Beating the Cut: First Half Observations That Could Decide Roster Spots for the Chicago Bears
After watching the first half of the Chicago Bears game against the New York Giants, it has become clear to me that two Depth Chart battles are in the books, and three roster spot battles have become much clearer.
The battle for Left Tackle is done. J’marcus Webb has won this battle hands down. Chris Williams had a nightmare showing. You can get the stamps out and plaster “Angelo Bust” all over this guy.
It pains me to say this but Webb had a good game, minus a couple of his usual losses in concentration. At one point he was still in his stance as Osi Umenyiora passed right in front of him and into the backfield to tackle Matt Forte for a loss. On the most part however Webb dealt well with the baptism of fire that is the Giants D-Line.
Williams tonight showed numerous things, none of them good. The whole of the Left side of the O-Line collapsed under the pressure of the Giants pass rush after Webb was switched out for Williams. Not only has Williams displayed he is incapable of playing the Left Tackle position in the NFL, there is also the very really possibility this is Williams last season in a Bears jersey.
Chris Spencer also locked down the starting position at Left Guard. Whilst Spencer still does not look like the same player who finished the 2011 NFL regular season, he has grown from week to week in preseason.
Today in honesty the Bears pass protection was much better, well that is of course until Williams and Chilo Rachal took to the field, at which point it turned into a complete blood bath. The Bears first half run blocking was absolutely brutal from every part of the o-line so really can’t be taken into account when discerning who pricked the interest of the Bears coaches.
Now the roster spot battles that have become clearer after the first half.
Third Running Back Spot: I felt sure coming into this game that Armando Allen was ahead in this battle, but after tonight’s showing and the previous game against the Washington Redskins, I really feel Lorenzo Booker has pulled out ahead of Allen.
With Forte and Michael Bush making up a solid tandem out of the backfield, the 3rd string RB is really going to have to step up and contribute on Special Teams. Booker has, with a nice 41yard kick return to complement his 105yard return for a TD last week.
Allen on the other hand missed a vital tackle on Special Teams that led to a big gain for the Giants, and looked unsure of himself on kick return duties. Both could very well still be Bears once all is said and done, Booker on the 53 man roster and Allen stashed away on the practise squad.
Tyler Clutts Fullback. I have mentioned before I really do not think the Bears will go with a fullback this season. The mere fact that Evan Rodriguez was given time blocking out of the backfield, as well as coming up with a couple of tackles on special teams re-affirms to me that I am probably correct.
Clutts came into camp with one job, prove to OC Mike Tice that he had to carry a FB on this roster, it’s a tough job to accomplish at such an unglamorous postion, and from the face of the first string offense in this game he may well have failed.
Defensive End. Corey Wootton has frankly been outplayed by Chauncey Davis in camp and where it counts, on the field in preseason.
I will not be surprised if the Bears make the decision to cut Wootton, and take Davis onto the 53 man squad. Wootton is injury prone but on top of this shows a severe lack consistency on a down to down basis.
Davis has got a consistent push, and pressured the QB all preseason. Even doing so when pass rushing against the Giants first string O-Line in the first half. With GM Phil Emery pulling no punches in his running of the franchise, don’t be surprised if Wootton finds his way onto the cut list.