Meet Some Lesser Known Chicago Bears

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Meet Five Lesser Known Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears
Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE

The Chicago Bears are sitting pretty at 6-1 with a winnable game this coming Sunday against the Tennessee Titans in Nashville. If the Bears play like the favorites they are, they'll be 7-1 before entering a much more difficult stretch of games against some of the league's best teams.

The Bears roster is full of superstars and household names. Offensively, everyone knows Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte and Devin Hester. Defensively, Julius Peppers, Lance Briggs, Brian Urlacher and Charles Tillman are the top guys.

But there's so much more to a football team than superstars. Every team needs guys that have lesser but not less valuable roles on a roster. Sometimes the guy covering a kickoff or filling in for an injured player is the difference between a win and a loss. Injuries are part of the game, so having a team full of capable reserves makes a huge difference.

Since Lovie Smith has been the man in charge, he stresses special teams more than any other Bears coach. The Bears always have guys on the roster that are strictly used in the kicking game. He also likes rotating guys on the defensive line. This season, Smith's philosophy has paid off. The Bears defensive line is playing as well as any unit in football and the Bears continue to dominate on special teams.

I've decided to dedicate this piece to some lesser guys on the Bears roster. While many of these guys you may or may not know, I figured it was time to spread the love. Let me know what you think. Follow me on Twitter @ChicagoBearJew and Hashtag #RML with your thoughts.

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#52 Blake Costanzo

Blake Costanzo
Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE

At 6'1 and 235, Blake Costanzo is probably a bit too small to play linebacker in the NFL. That doesn't mean he doesn't have a place on an NFL roster. This Lafayette product has found a home in the NFL being one of the league's better special teams performers. In fact, the Bears signed Costanzo away from the San Francisco 49ers as soon as he hit the open market. The high spirited Costanzo hasn't disappointed. He's always Johnny on the Spot and will lay the wood to you when given the chance.

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#58 Geno Hayes

Geno Hayes
Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Geno Hayes was a starter and regular contributor for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He also was one of their strongest special teams performers. So good in fact that he has two-career blocked punts. Even more impressive for Hayes is his 29.5 stuffs. A stuff is when a tackler gets a rusher for negative yards. Entering this season, Hayes is second in the NFL since entering the league in 2008. Considering he isn't asked to start for the Bears, he adds depth on the defense and a weapon on special teams.

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#37 Anthony Walters

Anthony Walters
The Star-Ledger-US PRESSWIRE

Anthony Walters is a Delaware product has worked his way onto the Bears through his special teams play. Considering he was an undrafted rookie last season, Walters is valuable in kick and punt coverages. He has three special teams tackles so far this season.

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#27 Sherrick McMannis

Sherrick McMannis
Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

Sherrick McMannis was originally drafted by the Houston Texans in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL draft. This former Northwestern Wildcat is another special teams' ace. In five games this season, he has three tackles.

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#93 Nate Collins

Nate Collins
Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

Nate Collins is a very intriguing player. He was a contributor for the Jacksonville Jaguars before being released after being arrested with marijuana. In his first game since joining the Bears last Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, Collins recorded three tackles. The coaching staff has high hopes for Collins (no pun intended), and if he is able to toe the line, he could be another contributor on a deep defensive line.


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