Chicago Bears: Brittan Golden

Chicago Bears cut-down analysis

August, 31, 2013
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Most significant move: Despite J'Marcus Webb making 44 starts in 46 career games, including 32 consecutive starts at left tackle over the last two years, the Bears made the decision to part ways with him, even after reducing his salary to the league minimum for a veteran with three years of tenure.

Webb entered the offseason as the starter at right tackle, and stayed in that spot through the early part of training camp. Then, after the preseason opener at Carolina, the club demoted Webb to the second team behind rookie fifth-round pick Jordan Mills.

The demotion put Webb in competition for a backup role with veterans Jonathan Scott and Eben Britton. A five-year veteran, Britton has 30 games of starting experience on his résumé, but also possesses more versatility than Webb because of his ability to kick inside to guard and center. Scott hasn’t played all preseason, and recently underwent a procedure on his knee. But the team is confident that even a dinged-up Scott is more reliable than a fully healthy Webb.

Webb possesses the physical skillset to be a starter in the NFL for several years, but lacks motivation and passion, which is a no-no for general manager Phil Emery and the new coaching regime. The new staff worked diligently to coax out the best in Webb, but couldn’t do it consistently enough for the team to feel confident in the three-year veteran, even as a backup.

Good outing, bad result: Quarterback Jordan Palmer performed well in the preseason finale against Cleveland despite little preparation after signing as an injury replacement for Matt Blanchard. But a 64.7 completion percent and a passer rating of 102.8 with a touchdown pass in his preseason debut wasn’t good enough to keep the Bears from cutting Palmer.

A big part of that was the team’s reported desire to sign a third quarterback with practice-squad eligibility. Palmer doesn’t have any practice-squad eligibility remaining.

What’s next: With the 53-man roster finalized, the Bears will start to build their practice squad. If the club wants to bring back some of the players it cut, it will have to wait until they clear waivers. The Bears will likely be looking to add a few players cut from other teams to their practice squad, too.

Bears cuts: QB: Trent Edwards, Jordan Palmer. RB: Armando Allen. OG: Dennis Temple, Edwin Williams. LB:Jerry Franklin, J.T. Thomas. WR: Brittan Golden, Terrence Toliver, Josh Lenz. OT:J'Marcus Webb, Cory Brandon. DT:Corvey Irvin, Christian Tupou. S:Tom Nelson, Brandon Hardin. LS: Brandon Hartson. CB: Demontre Hurst. TE:Fendi Onobun. FB: Harvey Unga. DE: Aston Whiteside, Josh Williams.

Note: Brandon and Irvin received injury settlements. Hardin was waived/injured, which means if he clears waivers, he’ll revert to Chicago’s injured reserve.

Bears begin to trim roster to 53

August, 30, 2013
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Here is a list of the Chicago Bears’ confirmed cuts as of Friday afternoon:

OT J’Marcus Webb
QB Jordan Palmer
S Brandon Hardin
S Tom Nelson
OL Edwin Williams
WR Josh Lenz
LB Jerry Franklin
WR Brittan Golden
LS Brandon Hartson
QB Trent Edwards
OL Derek Dennis
RB Armando Allen
TE Fendi Onobun
DE Josh Williams
DE Aston Whiteside
FB Harvey Unga
DT Christian Tupou
CB Demontre Hurst

**According to a source, Hardin suffered a fractured scapula versus the Cleveland Browns Thursday night and will be technically listed as waived/injured. If Hardin passes through waivers unclaimed, he will revert back to the Bears' injured reserve.

**Offensive tackle Cory Brandon was carted off the field last night with a serious left leg injury that reportedly will require surgery. Brandon and Hardin's names did not appear on the official list of Bears'cuts the team distributed around 2:20 Friday afternoon, but neither will be on the Week 1 53-man roster.

Bears release QB Jordan Palmer

August, 30, 2013
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago Bears have informed veteran quarterback Jordan Palmer that he will be released prior to the deadline for NFL teams to establish their 53-man roster, Palmer announced Friday morning on his official Twitter account (@JwPalms).

