A hat tip to Ando who first pointed this out (comment section), but the Bears seem to again not know what to do with their players. It turns out that Ricky Manning Jr is not the only Manning being bumped. Danieal Mannig is now out as the primary nickel corner back.
Danieal Manning is no longer the primary nickel back. and the only player with experience in the role is Brandon McGowan, so logic dictates he'll take over there, allowing Kevin Payne to step in at strong safety. That might not be the end of the moves. McGowan and Payne split time at strong safety last week against San Francisco, and coach Lovie Smith beamed when talking about the second-year player from Louisiana-Monroe. Smith was adamant the Bears draft Payne in 2007. It could be he's taking over at strong safety in the nickel as well as the base defense, and Thursday's preseason finale at Cleveland will be telling.
Maybe the reason Manning hasn't been able to fit in anywhere is becuase the Bears won't leave him anywhere! Give him more than 2 games to get comfortable playing before you say he can't do it. He has gone back and forth between safety and corner so much in the last few years, his helmet has to be spinning.
I haven't seen enough of Kevin Payne to pass judgement, but from what I have seen he is a big hitter and I think we all like that in the safety spot. As I have always said I am for putting out on the field whoever the best guys are and if Payne and McGowan are those guys and Manning is not then so be it, but just make up your minds.
I don't know what the Bears plans are for Manning on defense, though he still has value as depth at both positions or when the offense dictates extra guys. I'd also like to think the Bears plan to give him quite a bit of playing time on special teams where he looks like the guy to spell Devin Hester, be the recipeint of the ball during Hester decoy plays or just to have an extra return guy out there.