Chicago Bears: Devin Aromashodu

Bears early cuts done as courtesy

August, 25, 2013
8/25/13
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CHICAGO -- The Bears released veteran safety Tom Zbikowski on Sunday, and the team also parted ways with veteran defensive end Kyle Moore.

In all, the club cut 14 players which moves the roster to 76. The moves came two days before Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET NFL deadline for teams to trim their rosters to 75 players, and as often is the case around the league, done as a courtesy for players to give them the best possible chance to find work with another team as soon as possible.

Other cuts included receiver Devin Aromashodu, running back Curtis Brinkley, defensive tackles Brent Russell and Eric Foster, offensive tackle A.J. Lindeman, center P.J. Lonergan, safety Derrick Martin, tight ends Gabe Miller and Leonard Pope, linebackers Patrick Trahan and Lawrence Wilson, and punter Tress Way.

With one cut remaining, the Bears could wind up releasing another player today or in the next couple of days in advance of Tuesday’s deadline. Teams aren’t required to release players early, but this is done every season as a courtesy for veterans so they can find new work as soon as possible.

Zbikowski came into the league in 2008 as a third-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens, where he played four seasons as a standout on special teams. Zbikowski played in the second half of Chicago’s exhibition win over the Oakland Raiders on Friday, and contributed three tackles. As of early Saturday, at least one general manager had expressed interest in acquiring Zbikowski. The Steelers expressed an interest in free agency, but Zbikowski chose the Bears.

As for Moore, a fourth-round pick of the Buccaneers in 2009, high numbers at defensive end might have contributed to the Bears making the decision to part ways. Moore posted a sack against the Raiders for an 11-yard loss, but he was fighting an uphill battle to win a spot at a position already stocked with players such as Julius Peppers, Corey Wootton, and Shea McClellin. Moore was competing with rookie sixth-round pick Cornelius Washington and veteran Cheta Ozougwu for one of the final spots at the position.

Moore signed for the veteran minimum in April ($715,000) with no signing bonus. The club had already invested $103,788 in a signing bonus for Washington. It’s important to remember that when a team invests money in a player, it will always give him more opportunity to make the roster than a player it didn’t spend to acquire.

In addition to the sack tallied Friday night against the Raiders, Moore had contributed three tackles in three preseason outings, meaning he’s compiled plenty of film for teams to study if they’re interested in acquiring the defensive end.

Melton, Bennett (concussions) on the mend

August, 20, 2013
8/20/13
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Defensive tackle Henry Melton and wide receiver Earl Bennett remained sidelined on Tuesday due to concussions, but both players watched practice from the sidelines for the first time since the Chicago Bears concluded the Bourbonnais portion of their training camp on Aug. 13.

However, Melton and Bennett have still not passed the NFL concussion protocol to return to action, and therefore both continue to be off-limits to the media, per league rules.

While veteran Nate Collins has elevated his game filling in for Melton at defensive tackle, the picture at the No. 3 wide receiver spot is cloudier with Bennett out. Wideouts Joe Anderson, Marquess Wilson, Eric Weems, Terrence Toliver and Devin Aromashodu have all been given an opportunity to run with the first and second teams in recent weeks, but quarterback Jay Cutler said on Tuesday that he has no input on which specific player would fill the void left by Bennett if his absence continues to drag on.

"They don't give me an opinion so we'll see who they throw in there," Cutler said. "We'll see who Marc (Trestman), Phil (Emery) and those guys like. Whoever is out there I trust that they can get the job done."

In other injury news, quarterback Matt Blanchard (hand), fullback Harvey Unga (rib), defensive end Cheta Ozougwu (hamstring), linebacker D.J. Williams (calf), long snapper Patrick Mannelly (rib), offensive tackle Jonathan Scott (knee) and defensive tackle Corvey Irvin (ankle) were all held out of Tuesday's practice.

