BOURBONNAIS, IL - AUGUST 06: Julius Peppers #90 (North Carolina) of the Chicago Bears stretches during a summer training camp practice at Olivet Nazarene University on August 6, 2011 in Bourbonnais, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
The ACC for the most part is known as a basketball conference rather than a football one; however, the football side of it can be very fun to watch. There's really no true powerhouse in the conference like there was in the past, but the ACC still pumps a lot of talent in the NFL with two future Hall of Fame players from that conference currently on the Bears roster.
There are not a lot of former ACC players on the current Bears roster, but the few former ACC players that are on roster are highly important and will play big roles to this team's success. Today we catch up on former ACC players that are currently on the Bears roster.
Julius Peppers North Carolina DE
Hands down the best overall DE in the league, Peppers not too long ago was voted by the players around the league as overall the 10th best player in all of football. Peppers was one of the main reasons for Chicago resurgence on the defensive side in 2010, and the main reason why the Bears defensive line has a great chance to be special this season. The expected improve play of the defensive interior should boost Peppers sack totals from last season.
Devin Hester Miami WR/Return Specialist
Hester had his receiving duties reduced last season, but this season he will see more opportunities at the flanker position in Martz scheme. The thought from fans and media was that the addition of Roy Williams would push Devin to more of a back-up role instead of last year leading receiver Johnny Knox. When the coaches (specifically OC Mike Martz and Receiver Coach Daryl Drake) had more time to evaluate the receivers over the lockout; they came to the conclusion that although Knox had a good statistical season, Hester from an assignment stand point outplayed Knox. Hester is making the best of his opportunities in Bears camp heaping praise from his QB's Jay Cutler (link) and Caleb Hanie. Now it's all about translating his success from camp to actual games.
Patrick Mannelly Duke LS
Mannelly is entering his 14th season in the NFL with all them being with the Bears. Mannelly is clearly one of the more important players on a team that highly values special teams. Guys like Kicker Robbie Gould and Ex-Bear now Texans Punter Brad Maynard can vouch for that as he had made their job easy because of his consistency.
Desmond Clark Wake Forest TE
Most fans wasn't expecting Clark to be in a Bears uniform this season after being inactive for most of last season, but with Olsen traded to the Panthers late last month and a shorten training camp, the signs pointed to Clark coming back for his 9th season with the Bears. Clark is currently behind Kellen Davis and Matt Spaeth on the training camp depth chart, but should see more work this season compared to last season.
Adam Podlesh Maryland P
Podlesh (28) is much younger than the man he's replacing in Brad Maynard. Podlesh had a pretty good year last season with 26 punts inside the 20. He and UDFA Spencer Lanning bring the strong leg element that has been missing from Bears past punters for quite some time.
Edwin Williams Maryland G/C
Before the Chris Spencer signing, Williams was suppose to be taking 1st team reps at C. Williams is likely to make the team because of his versatility inside the interior line. He actually had a good game in the pre-season opener against the Bills lining up at RG.
Tank Tyler North Carolina State DT
The numbers are stacked against Tyler who is a talent at the NT position, but is behind Anthony Adams, Matt Toeaina, and Stephen Paea. You most likely are going to see Tyler using these pre-season games as tape for other team's talent scouts.
Andre Smith Virginia Tech TE
He's the most intriguing of the two UDFA TE's because he has receiving traits, but was mainly used as a blocking TE at Virginia Tech. He has a good chance to make the Bears practice squad in my opinion.