Briggs kicks off season with BBQ

September, 3, 2014
Sep 3
1:30
AM ET
Thank you, Lance.

We needed a story to get the juices flowing. We needed a starting point to kick off another Bears season that will, no doubt, keep us entertained through the next four or five months.

And you, Lance Briggs, veteran linebacker and barbecue fan, gave Chicago the go-ahead to start our polemicizing.

As diversions go, I give “Lance Briggs’ Day Off” four stars.

This dark comedy about a man driven west to help christen a barbecue joint adjacent to a bowling alley had a little bit of everything to keep me entertained when it debuted Monday afternoon and caught fire Tuesday.

An excused absence from a Monday practice? Check.

A vanity restaurant with a sports theme? Check.

A drummed-up controversy because there’s nothing to talk about yet? Check.

I don’t just like this story; I love it. I don’t think Briggs' missing a practice will harm his play against the Bills this Sunday. I just think the story is kind of funny. Maybe I can envision the beefy Briggs chowing down on some ribs with a funny bib on and a “What, me worry?” grin on his face. Maybe I like saying "Double Nickel Smokehouse."

I’m half-tempted to drive the two hours or so to the Double Nickel in Elk Grove, California, next week when I’m out West covering the Bears at the Santa Clara 49ers. Anyone want a Double Nickel hat?

SportsNation

What would be the best name for Lance Briggs' vanity restaurant project?

  •  
    33%
  •  
    33%
  •  
    8%
  •  
    26%

Discuss (Total votes: 12)

Briggs, whom I'm sure will be delighted to talk to reporters about this story, owns 20 percent of the restaurant, according to a Sacramento Bee article. His childhood friend, Cameron Lee, owns the majority stake. At first, I figured this was going to be a money pit for Briggs, but after reading about the idea, it sounds like a quality investment for his hometown. A feel-good story with “fall off the bone” ribs and a side of grits.

On one hand, if anyone can get a little leeway, you’d think it would be Briggs, an 11-year veteran and Pro Bowler, one of the last vestiges of the glory days of the Lovie Smith defense.

Then again, Briggs is also the guy who crashed his Lambo on the highway. The guy seemingly always asking for raises. Last season, he missed time with injury, and instead of seeming like a sturdy veteran, it was almost as if he were an unhappy relic of another time.

Is he the veteran leader or just a guy on his way out in the cruel, cruel world of the NFL?

We won't know until the season begins, but it's not hard to see why this story caught fire in Chicago.

Like all viral stories nowadays, this was spread by social media. Briggs tweeted about the restaurant opening, while his coach, Marc Trestman, told reporters he was absent from a light practice for “personal reasons.” It was exacerbated by a near-universal pessimism about this defense, of which he's the glowering face.

Last year’s injury-plagued disaster is still fresh in our collective mind, and no one is too confident this defense is going to be any good. It’ll be better, only because it can’t be worse.

Although I can see why it sparked a debate -- who skips practice the first week of the season? -- the fact that people were legitimately arguing about Briggs skipping a Monday practice in order to attend the opening of “his” restaurant perfectly epitomizes the importance of the Bears in Chicago.

For a sportswriter, this is a good thing. The Bears are a cash cow for a reason. In a city rife with segregation and corruption, we can all find unity in taking the Bears way too seriously. That’s why reporters outnumber players in the Halas Hall locker room on the weekdays of a season: Gotta talk to the second-string "three technique!"

Last season, I was chatting with Landon Cohen about bars we enjoyed in our respective college days in Athens, Ohio, when a herd of reporters saw me and ran over to his locker. Who needed B-roll of Landon Cohen? Chicago did.

After all this, one thing's for sure: I'm hungry for some barbecue and some Bears football.
[+] EnlargeMarquess Wilson
AP Photo/Scott BoehmThe earliest Marquess Wilson can return this season is Nov. 9 against the Packers after he was placed on short-term injured reserve by the Bears.

