 yards with two touchdowns on 81 punt returns and 24.2 yards and three TDs on 107 kickoff returns.

    [​IMG]
    Micheal Spurlock will get the first chance to return kicks in Friday night's preseason game in Seattle.
    “He’s had some production in the league,” special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis said Monday after practice, “so he’s really the first one at bat right now.”

    The Bears added another competitor to the mix later Monday when they signed Darius Reynaud, who has appeared in 48 NFL games over five seasons with the Vikings (2008-09), Giants (2010), Titans (2012-13) and Jets (2013).

    The Bears also want to take a look at former CFL standout Chris Williams. The 5-8, 175-pound receiver returned to practice Monday for the first time since injuring his hamstring on a 73-yard touchdown reception Aug. 8 in the preseason opener against the Eagles.

    The Bears signed Williams prior to last year's season finale off the Saints’ practice squad. Before joining New Orleans last October, he spent three seasons with the Hamilton Tiger Cats, setting a CFL record with six return touchdowns in 2012.

    “We’re trying to see where Chris Williams is at,” DeCamillis said. “The speed obviously shows up. We saw it on [his 73-yard TD]. We just have to see him in some live-bullet situations to see how he’s going to catch punts in the National Football League. Hopefully we get a chance to do that.”

    Veteran receiver Santonio Holmes, who signed with the Bears on Saturday, also could be a possibility. He fielded punts Monday during his first practice with the team.

    “We’ll see where that goes,” said coach Marc Trestman. “We’re just trying to find as much value in him as we can as we move along and he’s certainly come with a willingness to help in any way he can.”

    Holmes hasn’t served as a primary return specialist since early in his career with the Steelers. But he’s willing to audition for that role with the Bears, especially now that he has fully recovered from a foot injury he suffered while playing for the Jets.

    “If it will help the team, I’m all for it,” Holmes said. “It’ll give me an opportunity to get on the field and showcase what my foot has to offer to the team, which is being healthy right now.”

    As a Steelers rookie in 2006, Holmes averaged 10.2 yards with one touchdown on 26 punt returns and 24.2 yards on 18 kickoff returns.

    “I know he’s had some production,” DeCamillis said. “We’re working through that one as we go. We have to really try to see what he can bring to the table. I know he’s very receptive to it. He’s a competitive guy and anything he can do to help us win I’m sure he’s going to do.”

    Other return-specialist candidates include Michael Ford, who has averaged 24.5 yards on two kickoff returns this preseason; Armanti Edwards and Senorise Perry.

    Weems entered training camp as the favorite to win the job, but he was released after failing to take advantage of multiple opportunities. In the first two preseason contests, he averaged 23.2 yards on six kickoff returns and lost a fumble last Thursday night against the Jaguars.

    “First of all I have a world of respect for him,” DeCamillis said. “He’s a great individual. He’s exactly what football’s about, just the way he conducts himself and the way he does things. But at the end of the day we’ve got to make the best 53 for the Chicago Bears.”​
  4. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Unless they feel Spurlock has a shot at making the team as a 5th WR over CWill or they plan on keeping 6 WRs I don't see the sense of it. The guy has muffed two punts already so do they think he'll do better on KOR. Ah, well the competition continues.

    If CWill is healthy then for the love of God let him return some punts along with the new guy, Reynaud. It's time to stop fucking around with guys who have shown they haven't got it. They knew Weems stood no chance and if not they why not since most fans and the media knew it.
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  5. billatter

    billatter Veteran

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    Pardon me while I tee off on a little rant here, but this DeCamillis is coming off sounding like he's utterly clueless. Does he seriously think it's magically far more difficult to catch a punt in the NFL compared to the CFL? It's catching a friggin' ball! A 50 yd punt is a 50 yd punt regardless of which league it's in.

    This DeCamillis guy should see what fielding punts is like in Regina with a gale blowing through the stadium, no fair catch, no downing the ball and no touchbacks. In one direction, you're lining up 70 yds. deep hoping it doesn't sail over your head. Facing the other way, the punt will be so short, you're catching the ball while completely surrounded by the punt team, with the kicker (who is onside) tearing down the field trying to recover his own punt. Take too long picking up a bouncer and the kicker is on it. Pick up a bouncer in a hurry and bobble the ball, it's a turnover. You also have to worry about the better punters using the wide field to drive a low. bouncing knuckleball under the wind and well past you, leaving you no choice but to run back as fast as you can and field it on the hop before the thing rolls any farther. And then there's the single point you have to worry about if the wind aided punt sails over your head and finishes up in the end zone. Making the wrong decision about conceding a single point can cost a team the game.

    An NFL fair catch is a piece of cake in comparison.
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  6. lklrlolnlilklsox

    lklrlolnlilklsox Position Coach

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    The fact that he's still penciled in at the top of the list after showing absolutely nothing for us makes me doubt JoeD even more - didn't think that was possible.
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  7. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I don't know whether this a Trestman team rule that deal with seniority or it's Joe D's idea but it's a stupid waste of time. Just like Weems they know what they have in Spurlock. He's been around for a bit and he's had a shot at PR and muffed two punts. Not exactluy a guy whose gonna win the Allstate "Good Hands" award.

    DeCamillis is beginning to remind a lot of Dave Wannstadt. He's becoming a whiner. He keeps saying he's looking for Sunday players but out 60 odd guys he hasn't found 8 core players yet and he's playing a rookie starter on kick coverage??? Once again this seems to be a coaching problem to me. With the exception of Hester unquestionably the talent he has to draw from is greater than Dave Toub ever had and yet for one entire season and half a preseason he's failed to field good coverage and return teams.