The news on Blanchard is encouraging. The second-year quarterback is expected to miss about a month, but could still have a role on the team in 2013 in some capacity. Blanchard also remains eligible for the practice squad.
Marquess WilsonAP Photo/Nam Y. HuhMarquess Wilson impressed with four catches for 82 yards in the preseason opener on Thursday.
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Chicago Bears special teams coach Joe DeCamillis reinforced the notion Monday that rookie receiver Marquess Wilson needs to show something in the third phase to provide the most optimal route toward making the 53-man roster.

Wilson wowed observers in the preseason opener at Carolina by catching four passes for 82 yards, including a 58-yarder. But to stand out in the competition for one of the final roster spots at receiver, Wilson needs to display versatility as a special teamer. Wilson also needs to show the staff he's not afraid to strike an opponent.

"We're going to put him out there and see what he can do," DeCamillis said. "We'd like to see what kind of a contact player he is."

Proving that he's indeed a contact player could prove difficult for Wilson, listed seemingly generously at 6-foot-4, 184 pounds.

"For the first time playing (special teams), it's fun. You never know what to expect," Wilson said. "(Playing special teams) gives everybody an extra opportunity. If you're a young guy, that's what you look to do. You look forward to that coming in because you have to play special teams."

(Read full post)

Jonathan BosticAP Photo/Nam Y. HuhRookie linebacker Jon Bostic drew positive reviews for his play-calling on Thursday.
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears held out linebacker Lance Briggs (rest) for Thursday's practice, thrusting rookie second-round pick Jon Bostic -- who was filling in for injured middle linebacker D.J. Williams -- into the role of playcaller on defense.

Bostic drew positive reviews for his first day making the calls.

"He did very very well," defensive end Julius Peppers said. "We're going to need him. We hope Lance doesn't go down, but he could. All of us could go down. So whenever somebody goes down, the next player has to be up. So we've got to get him ready because we might need him one of those games."

The Bears could wind up needing Bostic sooner than originally anticipated. The club drafted Bostic with the expectation he would spend 2013 learning behind Williams, a 10-year veteran, who at one time was considered one of the NFL's most talented middle linebackers. Williams suffered a strained right calf on Wednesday, and the prognosis given by the team has been "week to week," which means the injury could linger.

"I really don't look at it as getting thrown in the fire," Bostic said. "I'm out there with a lot of guys I've pretty much watched on TV the last 10 or 12 years, however long I’ve been watching football. To be in there with them, I’ve got to pick it up. I've got to go out there and make sure I'm in my playbook off the field so I'm not making any mistakes when I'm out there."

(Read full post)

Bennett targets chemistry with Cutler

July, 26, 2013
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Martellus BennettAP Photo/Nam Y. HuhMartellus Bennett understands the value of having a strong relationship with the QB.
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Having studied interactions between Tony Romo and Jason Witten earlier in his career in Dallas and after working with Eli Manning in New York, new Bears tight end Martellus Bennett came to realize the value of strong communication with his quarterback, and how eventually, it enriches chemistry.

“When we watch film I sit right behind (Jay Cutler) so I can whisper in his ear. It sounds kind of creepy,” Bennett said Friday. “I sit right behind him so I can whisper in his ear and ask him, ‘Hey, is that what you wanted?’ And he’ll just give me a thumb up. I know I probably get on his nerves because I’m always talking to him.”

(Read full post)

Previewing Preseason Week 3, Part II

August, 24, 2012
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In which we look ahead to the remainder of Week 3 in the NFC North's preseason schedule:

Chicago Bears
Opponent: New York Giants
Location: MetLife Stadium
Day/Time: Friday/8 p.m. ET
Personnel notes: After an intense week of discussion about linebacker Brian Urlacher's future, there is more reason than ever to scrutinize Nick Roach's play at middle linebacker. Whereas we once considered it a lock that Urlacher will be ready to start the season, there now seems at least a chance that Roach will open the year at middle linebacker. It's not his best position. … Punter Adam Podlesh has a hip flexor, so rookie Ryan Quigley will handle all of the punting duties Friday night. His performance will determine whether the Bears need to consider other options if Podlesh isn't ready to start the season. … The game will be televised nationally on CBS.
Focal point: What else, if not for the Bears' offensive line? The Giants aren't expected to play All-Pro defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul because of back spasms, but they should still give the Bears' line its best test yet. The Bears would like to make a final decision on their starting left tackle, where J'Marcus Webb is trying to hold off Chris Williams, as well as at left guard. Chris Spencer and Chilo Rachal are competing for that job.

