Chicago Bears Training Camp: Depth Chart Predictions
Chicago Bears Training Camp: Depth Chart Predictions
The NFL season is quickly coming up on us fanatics of professional football, and for players around the league, they are bracing themselves for the start of training camp where jobs are won and lost. For the Chicago Bears, training camp opens this week, Thursday, July 25 in Bourbonnais, Ill., and the current 80-man-plus roster needs to be trimmed down to the mandatory 53-man lineup.
Like a vast majority of teams around the league, the Bears have a few dozen players that are already assured a spot on the team like Pro Bowl players Brandon Marshall, Lance Briggs, Julius Peppers and Matt Forte to name a few. Now, as for everybody else not deemed a franchise player, the start of training camp is the start of their audition for the club.
With a new head coach, Marc Trestman, at the helm and running the show plus the addition of a completely new defensive coaching staff, there's a good chance that some players that have been with the Bears organization over the course of former coach Lovie Smith's tenure will find themselves out of an NFL paycheck. What with Trestman and company implementing their own coaching philosophy, there are quite a few Bears currently on the roster who need to put their best foot forward in order to stick with the team.
However, cut day is still several weeks away, so at this point, the best one can muster is to speculate on and over just who will be in a Bears jersey come the season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 8.
Jay Cutler, Josh McCown and Matt Blanchard
With only three quarterbacks currently on the roster, in the form of Jay Cutler, Josh McCown and Matt Blanchard, the biggest question mark surrounding the quarterback position is between McCown andBlanchard to see which of the two will start the season as second string and which will be the emergency quarterback.
Matt Forte (RB), Michael Bush (RB), Michael Ford (rookie) (RB) and Tony Fiammetta (FB)
It pretty much goes without saying that Matt Forte and Michael Bush will once again be the Bears one-two punch out of the backfield with rookie Michael Ford hanging in there as the third running back like the kitty on those motivational posters, while four-year pro Tony Fiammetta will be the lone fullback on the roster.
Brandon Marshall (WR), Alshon Jeffery (WR), Martellus Bennett (TE), Marquess Wilson (rookie) (WR), Earl Bennett (WR), Devin Aromashodu (WR), Gabe Miller (TE), Kyle Adams (TE) and Marcus Rucker (rookie) (WR)
All-Pro wideout Brandon Marshall and tight end Martellus Bennett are more than assured roster spots, while wideouts Alshon Jeffery, Earl Bennett and Devin Aromashodu figure to factor into Trestman's West Coast playbook, while tight ends Gabe Miller and Kyle Adams and rookie receivers Maquess Wilson and Marcus Rucker will also make the roster for use on special teams and in the service of injury or tired starters.
Kyle Long (G), Roberto Garza (C), Jordan Mills (T), J'Marcus Webb (T), Jermon Bushrod (T), Eben Britton (G), Matt Slauson (G), Taylor Boggs (C), Edwin Williams (G/C)
Last season, the offensive line proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that they were the weakest link, so most of those players thankfully weren't asked back for the 2013 season, and with that in mind, there are a few new faces from free agent signees Eben Britton, Jermon Bushrod and Matt Slauson, to draft picks Jordan Mills and Kyle Long to go along with returning veterans Roberto Garza, J'Marcus Webb, Taylor Boggs and Edwin Williams, the Bears offensive line will be upgraded from previous versions.
Julius Peppers (DE), Corey Wootton (DE), Shea McClellin (DE), Turk McBride (DE), Henry Melton (DT), Sedrick Ellis (DT), Nate Collins (DT), Stephen Paea (DT)
The Bears defensive line won't see major changes from the 2012 to the 2013 version as Julius Peppers, Corey Wootton, Shea McClellin and Turk McBride will rotate at both the left and right defensive end spots, while Henry Melton, Sedrick Ellis, Nate Collins and Stephen Paea will be tasked with applying pressure on opposing quarterbacks from the interior of the line.
Lance Briggs, Jon Bostic, James Anderson, D.J. Williams, Khaseem Greene and Cornelius Washington
Even with the departure of two linebackers from the 2012 team, the Bears will still have several high energy and exceptional linebackers to make the team with Pro Bowler Lance Briggs leading the way, as well as rookies Jon Bostic, Khaseem Greene and Cornelius Washington joining free agents James Anderson and D.J. Williams as part of the formidable Bears linebacking unit.
Charles Tillman (CB), Zack Bowman(CB), Tim Jennings (CB), C.J. Wilson (rookie) (CB), Sherrick McManis (CB), Chris Conte (S), Major Wright (S), Craig Steltz (S), Tom Zbikowski (S)
Like several other units within the defensive side of the ball, the 2013 version won't be that different from 2012 as Charles Tillman, Tim Jennings, Chris Conte and Major Wright will be the starting secondary, while Zack Bowman, Craig Steltz, Tom Zbikowski, Sherrick McManis and rookies C.J. Wilson will be back up.
Devin Hester (KR/PR), Eric Weems (WR/KR/PR), Robbie Gould (K), Adam Podlesh (P), Patrick Mannelly (LS)
The Bears Special Teams will once again be special as Devin Hester will move back to his position of prominence while Eric Weems will serve as Hester's backup, with kicker Robbie Gould continuing to make 40-plus yard field goals for the Bears on the season.