Continuing on with this Chicago Bears College Conference series, today we look at what I and many fans believe to be the best football college conference in the country. Over the past 10 National Champions, 6 of them have come from the SEC conference. The SEC continues to produce plenty of talent each and every year as it is believed to be the conference that most prepares you for the NFL, especially for QB's who play in the conference.
Today we catch up on former SEC players that are currently on the Chicago Bears roster.
Jay Cutler QB
The Bears franchise QB is entering his 6th NFL season (3rd with the Bears) coming off a solid year that saw his team reach the NFC Championship game. Coming that close to a championship just made Cutler that much hungrier as he has come into camp in-shape and with improved footwork and mechanics. Jay comes into camp in year 2 in the Martz Coryell offense, a receiving group with more experience, and finally with a big target in WR Roy Williams. Expectations are high for the strong arm gun-slinging QB.
Earl Bennett WR
Bennett is entering his 4th season with the Bears and has established himself as Jay's most reliable target in the passing game. In Bennett first season in the Mike Martz offense he has develop into a sure handed slot receiver with good instincts on hot routes on top with being a polished route runner. Bennett might be primed for a statistical jump from last season considering TE Greg Olsen was shipped out to Carolina and Roy Williams could potentially open things up for Bennett and the rest of the receivers.
D.J. Moore CB
Moore didn't play his first year with the Bears, but earned a role in his 2nd year at the nickel back position. He displayed the ball-hawking skills that I envisiond he could bring at the position picking off 4 passes with one being for a touchdown. Moore figures to be a lock at the nickel and so far reports out of camp is that he's picking up where he left off in 2010, displaying good ball and coverage skills.
Chris Williams LG
Williams was billed as the LT of the future back when he was drafted in 2008. Fast forward 3 years later and Williams is now just trying to find a spot on the line. Williams was below average last year at LG, with the highlight of his career coming against Albert Hanyesworth (A play where he let Hanyesworth pick him up and used his body to sack Cutler). So far in camp Williams is continuing his mediocre play at LG, and ideas are floating out there that he could lose his job to Lance Louis. On top of that, Martz has recently asked for a veteran OL. Williams is going to need to put together a string of good practices in order to stay in Martz's and Mike Tice's good graces.
Tim Jennings CB
After Jennings tenure with the Colts ended with two super bowl appearances, Jennings signed a two-year contract with the Bears and took over in week 3 for the disappointing Zack Bowman. Jennings played well throughout the season and in the divisional playoff round against Seattle, but struggled against the Packers in the NFC Championship. This summer he's in a training camp battle with Zack Bowman for a starting spot at CB. If I had to predict I would say that Jennings is most likely to win that job coming out of camp.
Josh Davis OT
Davis kinds of fit the mold of OL that Tice and Martz are looking for which is an OT that can also kick inside and play guard. Davis is most likely battling for a spot on the practice squad or better yet another teams active roster.
Major Wright (Florida) FS
Injuries in last year training camp and early in the season robbed him a chance to earn a starting spot at either one of the safety positions. The departure of Danieal Manning and Chris Harris moving to SS frees up an opportunity for Wright to lockdown the FS position. Wright has the instincts and athleticism to be a quality starting safety in this league, and early reports out of camp are that he's living up to expectations.
Marcus Harrison (Arkansas) DT
What more can you say about Marcus Harrison? After a solid 1st year, he has been an utter disappointment so far in his career and him showing up to camp overweight and out of shape is becoming an annually thing. With the additions of 2nd round draft pick Stephen Paea and free agent acquisition Amobi Okoye, the writing is on the wall for Mr. Harrison to not make the team.
Spencer Lanning (South Carolina) P
The former gamecocks punter has been nothing more than a camp leg for the Bears, but the departure of Richmond McGee tells me that they like what they see in Lanning. Think there's a great chance he makes the practice squad.
Patrick Trahan (Mississippi) LB
Spending 2010 on the Titans practice squad roster; the lack of LB depth should give Trahan and any other undrafted rookie LB a good chance to make the roster.