The Chicago Bears placed receiver Marquess Wilson on short-term injured reserve on Tuesday in addition to signing cornerback Kelvin Hayden.

With Wilson expected to miss the next month recovering from a fractured clavicle, the Bears made the move to free up a spot on the active roster, which allowed them to sign Hayden. By placing Wilson on the injured reserve with a designation to return, the receiver won't be able to participate in practice until Week 7, and he won't be eligible to play until Nov. 9, when the Bears travel to Green Bay coming off their bye week.

A second-year veteran, Wilson played in 10 games with one start last season, catching two passes for 13 yards.

Wilson entered the offseason as the team's choice to win the No. 3 receiver's job, but he suffered a fractured clavicle diving for a pass during training camp.

So the team's move Tuesday didn't come as a surprise despite Bears coach Marc Trestman saying Tuesday that the team wanted to make a decision on Wilson after Wednesday's workout at Halas Hall.


(Read full post)


video

ESPN Chicago's Jeff Dickerson previews the storylines to watch this week as the Chicago Bears prepare for their home opener on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.

Chicago Bears game predictions

September, 2, 2014
Sep 2
8:00
AM ET
video

ESPN.com Chicago Bears reporter Michael C. Wright makes his game-by-game picks for the 2014 season.

Week 1: Buffalo Bills

This Bears blasted Buffalo 40-7 the last time these teams met at Soldier Field, but this game should be much closer as the Bills have improved. Chicago's defense will look better than it has in the preseason, but it won't be dominant right off the bat. Prediction: Win


Week 2: at San Francisco 49ers

Given recent news about issues with the surface at Levi's Stadium, the Bears might feel like this is a home game. San Francisco's stadium should be rocking as the 49ers christen the place for the first time in the regular season, but the Bears will struggle offensively. Prediction: Loss


Week 3: at New York Jets

Chicago's defense will appear to be starting to come around in this game, but that will be a byproduct of ineptitude from New York's offense. Look for Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery to shred the Jets on the back end. Prediction: Win


Week 4: Green Bay Packers

Chicago gets a chance to atone for being knocked out of the postseason by this team in the 2013 regular-season finale. Green Bay's Julius Peppers returns to Soldier Field and will look like the Peppers of old, but it won't be enough for the Packers to win this one. Prediction: Win


Week 5: at Carolina Panthers

Cam Newton should bring about a case of déjà vu of the club's preseason debacle at Seattle against Russell Wilson. The offense faces a reality check against a Carolina defense that ranked No. 2 in 2013. Prediction: Loss


Week 6: at Atlanta Falcons

The perception the Falcons might be a soft team seems to become more and more real every day. Chicago will face an improved Atlanta squad, but the Falcons can't run the ball well enough to keep the ball away, and they certainly haven't proved capable of stopping the run, either. Prediction: Win


Week 7: Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins keep adding running backs, yet still can't consistently run the ball effectively. And although Ryan Tannehill looked better last season, the Bears will get to him in this one. Chicago's defense will look better than it is against Miami, but expect Cutler and the offense to be the stars of this one. Prediction: Win


Week 8: at New England Patriots

This will be Chicago's fifth road outing in eight weeks, and with the Patriots playing a Thursday night game against the Jets heading into this matchup, they'll have a long week to prepare for the Bears. That could mean trouble, possibly worse than the 36-7 beatdown the Patriots administered to the Bears the last time these teams played. Prediction: Loss


Week 10: at Green Bay Packers

Last season, the Bears lucked out at Lambeau Field due to an Aaron Rodgers injury and Josh McCown putting together a strong performance. You can expect an improved Cutler in 2014, but at Lambeau Field, he's been horrible, producing passer ratings of 43.2, 43.5 and 28.2. Prediction: Loss