Minnesota Vikings
Opponent:
San Diego Chargers
Location:
Metrodome
Day/Time:
Friday/8 p.m. ET
Personnel notes:
Tailback Adrian Peterson won't play but will participate fully in pregame warmups, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen. … Cornerback Chris Cook (concussion) and nose tackle Letroy Guion (knee) aren't expected to play. … The Vikings will continue to search for possibilities to replace receiver Jerome Simpson during his three-game suspension. Look for second-year player Stephen Burton, along with veterans Michael Jenkins and Devin Aromashodu, to all get long looks. … Rookie cornerback Josh Robinson has impressed the Vikings in training camp and could get a chance to work with the first team Friday night. … Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst will start for the Chargers, who don't want to risk starter Philip Rivers behind an injury-riddled offensive line. Tight end Antonio Gates will also sit out.
Focal point:
This might be middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley's final chance to secure the starting job. The Vikings haven't been thrilled with his tentative preseason performances, coming after a hip injury cost him the 2011 season. Another poor outing could put the team on a search for replacements.

Detroit Lions
Opponent: Oakland Raiders
Location: Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
Day/Time: Saturday/7 p.m. ET
Personnel notes: Tailback Mikel Leshoure is expected to make his NFL debut, nearly 17 months after he was drafted and nearly 20 months from his last live game. Leshoure last played for Illinois on Dec. 29, 2010. He missed last season because of a ruptured Achilles and a portion of training camp this summer because of a hamstring strain. The Lions want to get him some preseason work because he'll has been suspended for the first two weeks of the regular season. ... New special teams ace Kassim Osgood isn't expected to play. ... Rookie Kellen Moore's chances of making the team increased with the release of R.J. Archer, but he still must earn a roster spot even though he is one of only three quarterbacks on the roster. The Lions could keep only two on their final 53-man roster.
Focal point: It would be nice to see defensive tackle Nick Fairley have a signature, breakout game to reinforce projections that he will be a significant factor this season. But in reality, a game with impact would suffice.

NFC North free-agency primer

March, 8, 2012
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AFC Free-Agency Primer: East | West | North | South NFC: East | West | North | South

Free agency begins Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET

Chicago Bears

Key free agents: Tight end Kellen Davis, running back Matt Forte (franchise), cornerback Corey Graham, quarterback Caleb Hanie, defensive end Israel Idonije, cornerback Tim Jennings, quarterback Josh McCown, safety Brandon Meriweather and receiver Roy Williams.

Where they stand: The Bears will have the most salary-cap space among NFC North teams, upwards of $30 million, and have plenty of potential uses for it. Quarterback Jay Cutler needs more targets in the downfield passing game, whether it's at the receiver or tight end position. And new general manager Phil Emery must start restocking a defense led by four players more than 30 years old: Linebackers Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs, defensive end Julius Peppers and cornerback Charles Tillman.

What to expect: It's widely believed the Bears will be in the running for free-agent receiver Vincent Jackson. But Jackson's price tag could be steep and no one knows if Emery will prove to be a big spender. It seems likely he will re-sign Davis, and Emery should also save some of his cap space to extend Forte's contract. Secondary receiver targets could include Marques Colston. Bears fans are hoping the team will pursue defensive end Mario Williams, but it's hard to imagine the Bears budgeting for Williams two years after breaking their bank on Peppers.