“I really appreciate all the kind words from the #Bears fans but I'm headed home today,” Palmer wrote. “Crazy biz but appreciative.”

Palmer had a strong first-half performance Thursday against Cleveland when he completed 11-of-17 passes for 111 yards and one touchdown, for a passer rating of 102.8. Chicago receivers also dropped at least three throws that would have otherwise resulted in completions.

Bears head coach Marc Trestman praised Palmer following the game. The Bears signed both Palmer and fellow quarterback Trent Edwards after second-year QB Matt Blanchard fractured his left hand in the club’s second preseason game. The Bears and Blanchard later reached an injury settlement.

“It says a lot about his preparation,” Trestman said. “He came in here; he dug in; he has learned a lot of the offense and spent a lot of time, on his own, trying to assimilate all of it. I’m happy for him that he came out and played very efficiently for us.”

It’s possible the Bears could turn to Palmer later in the regular season if the team suffers an injury to either starting quarterback Jay Cutler or No. 2 Josh McCown.

Edwards replaced Palmer in the second half and went 10-of-17 for 135 yards and tossed an interception that went through the hands of tight end Fendi Onobun and returned for a touchdown by the Cleveland defense.

The Bears could be leaning toward keeping just two quarterbacks on the Week 1 active roster and signing a quarterback to its practice squad.

In other news, the Bears also informed wide receivers Brittan Golden, Josh Lenz, safety Tom Nelson, former third-round pick safety Brandon Hardin and offensive guard/center Edwin Williams of their release Friday.

NFL teams have until 5 p.m. CT on Saturday to trim the roster to 53, but the Bears are expected to make the majority of their roster moves on Friday.

Five things to watch: Bears-Panthers

August, 9, 2013
8/09/13
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Jay Cutler AP Photo/Nam Y. HuhJay Cutler is expected to play a series or two against the Panthers on Friday.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Here are five things to keep an eye on Friday night when the Chicago Bears face the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium.

1. OL blocking: It's likely the Bears go into this game with a starting five up front that you won't see once the club opens the regular season Sept. 8 against Cincinnati, mainly because of the calf strain suffered by starting left tackle Jermon Bushrod, who isn't expected to play. The plan is to play the starters just a few snaps. So in that limited amount of time it's important to see how well the group protects and opens the lanes in the ground game given all the changes made schematically. Count on a starting five of Roberto Garza, James Brown, Eben Britton, J'Marcus Webb and Matt Slauson. Rookie Kyle Long should see plenty of snaps, too, and is also a player to keep close tabs on. The only way skill-position players such as quarterback Jay Cutler, receiver Brandon Marshall and running back Matt Forte excel is for the offensive line to sufficiently do its job. If in limited duty, the starting offensive line performs similarly to the way the group played in 2012, it will be clear the group still needs extensive work.

2. Cutler's command of the offense: Cutler is in the midst of learning his fourth offense in five seasons with the Bears, and it would be unrealistic to expect him to operate flawlessly against the Panthers. But he does need to show some degree of command of the new system. So far during training camp practices, for whatever reason, the timing between Cutler and the receiving corps appears to be off. Some of that is a function of Chicago's defensive line bearing down hard on Cutler every play during training camp, and tipping many of his passes at the line of scrimmage. But in this game, the offensive line will have every tactic at its disposal to combat Carolina's pass rush. That should open up some passing lanes for Cutler to be able to find some type of rhythm. It's also worth it to watch how quickly the Bears get in and out of the huddle. The club unnecessarily burned timeouts too often last season, and Marc Trestman's system contains much more verbiage than some of the schemes Cutler has operated in the past.

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McClellin interception highlights practice

August, 6, 2013
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[+] EnlargeShea McClellin
Bradley Leeb/US PresswireShea McClellin said he feels faster, and it showed on a nice play Tuesday.
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – In a practice filled with defensive highlights, defensive end Shea McClellin authored the play of the day on Tuesday when he sniffed out a screen pass and intercepted a hard-thrown ball from quarterback Jay Cutler in the flat.

