If memory serves me well, wasn't there a couple of games last season where Dane Sanzenbacher was looking really good? He caught 27 passes last year, three of them for touchdowns. Then things kind of tailed away and he went for several games without doing anything. Now, with the Bears adding more depth at wide receiver, it will be even harder for Sanzy to find a space on the roster, heading into the new season. Can Sanzenbacher fight for a spot and show the Bears what he can do, or has he missed the boat.
I like Dane Sanzenabcher. Not that I know him personally, I like what I see when he plays football. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by Chicago in 2011, and averaged 10.2 yards per reception last season.
He played college football at Ohio State University, and in his senior year he was the Buckeye's leading receiver, with 55 receptions for 948 yards and 11 touchdowns.
But last year's wide receivers in Chicago looked a lot different from this years. The Bears added Brandon Marshall, drafted rookie Alshon Jeffrey and also added Devin Thomas and Eric Weems. At my last count, the Bears are currently carrying 13 wide receivers, and the danger is that Sanzenbacher is going to find himself lost in the mix.
Speaking with the Chicago Tribune, Sanzenbacher said,
"You've got to do whatever (it takes)," Sanzenbacher said. "There are a lot of guys, a lot of talent in that room. They brought some new guys in. The best guys are going to stand out in the end. Got to make plays, got to keep yourself in it.
Sanzenbacher is not the biggest wideout, standing 5'11 and weighing 180 lbs, but he is very quick and agile, and more importantly, he plays with a passion. His main weakness might well be his hands, and this was evident last season with Sanzebacher dropping 7 out of 34 catchable balls last year.
But he can benefit greatly from learning from players such as Marshall and Earl Bennett. Sanzebacher goes on,
"Last year you had vets like Roy (Williams). This year you bring in Brandon Marshall. And for a guy that good, he teaches me how to work hard too. You learn so much from the older guys in the room and just how to play the game as a professional."
Whilst I am not sure how much he learnt from Roy 'stone-hands' WIlliams, it's good to see him willing to sit back and soak up as much knowledge from the veterans as he can.
I'd like to see him stick with the Bears. Even if his role is limited to special teams plays, I think he can add make a positive difference.
And who knows, players come and go as the always do in the NFL, and if Sanzenbacher can keep on learning and improving, he could, one day, find himself doing a lot more than chasing down punts.