Detroit Lions

Key free agents: Defensive end Cliff Avril (franchise), left tackle Jeff Backus, safety Chris Harris, quarterback Shaun Hill, linebacker DeAndre Levy (restricted), running back Maurice Morris, running back Kevin Smith, quarterback Drew Stanton, linebacker Stephen Tulloch and cornerback Eric Wright.

Where they stand: The Lions are tight against the salary cap after franchising Avril and aren't likely to be big spenders on the free-agent market. They could relieve the situation by reaching long-term agreements with Avril and/or receiver Calvin Johnson, who has a $22 million cap figure for 2012. Tulloch made a big impact last season after signing a one-year deal, but so far the Lions' attention has turned elsewhere.

What to expect: The Lions' best-case scenario is to keep their 2011 core together without mortgaging their future relative to the salary cap. That would mean getting Tulloch re-signed to preserve the linebacker group they upgraded last season by signing him and veteran Justin Durant, moves that allowed Levy to play on the outside. Hill seems likely to re-sign as Matthew Stafford's backup, while Stanton might test the free-agent waters to see if he has a chance to do better than third on a team's depth chart.

Green Bay Packers

Key free agents: Cornerback Jarrett Bush, quarterback Matt Flynn, running back Ryan Grant and center Scott Wells.

Where they stand: The Packers took care of a big challenge by signing tight end Jermichael Finley to a two-year contract last month. They will let Flynn depart for a possible starting job elsewhere and it appears Grant will test the free-agent market. Discussions with Wells haven't led to an agreement, but the Packers often go to the final moments before reaching a deal. There are no obvious internal replacements for Wells, making his return a priority.

What to expect: The Packers will have some flexibility with the salary cap, but general manager Ted Thompson's aversion to veteran free agency is well known. It's been three years since he signed a veteran unrestricted free agent in the offseason. The Packers have needs at defensive line, outside linebacker and possibly at center if Wells leaves. But let's put it this way: Thompson's strong preference is to find depth and future replacements in the draft, not on other teams' rosters.

Minnesota Vikings

Key free agents: Safety Husain Abdullah, receiver Devin Aromashodu, receiver Greg Camarillo, defensive lineman Fred Evans, defensive lineman Letroy Guion, linebacker E.J. Henderson, linebacker Erin Henderson, safety Tyrell Johnson, quarterback Sage Rosenfels, cornerback Benny Sapp and tight end Visanthe Shiancoe.

Where they stand: The Vikings seem poised for a major roster overhaul in their first offseason since Rick Spielman was promoted to general manager. Players like Shiancoe, E.J. Henderson, Camarillo and Johnson all seem poised to move on. There aren't many positions on the team that appear secure.

What to expect: If the Vikings don't plan to draft USC left tackle Matt Kalil at No. 3 overall next month, the first clue will be if they pursue a free-agent left tackle. That seems unlikely. But they'll need to combine their draft with at least a few veteran free agents if they intend to compete for a playoff spot in 2012. Cornerback could be a point of focus, where Brandon Carr and Cortland Finnegan are among those available. Another could be receiver. The Vikings had major interest in Jackson two years ago.

Source: Devin Aromashodu to Vikings

July, 26, 2011
7/26/11
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The Minnesota Vikings have reached an agreement on a one-year contract with former Chicago Bears wide reciever Devin Aromashodu, a league source tells ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Read the entire story.

Bears free agents: Who will be back?

July, 20, 2011
7/20/11
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Anthony AdamsAP Photo/David ZalubowskiAnthony Adams hopes he will be a priority for the Bears once the lockout ends.
Chicago Bears free agent defensive tackle Anthony Adams carefully dissected comments this spring from interviews and award-presentation speeches at Halas Hall.

Somewhere in there he’s put together enough context clues from the team’s brass to string together the words: We want you back.

Perhaps he’ll finally hear that from the club in the coming days, with teams likely getting back to the business of free agency now that the lockout is close to coming to a conclusion.