Week 11: Minnesota Vikings

The Bears need to use this one as a momentum builder as they start a stretch of five home games to close out the season. Look for Jared Allen to put together a strong game, facing his former team with the motivation to prove he can still get it done. Prediction: Win


Week 12: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Here's another week of reunions as McCown and former coach Lovie Smith visit Soldier Field for the first time since leaving Chicago. Expect Smith to spend all week downplaying this matchup, but he'll have the Buccaneers playing with an edge. Prediction: Loss


Week 13: at Detroit Lions

A short turnaround coming off what should be a physical contest against the Buccaneers could be difficult to navigate for the Bears in their first Thanksgiving outing since 2004. The Bears are 1-4 in their past five Thanksgiving contests with their last victory coming in 1993. Prediction: Loss


Week 14: Dallas Cowboys

Why would the league schedule this matchup again in December at Soldier Field? Last year, the Bears put a 45-28 shellacking on Dallas with the temperature at kickoff measured at 8 degrees with a wind chill of minus-9. Prediction: Win


Week 15: New Orleans Saints

The best defense wins this matchup of teams with similar offenses, and obviously Chicago will be better equipped to handle the elements at Soldier Field than the Saints. The Bears come out on top in this one by forcing a couple of Saints turnovers and playing ball-control offense. Prediction: Win


Week 16: Detroit Lions

The Bears should avenge the Thanksgiving loss at Ford Field with a lopsided win at Soldier Field for their third consecutive victory. The win gives Chicago plenty of momentum near the end of its playoff push, which will be needed for the next week's outing in Minnesota. Prediction: Win


Week 17: at Minnesota Vikings

Despite playing on the road, the Bears won't be at as much of a disadvantage as they had been in the past playing in the Metrodome because this one will be outside at TCF Bank Stadium, with snow likely on the ground and no deafening inside noise. Chicago closes strong with a four-game winning streak. Prediction: Win


Predicted Record: 10-6

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman wants to wait a couple more days before making a decision about whether to keep Marquess Wilson on the active roster.

With the receiver expected to miss the next month, the Bears can free up a spot on the active roster Tuesday at 3 p.m. by placing Wilson on the injured reserve with a designation to return.

Wilson
“I think I could better answer that after Wednesday’s practice, and it’s simply because there’s a lot of technical CBA rules involved in this thing,” Trestman said. “I think that to bring clarity to it, I’d rather give you that answer as we move through the week.”

If the Bears decide to place Wilson on the injured reserve with a designation to return, he won’t be able to participate in practice until Week 7 and won’t be eligible to play until Nov. 9, when the team travels to Green Bay coming off its bye week.

If Wilson remains on the active roster, he’ll continue to occupy a spot the team could use to bolster another position. But the positive side of that is Wilson could return to action as soon as he recovers instead of waiting until Week 7 just to be eligible to practice.

Every team is allowed to use the IR with designation to return only once per year. The Bears used their short-term IR designation last season on Charles Tillman after he suffered a triceps injury during a November loss to the Detroit Lions.

The team might opt to use the short-term designation on Wilson given the presence of veteran receiver Santonio Holmes, who is now expected to take on the No. 3 role. Now that the Bears are in game-planning mode, the playbook will be narrowed significantly for the Week 1 matchup against Buffalo, which would give Holmes a better opportunity to fully absorb the aspects of the system the team will utilize against the Bills.

“At this point, there’s no comfort level [in the offense],” Holmes said. “Still learning the system, working my way into one of the core guys for this team, and I still have a lot to learn. [I’m] spending a lot of time with Coach [Mike] Groh learning the offense, going over plays, formation, personnel and things like that on a daily basis to keep me caught up with the team.”
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman drew laughs Monday attempting to repeat the word “trepidation” in response to whether he feels any regarding the defense, as the club prepares to open the regular season against Buffalo.

While the defense performed average to below average most of the preseason, Trestman remains unconcerned about the unit’s ability to get the job done once the season kicks off.

