The Chicago Bears finalize their 53 man roster yesterday. Here’s my breakdown of each position (names in alphabetical order).
Quarterbacks (2): Jason Campbell, Jay Cutler
To no surprise, the Bears only kept two QB’s on the roster. Cutler will go into the season with high expectations considering he has a much better supporting cast surrounding him, and Campbell gives the Bears a starting caliber QB as their back-up.
Carrying only two QB’s gave the Bears flexibility at any other position that can use an extra man for depth. If something unfortunate happens to either Cutler or Campbell, the Bears could elevate Matt Blanchard from the practice squad to the active roster.
Running backs (3): Lorenzo Booker, Michael Bush, Matt Forte
Just like the QB position, it comes to no surprise that the Bears will carry three RB’s on the roster. Forte could be in for a breakout season from a rushing standpoint, when you factor in the weapons on the outside.
Bush will share carries with Forte this season, but will mostly play a significant role in the Bears red zone offense this year. Booker will more than likely make his presence felt on all phases in special teams.
Wide receivers (6): Earl Bennett, Devin Hester, Alshon Jeffery, Brandon Marshall, Dane Sanzenbacher, Eric Weems
The Bears will once again carry six WR’s on the depth chart. Marshall headlines the group as he will be the teams primary go-to WR. Hester and the rookie Jeffery will assume duties at the flanker spot until Jeffery is ready to take on a full-time role.
Bennett will be the teams slot WR, but you can virtually look at him as the team’s second primary WR; he’s expected to see a lot of targets this season. Weems and Sanzenbacher round out the depth chart as both players figure to play big roles on special teams.
Tight ends (4): Kyle Adams, Kellen Davis, Evan Rodriguez, Matt Spaeth
It’s listed on the Bears official website that the team is carrying four TE’s when in actuality they are carrying two in Davis and Spaeth. Rodriguez and Adams will be playing the F-Back role; a position where the player will have duties of both a full back and TE, while being versatile enough to flex outside and run routes. Davis and Rodriguez figure to be the starters at their respected position.
Offensive linemen (8): Gabe Carimi, Roberto Garza, Lance Louis, Chilo Rachal, Chris Spencer, J’Marcus Webb, Chris Williams, Edwin Williams
The Bears once again keep eight offensive linemen on the team. The names don’t come as surprise although some thought that undrafted rookie James Brown had a good shot of making the active roster. However, the Bears were able to successfully get him on the practice squad.
Defensive linemen (9): Israel Idonije, Shea McClellin, Henry Melton, Cheta Ozougwu, Stephen Paea, Julius Peppers, Brian Price, Matt Toeaina, Corey Wootton
Amobi Okoye passed his physical today, so he’s set to join the roster by the end of this weekend. The move could eventually mean that Nate Collins (who is on the reserve/suspended list) could be release, and that they will make an additional roster cut to make room for Okoye.
Ozougwu impressed enough to make the 53 man roster. He gives the Bears another speed rusher who could possibly spell Peppers from time to time (who will be nursing Plantar Fasciitis throughout the season).
Linebackers (7): Lance Briggs, Blake Costanzo, Geno Hayes, Nick Roach, J.T. Thomas, Patrick Trahan, Brian Urlacher
The Bears roll into the season with seven LB’s. Both Thomas and Trahan perform well in preseason, and are very deserving of the their roster spots
Cornerbacks (5): Kelvin Hayden, Tim Jennings, Sherrick McManis, D.J. Moore, Charles Tillman
No surprise here as the Bears go with five CB’s. The Bears believe they have 4 starting caliber CB’s on the roster in Tillman, Jennings, Hayden, and Moore.
Safeties (5): Chris Conte, Jeremy Jones, Craig Steltz, Anthony Walters, Major Wright
With the rookie Brandon Hardin landing on injured reserve and Conte banged up coming into the season, the Bears felt the need to keep an extra safety. Jones and Walters are both athletic safeties capable of making plays on the ball. Both guys demonstrated just that in the last two weeks.
Specialists (4): Robbie Gould, Patrick Mannelly, Adam Podlesh, Ryan Quigley
With the injury to Podlesh, the Bears decided to keep an extra punter until he is recovered