McClellin initially rushed up field on the play from his end spot before anticipating the throw by Cutler and coming down with a difficult catch. If the sequence had occurred in a real game, McClellin would have scored an easy defensive touchdown.

"I was just doing my job and reading my keys," McClellin said. "The ball was right there so I picked it off. I was just doing my job. I feel faster out there than I did in the spring after I lost eight pounds. I still feel like I get a little heavier, but I'll work on that after camp.

McClellin has been in a groove the last week, routinely winning one-on-one battles with offensive lineman in individual and team drills. The likely plan for the former first-round pick is to move him around the defensive front, lining him up in a two-point or three-point stance depending on the defensive call or the matchup, while sometimes requiring that he cover a tight end or guard the flat on passing downs.

The Bears asked McClellin to do some of that last year as a rookie, but expect to see more of it in 2013. That's because McClellin should receive a significant boost in play-time in the Bears' three-man starting defensive end rotation that also includes Julius Peppers and Corey Wootton.

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LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Here are some observations from the Chicago Bears' final minicamp workout of the offseason:

• The Bears wrapped up the three-month long offseason program without their projected two starters at wide receiver ever sharing the field together for an extended period of time. Offseason hip surgery limited four-time Pro Bowl wideout Brandon Marshall to individual work at the end of OTAs last week and one day of minicamp, while a tight hamstring kept Alshon Jeffery off the field Tuesday and Wednesday. Jeffery did return on Thursday but only participated in limited individual drills.

"I think we turned it into a positive," Trestman said. "We got a great look at some of the young guys. They were ready to step in. We had very few, if any, mental errors there. They were running full speed and we were catching the football when we had the opportunity. So it was good for them to get the reps and get the reps against our top players on defense. Those are all good things.

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WSU WR Wilson a low-risk proposition

April, 27, 2013
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- It’s impossible to predict if wide receiver Marquess Wilson will land on the Chicago Bears' final 53-man roster after the way his college career unraveled at Washington State.

[+] EnlargeMarquess Wilson
James Snook/US PresswireMarquess Wilson's decision to walk away from Washington State cost him in the draft.
Wilson quit the team last year and accused Cougars head coach Mike Leach of abuse, a story he eventually recanted.

But the damage was done.

Wilson’s decision to walk away from Washington State for the final three games of 2012 and the subsequent controversy with Leach overshadowed what been a productive college career. The wideout posted back-to-back seasons of 1,000-plus receiving yards in 2010 and 2011, catching a career-best 82 balls for 1,388 yards and 12 touchdowns his sophomore season.

Wilson made 52 catches for 813 yards and five touchdowns last year before he pulled the plug. He still left Washington State as the school’s all-time leader in receiving yards with 3,207, the ninth-most in Pac-12 history.

Wilson had 14 100-yard games.

From a pure talent standpoint, Wilson deserved to be drafted higher, but his stock plummeted for obvious reasons.

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The Chicago Bears signed WR Brittan Golden on Friday to a reserve/future contract.

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[+] EnlargeBrittan Golden
AP Photo/Nam Y. HuhBrittan Golden returned a blocked punt for a TD on Thursday, but that didn't save him a roster spot.
The Chicago Bears have released fullback Tyler Clutts and receiver Brittan Golden on Friday, according to sources familiar with the situation.

Golden, an undrafted rookie, returned a blocked punt 22 yards for a touchdown in the Bears' win over the Cleveland Browns on Thursday.

"Well I got released today it was a long road," Golden tweeted. "Chicago thanks for the love it was an honor to be here. thanks for the memories."

Final roster cuts are being made Friday.

Receiver Golden making himself noticed

August, 7, 2012
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[+] EnlargeBrittan Golden
AP Photo/Nam Y. HuhBrittan Golden is giving the Bears' staff something to think about as far as roster cuts.
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler discussed on Monday the "hard case" the team would face near the end of camp if it decided to cut second-year receiver Dane Sanzenbacher or return man Eric Weems.