[+] EnlargeMarc Trestman
Patrick McDermott/Getty ImagesCoach Marc Trestman is hoping that the Bears' defense can build cohesion in the coming weeks.
“I don’t feel that word trepi, trepi … what was it again?” Trestman asked, smiling. “Trepidation? If it’s more than three syllables, I’m out of business. I don’t feel that trepidation. The whole defense wasn’t together at one time during [the preseason]. We’re going to have to come together. It’s going to be a process working together, getting to know each other, how each other works. But the talent level’s there.”

The Bears revamped the defensive line by adding Jared Allen, Willie Young and Lamarr Houston in free agency, in addition to drafting defensive tackles Will Sutton and Ego Ferguson. The club also signed several players to compete for two open spots at safety, and used its first-round pick to select rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller.

But throughout the preseason, the entire group hasn’t performed together. Allen played in only the club’s second preseason outing against the Jaguars after missing the opener due to family reasons and exhibition contest No. 3 due to a bruised shoulder. Safety Chris Conte didn’t make his preseason debut until Aug. 22.

The Bears held out all the starters on defense for the preseason finale at Cleveland.

“There's always concern, but I think we're going to have our guys hyped up, ready to go,” cornerback Tim Jennings said. “It's a full game. We're not going to just play a quarter here, two quarters here. We're going to play a whole 60 minutes of football. So this first one is a good test to see where we're at. It's still hard to tell [how good we can be] because we were missing Jared Allen some games. We finally are going to get everybody back together and play a whole game. We played one quarter, two quarters here, and Seattle was a tough test for us. It lets us know that we still have some work to do and we've got to get it together and work hard this week and see what we have for Buffalo.”

Trestman declined to name the starters at safety, saying, “We’ll talk more about that on Wednesday,” while Conte hasn’t yet been cleared to play after suffering a concussion on Aug. 22. Meanwhile, veteran linebacker Lance Briggs missed Monday’s workout with Trestman saying his absence was excused.

“We think the talent level is in a place right now where we’ve got a chance to go out each and every week, get better and improve,” Trestman said. “That’s what we’re going to try and do as we work through this week of practice and the start of the season.”

Briggs excused, Conte limited in practice

September, 1, 2014
Sep 1
2:10
PM ET
LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Chicago Bears veteran linebacker Lance Briggs was excused from the first regular season practice by coach Marc Trestman, who said Briggs cleared the absence with him.

Trestman declined to elaborate on Briggs’ whereabouts, but the linebacker is scheduled to open up a new restaurant Monday in his hometown of Elk Grove, California.

Briggs
“I had communication with him three weeks ago about it,” Trestman said. “We talked about it. And I excused him for personal reasons. So this is not something that happened yesterday or the day before. He contacted me a couple weeks ago and I said, ‘Yeah, you can go.’ That was it.

“I’m not going to speak for him with what he’s doing today. I can tell you that I excused him and that this is something that now took place a long time ago. Where he’s gone is between him and the reasons that he had to go. But it was good by me.”

Minus Briggs, wide receiver Marquess Wilson and quarterback David Fales (shoulder), the Bears had a full roster on the practice field Monday, including safety Chris Conte who participated on a limited basis.

However, Conte has yet to be fully cleared to return from the concussion he suffered in the third preseason game on Aug. 22. That leaves the starting safety combination still somewhat of a mystery heading into Sunday’s Week 1 game versus the Buffalo Bills, although Ryan Mundy and Danny McCray spent the bulk of the summer working together on the first-team.

“I think we’re going to still wait and see [on safety],” Trestman said. “We’re rotating the guys around. And we’ll talk more about that on Wednesday. And we’ll get them started in the right direction. I’d just rather wait another day-and-a-half. But we’ve got four guys that we moved around. Chris got work today, so we have to see where he is as well going into Wednesday’s practice.”

The Bears are off on Tuesday. The first official injury report of the regular season is due on Wednesday.

