Monday, August 5, 2013
Bears release preseason depth chart
By Michael C. Wright and Jeff Dickerson
The Bears list rookie Kyle Long as a co-starter at right guard on their first depth chart of the preseason.
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears released their unofficial depth chart heading into Friday's preseason opener against the Carolina Panthers, and aside from the club designating co-starters at two positions, there weren't any surprises.
At right guard, the team listed James Brown and rookie first-round pick Kyle Long as co-starters. At left end, the club did the same with Corey Wootton and second-year man Shea McClellin, a first-round pick in 2012. It appears Brown and Wootton are set to start in the exhibition opener, provided the latter is healthy, considering the defensive end recently suffered a hip injury.
"I think everybody is (excited) in terms of getting the chance to compete against somebody else besides ourselves," Bears coach Marc Trestman said. "And we'll get a chance to take a look at certainly some of the young guys and some of the new guys, and get involved in the competitive process at another level. They'll get a chance to play under the lights against a different team, in a different environment, and that will all be a part of the evaluation."
The Bears listed three players from the 2013 draft class on the second team on defense, including linebackers Jon Bostic and Khaseem Green and defensive end Cornelius Washington, who is listed behind co-starters Wootton and McClellin.
-- As the exhibition opener approaches, the staff continues to ponder how to divvy up repetitions on offense and defense, but it's unlikely the starters see much playing time.
On special teams, the Bears are also trying to figure out how much playing time to give return man Devin Hester.
"It's something we have to discuss in the staff meetings still," Bears special teams coach Joe DeCamillis said. "We'll start talking about playing time a little bit more. We really haven't discussed it to get it firm, but we'll see. I don't know what (Trestman's) thoughts are on it yet to be honest with you."
Recently signed tight end Leonard Pope produced a solid showing as a blocker during inside drills against the defensive linemen. Apparently, the tight end caught the eye of Trestman as a pass blocker, too.
"I watched him out there today catching the ball. Certainly what we see is clear. We see a big man," Trestman said of the 6-foot-8, 264-pound Pope. "I thought he caught the ball very well today in the little time that we had individual (drills). He's still learning the offense, the snap counts. We've got a lot of variations. We can't slow down for him so what we're trying to do is give him opportunity, within the framework of practice, to execute a play with the things he does know. I think (tight ends coach) Andy (Bischoff) is doing a good job of moving him around."
Mills held his own against McClellin in one-on-one drills between the offensive and defensive lines. McClellin, meanwhile, blew past J'Marcus Webb with a spin move during those drills.
After struggling for the past week, tight end Fendi Onobun put together a strong showing during Monday's workouts. After catching a pass over the middle for a touchdown during a red zone drill, Onobun dunked the ball through the uprights, which is fitting considering the tight end played four years of college basketball at Arizona before playing football for only one year at Houston.
Despite the limited experience in college, Onobun was a sixth-round pick by the St. Louis Rams in 2010.
Cornerback Sherrick McManis delivered a pair of hard hits during passing drills on Monday. McManis was a standout last season for the Bears on special teams where he compiled 10 tackles in just 12 games before landing on injured reserve with a torn knee ligament.
Nate Collins lined up with the starters at defensive tackle in place of Stephen Paea (hip). The Bears liked enough of what Collins showed in 2012 to re-sign him in the offseason to a one-year minimum deal. Collins had 13 tackles in nine games for the Bears after spending his first two seasons in the league with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Kicker Robbie Gould nailed both of his field-goal attempts in the two minute drill to conclude the non-walk thru portion of practice. Gould has been near perfect all of camp and is completely recovered from offseason surgery to repair a ruptured semitendinosus tendon his calf.
Inclement weather forced the Bears to move up practice from 3:15 p.m. to 11:15 a.m.