Chicago Bears: Cory Brandon

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' offensive starters vs. Cleveland

August, 29, 2013
8/29/13
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CHICAGO – Offensive starters for the Chicago Bears in tonight’s preseason finale against the Cleveland Browns:

WR – Joe Anderson
LT – Cory Brandon
LG – Edwin Williams
C – Taylor Boggs
RG – Derek Dennis
RT – J’Marcus Webb
TE – Kyle Adams
HB - Fendi Onobun
WR – Terrence Toliver
QB – Jordan Palmer
RB – Armando Allen
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Pro Bowl cornerback Tim Jenning's excused absence on Wednesday bumped Zack Bowman up to the first team defense, a spot the veteran used to occupy on a full-time basis in 2009 and parts of 2010.

The Bears let Bowman leave via free agency in the spring of 2012, but eventually re-signed him in October of that year. Bowman went on to become one of the best special teamers on the roster, recording a career-high 11 special teams stops in just 11 games. That performance was good enough for Bowman to earn another one-year contract from the Bears in free agency in March.

Although Bowman has played sparingly on defense the past two seasons, he appears to be entrenched as the Bears' No. 3 cornerback behind starters Jennings and Charles Tillman, not including Kelvin Hayden, who has been playing inside at the nickel back position.

"Things are going well," Bowman said. "You know this is my sixth year in the system so I feel comfortable coming out here every day. For me, it's about executing my assignment, alignment and technique. Those are the three things I focus on every day."

(Read full post)

LB Williams carted off practice field

July, 31, 2013
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BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- New Chicago Bears linebacker D.J. Williams was carted off the practice field with a calf injury during a busy Wednesday morning practice.

Rookie Jon Bostic saw time with the first team in place of Williams, whose status is week to week, according to the team.

Among the other news and notes from Wednesday:

• Cornerback Tim Jennings was excused from practice for personal reasons. Zack Bowman took first-team reps in his place.

• Receiver Brandon Marshall and defensive end Cheta Ozougwu returned to practice after sitting out Monday.

• Starting left tackle Jermon Bushrod did not practice two days after suffering a right calf strain. He was seen Wednesday in a walking boot. Cory Brandon and Eben Britton took reps in his place at left tackle.

• The Bears signed defensive lineman Josh Williams to a three-year contract to replace the injured Turk McBride, who was lost for the season Monday with a ruptured Achilles tendon. Williams, an undrafted free agent out of Kansas, attended the Bears rookie minicamp. The Bears terminated the contract of McBride and he received an injury settlement.

• Offensive lineman Jonathan Scott got banged up at practice and was seen watching practice with hisright knee taped up.

Check back for updates on all these stories throughout the day.

ESPNChicago.com's Jeff Dickerson contributed to this report.

Tornado hits close to home for punter

May, 21, 2013
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The destruction and devastation left behind by the tornado that struck the state of Oklahoma on Monday hit especially close to home for Chicago Bears rookie punter Tress Way.

A native of Tulsa, Okla. and a four-year letter winner at the University of Oklahoma, Way praised community members for their willingness to assist those hit hardest by Monday's disaster.

(Read full post)

Bears shelve Toeaina; elevate T Brandon

December, 17, 2012
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The Chicago Bears elevated offensive tackle Cory Brandon from the practice squad to the 53-man roster on Monday, in addition to placing defensive tackle Matt Toeaina on the injured reserve.

An undrafted free agent, who came into the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2011, Brandon signed with the Bears in June and spent the entire preseason with the club before it waived him Aug. 31 during the final roster reduction.

The Bears brought back Brandon to the practice squad on Sept. 1, terminated his contract again on Sept. 10, and then signed him back to the practice squad on Oct. 17.

A college standout at Oklahoma, Brandon caught the staff's attention during training camp, and the Bears used him extensively in the preseason because it wanted to take a long look at the 6-7, 324-pound offensive tackle.

Toeaina, meanwhile, played in three games this season, and started in two. But various injuries slowed the veteran all season. Toeaina's latest setback (knee) could require an arthroscopic procedure, according to an NFL source, which said the defensive tackle will undergo an MRI on Tuesday.

Toeaina started in 24 games for the Bears over six seasons, contributing 66 tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery.

Bears sign OT Brandon to practice squad

October, 17, 2012
10/17/12
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears signed offensive tackle Cory Brandon to the practice squad on Wednesday.

Brandon spent the preseason with the Bears after entering the NFL originally as an undrafted free agent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2011 out of Oklahoma. The Bears waived Brandon on Aug.31 during final cuts before bringing him back to the practice squad. The club later terminated Brandon's practice squad contract on Sept. 10 before bringing him back to the facilities Tuesday night.

Brandon (6-7, 324 pounds) drew high praise from the coaching staff during the preseason, which played a role in the offensive tackle receiving plenty of snaps during preseason games.

In 2011, Brandon played in all four preseason outings for Tampa Bay before the Buccaneers waived him on Sept. 3.

Bears sign OT Brandon, CB Brown

June, 15, 2012
6/15/12
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The Chicago Bears signed offensive tackle Cory Brandon and cornerback Cornelius Brown on Friday, a day after the two concluded participation in veteran minicamp on a tryout basis.

Brandon (6-7, 324 pounds) came into the NFL in 2011 as an undrafted free agent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers out of Oklahoma, but was waived by the club after training camp.

Brown (5-11, 198 pounds), meanwhile, spent time with the Bears in 2010 as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Texas-El Paso, but was waived by the team after the preseason and eventually joined the practice squad of the Indianapolis Colts.

The Colts moved Brown to the active roster in Nov. of 2010, and the cornerback played in 10 games in which he contributed 16 tackles to go with five pass breakups. On special teams, Brown returned five kickoffs for a 20.4-yard average, but was released by the Colts in
2011 after the preseason.

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