Police officers show the Bear's backups how to gang tackle a suspect or Giant during yesterday's Monday Night Football game between the Bears and Giants. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Two preseason games down, Cutler's still alive, the offensive line did well against the Giants, and Roy Williams is one week closer to turning it on (eventually). Time to look again at the Bears' roster and see where players stand with only two preseason games left. Sing the Imaginationland song to enter.
Last time I examined the roster was during the first week of preseason, that glorious time after the lockout ended and before I remembered that Lance Louis was still a starting lineman. The first round of cuts (down to 80) must be complete by next Tuesday, with the final 53 man roster is due two days before the final preseason game.
On my first crack at the roster, I had 41 made guys that were, in my opinion, locks for the team. I made a few subtle changes based on how the preseason has shaken out so far. Gholston is not a lock to make the final roster. The Wooton injury should have helped Gholston lock down his spot, but instead he's splitting time with undrafted free agents and possibly forcing the organization to look to the trash pile for his replacement. The O-line isn't going to get tremendously better via free agency, so I think O'le is needed as a swing tackle backup.
The Made Guys (41 total) - changes highlighted
2 QB - Cutler, Hanie
2 RB - Forte, Barber
5 WR - Knox, Bennett, Williams, Hurd, Hester
2 TE - Spaeth, Davis
7 OL - C. Williams, Webb, Carimi, Garza, Spencer, Louis, Omiyale
8 DL - Peppers, Idonije, Wooton, Melton, Adams, Okoye, Paea, Toeaina,
4 LB - Urlacher, Briggs, Iwuh, Roach
8 DB - Tillman, DJ Moore, Bowman, Graham, Jennings, Wright, Harris, Conte
3 ST - Gould, Podlesh, Mannelly
So with forty-one spots locked up, we have twelve left. Where are our battles?
QB - Enderle, despite not playing at all against the Giants, is close to a lock to make the team. 11 spots left.
HB - I'm sticking with Bell making the cut, and Taylor being gone. 10 spots left.
WR - The Bears don't traditionally keep six wideouts, but I have to think Sanzenbacher makes the team with the amount of reps he's getting. Kris Adamsis gone (unfortunately), possibly to the practice squad, and Fantuz fever dies thanks to penicillin and a cold dose of reality. 7 spots left.
OL - Edwin Williamsisn't a lock for me yet, but he's a key backup on the interior that can play three positions (how well he plays each of them is another story). As the venerable Mr. Wiltfong wrote earlier, UDFAs like Levi Horn, Linnenkohl, Brignone, could stick, but more likely to the street or practice squad. I say Edwin stays, 6 left.
DE - I still think Gholston makes it, but he's going to have hold off Mario Addisonand Ruskell's former Seahawk draft pick Nick Reed, not to mention any free agents lurking or soon to be cut from their current teams. 5 spots left.
DT - Marcus Harrison, I don't hate you, I just don't think we need you. Alas, I still think you stick for depth purposes. 4 spots left.
LB - Dom DeCicco didn't do himself any favors by deciding to not block Greg Jones, but our linebacker depth is pretty suspect and one play won't do him in. J.T. Thomas has been injured and unspectacular, but again, depth is poor. I say Thomas sticks along with a free agent and leaves Dom out in the cold. 2 spots left.
DB - I gotta admit, Josh Moore does little for me, but I think the year two of the Lovie system does help him stick this year. And Steltz (sigh) will be needed for depth at least until Conte proves he's the next Adam Archuleta (you know, the good version, not the one we traded for after he turned to crap).
So that's the roster. Make your changes below.