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman provided a little insight Monday on how the staff put together the final 53-man roster.

Draughn
The Bears plan to start the regular season with five running backs for the first time since 2012, after keeping four at the position last season. For the fourth consecutive season, the Bears elected to keep eight offensive linemen.

Asked about the decision to go heavy on running backs, Trestman said, "I think part of the reason running-back wise is their value to special teams. We’ve got a couple of linebackers who don’t play special teams. So we picked it up with running backs, which not only can give us return ability, but gunner ability and return ability as I said. Playing on the punt team like Shaun [Draughn]. Shaun can be a three- or four-core guy. So that’s part of the reason why they made the football team, was not only their ability to play offense, but their ability to bring value, special-teams wise."

As for the count along the offensive line, Trestman provided a similar explanation. The Bears typically dress seven offensive linemen on game days.

"We just thought those were the best eight for right now, and where we've got them, and the guys who can contribute most," Trestman said. "When we get to numbers, it’s not just about that group. It’s about how we fill out the 46 on a game day and the 53 overall. So those numbers, could we have had nine or 10 [offensive linemen]? We certainly could have. But the roster filled out the way it did because of the connectivity that we have with all different phases, special teams and defense."
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Second-year right tackle Jordan Mills missed the entire preseason as the Chicago Bears took a conservative approach to his rehabilitation from offseason foot surgery, but the expectation is he’ll be ready to play Sunday when the club hosts the Buffalo Bills in the season opener.

Mills
Mills participated in practice at Halas Hall on Monday, and later compared his absence to riding a bike, saying, “You never forget how to ride it.”

“I had to knock a little rust off, and once I got in, it’s like I never left,” Mills said.

Mills missed two weeks of work due to soreness in his left foot before returning to practice on Aug. 20. But he was held out of all the club’s preseason outings. Mills underwent surgery back in January to repair a fractured metatarsal in his left foot, and the team has since brought the tackle along slowly.

As a rookie last season, Mills started in all 16 games but left the season finale against the Green Bay Packers after the first series due to the foot injury. Throughout the preseason, Mills continues to express optimism about his availability for the Sept. 7 opener, and on Monday nothing had changed.

With the team taking such a cautious approach in bringing him back, Mills hinted on Monday that he wouldn’t have missed so much time had the preseason been the regular season.

Asked how ready he is to start the regular season, Mills said, "I'm very ready."

“If I had to [play], I would have,” Mills said. “But if the trainers felt [I] needed to sit out, I would’ve tried my best to get back in. But we have a great training staff, and they’re here for my best interests. So if I had to sit out, I’d sit out. But I would’ve fought every chance I got to get back on the field.”

Given all the time Mills has missed, it’s natural to question whether Chicago’s offensive line will hit the field against the Bills as a cohesive group. Offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer said last week that Mills’ absence along with others along the offensive line gave the staff extra opportunities to evaluate potential backups.

“The positive of that is it has given us an opportunity to give reps to other players, and it has opened the door for them,” Kromer said.

Bears sign LS Jeremy Cain to active roster

September, 1, 2014
Sep 1
11:34
AM ET
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears signed long snapper Jeremy Cain to the 53-man roster Monday, the team announced.

Cain replaces long snapper Brandon Hartson, who the team waived Sunday. Bears head coach Marc Trestman said following the preseason finale in Cleveland that the club wasn’t entirely pleased with its long-snapping situation.

The Bears brought three long snappers to Halas Hall to participate in a 14-player workout Sunday: Cain, Luke Ingram and Casey Kreiter.

Cain apparently did enough to impress the coaching staff.

Cain has appeared in 83 career games with the Bears, Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars, with 75 of those appearances coming at long snapper. Cain served as the long snapper for two games last season in Chicago. This marks Cain’s third stint with the Bears.

