Bear Essentials

Bear Essentials

Bears bring back Rideau

Posted by Bob LeGere on Mon, 09/01/2008 - 14:40
Former Fighting Illini fullback Jason Davis and wide receiver Brandon Rideau were officially added to the practice squad on Monday, leaving one more spot available. The 5-foot-10, 245-pound Davis was cut by the Eagles on Saturday, and Rideau was re-signed after he was cut by the Bears, despite leading the team with 127 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns in the preseason. “It was a tough thing to deal with, but I was able to stick around. I didn’t really want to move and I’m comfortable here, so I got a chance to come back and continue to do what I can do.” Davis spent 2006 on injured reserve with the Eagles after suffering a knee injury in the preseason, and he was on their practice squad last season.

Bears cuts begin

Posted by Bob LeGere on Fri, 08/29/2008 - 16:15
Defensive end Dan Bazuin, a second-round pick last year from Central Michigan, has been told by the Bears that he will be waived, according to Internet reports, although teams do not have to officially report their final cuts until 5 p.m. Saturday. Other Bears who have been informed they will be released include wide receiver Mike Hass, fourth-year veteran fullback Lousaka Polite; running back P.J. Pope and guard Tyler Reed, a sixth-round draft pick in 2006 who spent the past two seasons on the practice squad. Three undrafted rookies have also been notified they will be released: defensive end Nick Osborn, offensive tackle Cody Balogh and guard Ryan Poles.

Manning Jr. released

Posted by Bob LeGere on Tue, 08/26/2008 - 16:16
The Bears terminated the contract of veteran cornerback Ricky Manning, Jr. Tuesday afternoon. Manning appeared in 31 games, playing mostly as the nickel cornerback, including 11 starts over the previous two seasons. The Bears signed him away from the Carolina Panthers as a restricted free agent in 2006 with a five-year contract that could have been worth as much as $21 million, including incentives, if completed. Manning enjoyed his best season in 2006, when he picked off a career-best 5 passes, but the Bears were not satisfied with his coverage last season, and he has been replaced as the team's top nickel corner by Danieal Manning.

Manning Jr. is gone

Posted by Bob LeGere on Tue, 08/26/2008 - 14:09
Ricky Manning Jr.'s Bears career is over. The six-year veteran, who signed a $21 million, five-year deal with the Bears as a restricted free agent before the 2006 season, cleaned out his locker Tuesday and was unavailable after practice. The Bears are believed to be attempting to trade Manning, which will be difficult considering his contract and because he isn't in their plans, and failing that will release him. Manning picked off a career-best 5 passes to tie for the team lead in 2006, when he was the Bears' No. 1 nickel cornerback and started six games. But his production slipped last season. Even though he played in all 16 games and started five, Manning had no interceptions.

The truth comes out

Posted by Bob LeGere on Sun, 08/24/2008 - 14:39
According to first-round draft pick Chris Williams, who should know, he's had the herniated disc in his back that recently required surgery, for three or four years. The Bears have insisted all along that it was not a pre-existing condition, but other teams red-flagged Williams on draft day because of the herniated disc, even though it never caused him to miss a game or even a practice in four years at Vanderbilt.

Bears cut 4

Posted by Bob LeGere on Sun, 08/24/2008 - 11:38
Although NFL rosters don't have to be trimmed to 75 until Tuesday, the Bears got down to that number Sunday morning by waiving safety Josh Gattis, wide receivers Marcus Monk and Ryan Grice-Mullen and cornerback Leslie Majors. Gattis, a fifth-round draft pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2007, was cut in the preseason and signed by the Bears. He played on special teams in four games last season and spent three weeks on on the practice squad.

Help is here

Posted by Bob LeGere on Sat, 08/23/2008 - 18:33
Reinforcements are on the way for the Bears offensively and defensively, and both units could use the help. Rookie running back Matt Forte, the starter, had his best numbers to date in the 37-30 loss to the 49ers, although he's averaging just 3.4 yards per carry with a long run of 11 yards. But on his first preseason carry, veteran Kevin Jones busted a 34-yard run and looked like he could provide the depth the organization was hoping for when it signed him in the off-season. “I was just trying to prove I can still get the job done,” Jones said. “My main goal has been to just keep having the coaches know that I'm going to be ready when it's time to go.”

Fading stars

Posted by Bob LeGere on Thu, 08/21/2008 - 14:21
It seems like every year, many of the most impressive players in Bears training camp and the preseason fail to make the final roster or are ignored once the regular season begins. Last year Garrett Wolfe led the team in preseason carries (39), rushing yards (104) and receptions (11) and was second with 76 receiving yards. But, when they started playing for keeps, Wolfe got just 31 carries all season and managed only 85 yards, and he caught 9 passes for 117 yards.

O-line learning on the job

Posted by Bob LeGere on Tue, 08/19/2008 - 22:27
After Saturday night's shoddy performance against a good Seahawks defense, most observers are genuinely concerned about a Bears offensive line that didn't provide great pass protection and paved the way for just 51 rushing yards on 20 attempts, a 2.6-yard average, which is even worse than last year's NFL-worst 3.1. But starting left tackle John St. Clair is keeping things in perspective and taking the criticism in stride.

Remember the Bears

Posted by Bob LeGere on Wed, 08/13/2008 - 13:43
Before the most physical practice of training camp began Tuesday night, rookie guard Chester Adams, a seventh-round pick from Georgia, regaled the entire team with a rendition of “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” by the Temptations. In a scene reminiscent of the movie “Remember the Titans,” Adams stood in the center of the field while teammates who were stretching joined in and clapped along. It was actually an encore performance after Adams sang the same song earlier in the week when required to do so by veterans.