At this point, another of those cases just might be undrafted rookie receiver Brittan Golden of West Texas A&M.

"He's doing a good job," Bears receivers coach Darryl Drake said. "He's showing up, and that's what you want to do as a young player: have someone notice you. He's being noticed."

How? He's making plays at every opportunity. During the club's live periods early in camp, Golden consistently caught the ball while stringing together a few impressive moves to evade tacklers.

"Oh yeah, he's fast," special teams coach Dave toube said. "We're gonna get a look at him at returner (Thursday against Denver). He may get punt returns; definitely kick return. He's still working on his catching skills. But in the third and fourth quarter of the preseason game we'll get him in there. He's pretty exciting after the catch. He can run. You can see that out here at practice."


The problem, however, is the Bears might not have the numbers at the position with so many slots already pretty much locked up. Brandon Marshall, Devin Hester, Earl Bennett, Alshon Jeffery and Weems appear to have the top five spots secured, and it's important to remember the Bears actually finished the 2011 regular season with just five receivers on the 53-man roster.

So if the club decides to go heavy on the position and keep six receivers, Golden, Sanzenbacher and recently re-signed Rashied Davis will likely be in contention for that final spot on the roster. Brittan certainly appears to be a candidate for the practice squad. But if Golden plays well in the preseason, the Bears might have reservations about putting him on the practice squad because another team might swoop in and grab him.

Obviously, Davis has earned the trust of Toub while Sanzenbacher holds the edge over Golden by virtue of experience. So Golden needs to turn heads on special teams to unseat some of the veterans. It won't be easy.

"I think it all comes down to special teams play and how guys shine and don't in their special teams, and what their roles are gonna be," Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice said. "But that's for coach (Lovie) Smith to make those decisions. They're going to get a lot of plays (in the preseason) as we know. We'll let the powers that be evaluate that and make that decision."

At West Texas A&M, Golden ranked second in school history in receiving yards (3,007) and fifth in receptions (165), catching 33 touchdown passes, which tied him for sixth in school history in career scoring. Golden racked up 3,393 career all-purpose yards, which included 30 punt returns for 274 yards and 10 kickoff returns for 112 yards.

So clearly, Golden has plenty of experience on special teams, and the opportunity of a lifetime despite the receiver's coach not knowing his name.

"Golden Brittan is a guy that does some things," Drake said. "They all have a chance to impress, get in there in the preseason and see where it takes them."

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- The rotation at left tackle remained the same Sunday with J'Marcus Webb taking the bulk of repetitions at left tackle and Chris Williams backing up Gabe Carimi at right tackle.

It appears the Chicago Bears plan to go into Thursday’s preseason opener against the Denver Broncos with Webb in the starting lineup. That’s expected, considering offensive coordinator Mike Tice has said Webb would receive the first shot at the job by virtue of the fact he finished 2011 as the starter.

Here are some more quick-hitting observations from Sunday’s practice at Olivet Nazarene University:

  • Rookie Alshon Jeffery made the most acrobatic catch of the session when he reached over the back of cornerback Tim Jennings to make a leaping one-handed grab.

  • Rookie Evan Rodriguez took snaps with the starters during team when the Bears operated out of a double tight end formation that also featured Matt Spaeth.

  • Second-year veteran Chris Conte made a leaping interception on a pass from Jay Cutler intended for Brandon Marshall. The shotgun snap rolled on the ground before reaching Cutler, who rushed out the throw.

  • Rookie Isaiah Frey tipped a pass from Josh McCown to Terriun Crump before coming down with the interception.

  • Undrafted rookie Brittan Golden repped with the second team Sunday because of an injury to Earl Bennett and Devin Thomas' retirement announcement, and made several clutch catches. After practice Golden continued to work on the field with fellow rookies Joe Anderson, Chris Summers and quarterback Matt Blanchard.
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