The Bears also announced their 10-player practice squad Monday: wide receiver Josh Bellamy, center Taylor Boggs, defensive tackle Brandon Dunn, cornerback Isaiah Frey, guard Ryan Groy, linebacker DeDe Lattimore, cornerback Al Louis-Jean, cornerback Terrance Mitchell, defensive tackle Roy Philon and wide receiver Rashad Ross.
The Chicago Bears finalized their 53-man roster on Sunday by making a flurry of moves to reach the NFL limit, which included terminating vested veterans Eben Britton, Kelvin Hayden and Austen Lane.

The Bears also waived safety M.D. Jennings with an injury settlement, in addition to waiving 13 more players.

The Bears waived receivers Josh Bellamy, Chris Williams and Dale Moss, center Taylor Boggs, defensive tackles Brandon Dunn, Tracy Robertson and Lee Pegues, linebackers Jerry Franklin and DeDe Lattimore, along with guard Ryan Groy, cornerbacks C.J. Wilson and Al Louis-Jean, and safety Marcus Trice.

It’s expected that some of the players released on Saturday will be signed to the expanded 10-man practice squad, provided they aren’t claimed off waivers by other teams.
Most significant move: After finishing last season on the injured because of a hamstring injury in training camp, veteran cornerback Kelvin Hayden made it through the preseason healthy and appeared to perform well throughout camp and the preseason to make the team. Perhaps Hayden became a victim of the numbers game, as the Chicago Bears decided to go into the regular season without him. The Bears drafted Kyle Fuller in the first round, and he turned heads throughout the preseason which likely gave the club enough confidence to use him opposite Charles Tillman on passing downs, while sliding Tim Jennings inside to the nickel. Hayden has proved to be a capable at both cornerback spots and at nickel. So by cutting Hayden the Bears lose solid veteran depth at corner.

Too little, too late: Eben Britton could be considered somewhat of a surprise cut. Britton played 13 games last season and started in four games, but pulled a hamstring early in camp which limited his availability throughout the preseason. Britton played in only the preseason finale at Cleveland because of the injury, and didn’t perform particularly well when called upon. Receiver Chris Williams entered training camp as one of the favorites to win the job as Chicago’s primary return man. But like Britton, Williams missed too much time because of a hamstring injury suffered Aug. 8 while catching a 73-yard touchdown pass against the Philadelphia Eagles. Britton and Williams should catch on with other teams as both are capable of playing in the NFL. But hamstring injuries limited their opportunities to show what they could do for the Bears, and the team couldn’t give either the benefit of the doubt in making Sunday’s decisions.

Whacked again: Defensive end Austen Lane wrote this great account of what it’s like to get cut last year for The MMQB. At the time, Lane was getting ready to try again with the Kansas City Chiefs, where he’d eventually be cut again. Lane ended up appearing in two games with the Detroit Lions last season, only to be waived 22 days after the club signed him. The Bears signed Lane on Feb. 27, but the veteran failed to nab a roster spot in what seemed to be a logjam at the defensive end position despite performing solidly.

What’s next: With cuts now out of the way, the Bears will establish a 10-man practice squad by the end of the weekend before turning their attention to the season opener against the Buffalo Bills.

Team moves: WR Josh Bellamy, C Taylor Boggs, DT Brandon Dunn, LB Jerry Franklin, OG Ryan Groy, LB DeDe Lattimore, CB Al Louis-Jean, WR Dale Moss, DT Lee Pegues, DT Tracy Robertson, S Marcus Trice, WR Chris Williams, CB C.J. Wilson, OT Eben Britton, CB Kelvin Hayden, DE Austen Lane, S M.D. Jennings.

Fantasy: Jay Cutler

August, 29, 2014
Aug 29
5:25
PM ET


video

Christopher Harris analyzes Jay Cutler's draft value.

Bears waive RB Jordan Lynch

August, 29, 2014
Aug 29
3:40
PM ET
The Chicago Bears announced they waived running back Jordan Lynch on Friday, in addition to terminating vested veterans Armanti Edwards, Jeron Mastrud, Dennis Roland and Robert Turner.