    He and Tucker are both guys on my short leash list who need to show massive improvements from their units or risk being replaced. It makes no sense to sign top talent and then turn them over to mediocre coordinators and that's all those two have been so far.
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  8. tbear1

    tbear1 Veteran

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    DeCamillis isn't instilling confidence in me with his comments or actions. We picked up Cwill a while ago and we don't really know what he looks like. Now he pushes Spurlock forward and we are picking up more PR free agents. What is his plan? It's not like our ST have been stars out there.
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  9. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Position Coach

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    I am not trying to be funny when I say that most clueless people do not know they are clueless .... which, IMO makes the situation all the worse.

    He is starting to come off like Tice without the pixie dust.
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  10. billatter

    billatter Veteran

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    If someone has his email address, we should send DeCamillis this one.

    A Day in the Life of a CFL PR Guy


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CjYWtf_jqE
    That is the Phin's Thigpen trying to catch up with that punt

    This is Regina, BTW. Early in the game when half the fans haven't even gotten to their seats. Imagine the kicking game with that wind.
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  11. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    That's actually hilarious. Maybe O'Donnell will mail one transcontinental in the wind this year. I can easily see at least one 70 yard punt out of him.

    As for this process of trying to find KOR and PR guys I must confess that I can't figure out what in the hell they're doing. As Brad Biggs was quick to point out Eric Weems was already a known quantity as a KOR. He was given an opportunity to beat out Hester for that when he arrived and never did. Were they thinking that he somehow got better at it after nearly four years of not being a returner?

    I can't help but thinking we have the same situation with Spurlock. The guy has done zip but muff two punts and instead of sending him packing along with Weems we're hearing that he deserves the next shot as a KOR!!! What are they gonna do if he puts another one of the ground? Make a CB out of him? This is really ridiculous from where I sit and yet I don't know whose making these decisions. Is it Joe D or is it Trestman?

    This is just one example of the things that seem to get out of control. Things that as a HC Trestman should be asking for accountability from his coordinators for. We aren't seeing any improvements on defense or STeams as of yet but we're getting a lot of excuses and encouraging words without actions to back them. I'm sorry but I don't have as much patience as Trestman seems to have.

    CWill's "hammy" sort of rendered his being used on returns moot last week but if he's been healthy enough to practice then he should be healthy enough to get some snaps at WR and to get a shot at some returns. Are they trying to keep him under wraps as some crazy secret weapon to spring on the NFL once the season starts? This is getting harder to figure out than one of jackie jokeman's posts.
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  12. billatter

    billatter Veteran

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    I've seen this movie before and it bugs me every time. I just didn't think I'd see it on a Trestman lead team. A CFL guy signs a futures contract, goes to an NFL camp, attracts all sorts of OOHs and AHHs from the locals and his teammates, then barely sees the field in pre-season. He ends up cut by the start of the season. The coaching staff seem to be wearing blinders, viewing the guy as just camp fodder. They're unable or unwilling to change their initial opinion, refusing to see the potential that the fans, his teammates and the media can see. Like I said in a previous post and has been said here as well, the incompetent cannot judge competence in others.
  13. okay

    okay Rookie

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    DeCamillis is right - Chris Williams has never played in the NFL. Just like going from college to the NFL, there will be a difference going from the CFL to the NFL. The guys in the NFL will be bigger, stronger, faster. The field isn't as wide in the NFL either. Williams is yet to return a kick or punt in a pre-season game, let alone regular season....you can't just give him the job yet.

    To people complaining Williams has had no playing time - wake up, he's been injured. He was going to get KRs in the 2nd half of game 1 until he did his hamstring. To people saying they should know by now he's been on the team for a year - he was only signed at the very end of the regular season last year. He hasn't proved anything as a KR until like Joe says - he plays in a game going full speed.

    I'm not saying Williams can't do it or isn't going to be a good player for us - I think he will. But you need to ease him in and see how he goes in a different league before you say he's the lead dog. And he needs to be healthy before you can do that..
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  14. billatter

    billatter Veteran

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    This is a misconception. Only some positions in the CFL have players that are smaller than the NFL primarily for reasons of endurance and quickness, player speeds are no different and neither is pound for pound strength. Edmonton has an O-Lineman who is 6' 11" and 350. Ask the players who have played in both leagues, they'll tell you there's no real difference. Watch a CFL game - they aren't smurfs out there running around wearing tutus, playing tag football.

    Think about this for moment. Eric Weems ran back 78 punts in eight years. Williams ran back 78 in ONE year. The big adjustment differences for Williams will be the size of field, as you have mentioned, and making judgments as to whether a punt should be run back, fair caught, or allowed to bounce.

    No one is asking that he be given the job on a plate, but he should at least allowed on the field.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2014
  15. kevperro

    kevperro Veteran

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    He has the confidence and I'd grade him higher than a Rookie. He is older and has bounced around the NFL and had some success up north. And while there are some differences in the game the same skills are required.

    Barring injury he looks to me to be the best option currently on the team. Confidence, ball skills, and big-play ability are all on display. What he hasn't shown us yet is decision making and the ability to take the abuse that comes with playing in the NFL.
  16. dachuckster

    dachuckster Veteran SuperFan

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    I don't think anyone is dismissing his qualifications. More that CWill needs to display it on the field in a Bears uniform for him to be given the position.

    Personally, I am sure that he can do it. Just that he as to demonstrate it (like everyone else has to) first. Trestman has made it very clear that everyone has to earn their position.

    I think that the timing of his hamstring pull was terrible and of it had not happened, this whole discussion would not be happening.
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  17. billatter

    billatter Veteran

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    Yup, agree 100%.

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