A Heisman Trophy finalist as a quarterback at Northern Illinois, Lynch converted to a running back with the Bears, which signed him as an undrafted free agent. The club's decision to waive Lynch doesn't come as a surprise, as he wasn't given repetitions at running back until the fourth quarter Thursday night of the team's loss to Cleveland in the exhibition finale.

[+] EnlargeJordan Lynch, Jordan Poyer
AP Photo/Tony DejakJordan Lynch rushed for 18 yards on six carries against the Browns on Thursday.
Lynch rushed for 18 yards on six attempts in his first action since the preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles, and played special teams for the first time with the Bears. Lynch dressed for the third preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks, but did not play.

A standout at Mount Carmel, Lynch can still be added to the Bears practice squad, which has been expanded from eight to 10 players starting this season, provided he makes it through waivers unclaimed by another team. Earlier in the week Lynch said he'd be open to joining Chicago's practice squad.

"It's a night and day difference, I didn't really know. I thought I knew what I was getting into, but I really didn't. The physical condition you have to be in to play running back and special teams is night and day. But it's fun to go out there, and the more reps I get the better I get," Lynch said. "Sky's the limit. I feel like being on a practice squad like that, there's so many things I can do. I can play quarterback. I can play running back. I can kind of split out and play receiver, and just give the Bears any chance to get a better look for that week."

NFL rosters must be reduced to 53 players by 3 p.m. CT Saturday, and after Friday's moves the roster stands at 70.

Headed into the matchup against Cleveland, offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer expected Lynch to receive an opportunity to showcase his skills.

"He’s got natural skill to run the football whether he’s at quarterback or halfback," Kromer said. "So this will give him an opportunity to do something, and show it on tape and in a game, and we look forward to it.”

In two seasons as the starting quarterback at NIU, Lynch compiled a record of 24-4 with three victories over BCS teams, and ranks as the No. 3 all-time rusher in the school's history (4,344 yards on 662 attempts and 48 touchdowns).

Chicago Bears' projected roster

August, 29, 2014
Aug 29
10:00
AM ET
Examining the Chicago Bears' roster:

QUARTERBACKS (3)
Fales looked good in the first half of the preseason finale at Cleveland, but fell off somewhat in the second half. Still, Fales showed enough to prove he belongs. There's still a chance the Bears try to waive Fales and bring him back to the practice squad.

RUNNING BACKS (4)
Senorise Perry and Jordan Lynch made late pushes in extended action to close the preseason, but neither will overtake Draughn and Carey.

RECEIVERS (5)
Josh Bellamy made a strong case to make the team against the Browns, but Holmes showed he's still a dynamic player. In fact, if Holmes grasps the offense quickly enough, he could wind up as the No. 3 receiver, which would mean Wilson's time will have to wait.

TIGHT ENDS (2)

Rosario remains the most well-rounded tight end among the candidates for the No. 2 spot, and should stick.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (9)

Britton returned to play in the preseason finale and while other players have flashed, the veteran is probably still the most consistent.

DEFENSIVE LINE (10)
Cornelius Washington and David Bass, received extension action against the Browns. The Bears have a tough decision here, but would likely go with Bass' experience.

LINEBACKERS (6)

This group has struggled throughout the preseason, but the team will likely take these players into the regular season. Jerry Franklin remains on the bubble.

CORNERBACKS (6)

The combination of youth and experience makes this position group one of the team's strongest.

SAFETIES (4)

The Bears released Craig Steltz and M.D. Jennings didn't show much in the last preseason game.

SPECIALISTS (4)

The Bears could decide to use Holmes as the return man and make Bellamy the sixth receiver. Initially though, the Bears will probably take a chance on Williams although he missed the majority of the preseason due to a hamstring injury.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Insider