“At both of the award ceremonies, they spoke very highly of me, and I kind of got a sense that they do want me back from the Ed Block courage award banquet and the Brian Piccolo award ceremony,” Adams said. “From both coach [Lovie] Smith and [defensive line] coach [Rod] Marinelli’s speeches, they want to have me back. I’ve just got to hurry up and wait.”

With new rules soon to be in place, it shouldn’t take long. The league is expected to assign a designated period of three days to sign undrafted rookies and their own free agents before full-blown free agency kicks off around the NFL.

An eight-year veteran, Adams falls into a vital group of Bears free agents -- which includes center Olin Kreutz -- the team will try to re-sign for the upcoming season during what’s sure to be a chaotic time for general manager Jerry Angelo, director of player personnel Tim Ruskell, and contract negotiator Cliff Stein.

Adams hopes (and likely will be) one of the top priorities among that group.

“I love it here, man. I love the crowd, the team, the coaches,” Adams said. “There are really no big egos on this team. We’ve got some pretty heavy hitters on this team, who believe in that team-first concept. That’s really great for someone like me.”

Here’s a look at the players from the 2010 roster that the Bears will be considering during the exclusive three-day window to bring back their own free agents:

Adams

DT Anthony Adams

Priority level: High
Unheralded because he doesn’t post gaudy numbers (36 tackles, two sacks) from his nose tackle spot, Adams is one of the key elements to the team’s stingy run defense. His preference is to remain a Bear, but the club won’t be able to bring him back if it extends the run-of-the-mill three-year, $6 million deal it offered several players before the end of last season.

Aromashodu

WR Devin Aromashodu

Priority level: Low
Aromashodu flashed early last season, but quickly fell out of favor with offensive coordinator Mike Martz. Aromashodu doesn’t want to return to Chicago. The team likely feels the same.

Bullocks

S Josh Bullocks

Priority level: Low
Bullocks was solid on special teams last season, but needs to make a more meaningful contribution on defense to stick. If he re-signs, Bullocks will have a tough time making the team.

Clark

TE Desmond Clark

Priority level: Low
Clark shined at training camp last year, and is arguably the club’s most athletic player at tight end. But for some reason Clark never received a legitimate shot to contribute on offense. With time dwindling on his 12-year career, Clark will explore opportunities elsewhere.

Collins

QB Todd Collins

Priority level: Low
His struggles when called upon, Caleb Hanie’s emergence in the NFC Championship game and the team’s decision to draft Nathan Enderle likely have signaled Collins’ exit from Chicago. There’s still a slight chance for a return, however.

Davis

WR Rashied Davis

Priority level: Moderate
Davis continues to be a standout performer on special teams, but might warrant a more extensive look at receiver after a strong outing in the regular-season finale. Davis likely won’t be highly coveted in free agency, thus increasing the prospects for a return to the Bears.

Graham

CB Corey Graham

Priority level: High
Graham cranked out what probably should have been a Pro Bowl season on special teams (he led the league in special-teams stops) in 2010. The team’s problem, however, is Graham probably feels typecast as a special teams only player with no shot at receiving a real opportunity to contribute on defense. That might lead to Graham looking elsewhere.

Iwuh

LB Brian Iwuh

Priority level: High
Iwuh tied for second on the team in special-teams tackles (18) last season, and showed in his only start (team-high 12 tackles with 10 solo against the Seahawks on Oct. 17) that he’s capable of potentially cracking the starting lineup full time. The team offered a multi-year extension at the end of last season, and if the deal is still on the table during the three-day negotiating period, he’ll sign it.

Kreutz

C Olin Kreutz

Priority level: High
Not as dominant a player as he used to be, Kreutz still ranks favorably among other players around the league at his position. Fortunately for the team, the NFL instituted the three-day negotiating window. Otherwise, there’s a good chance the Bears would have competition for his services.

Manning

SS Danieal Manning

Priority level: Moderate
The priority level should be high here, but team sources indicate the club has no plan to offer more than the three-year, $6 million deal it extended prior to the end of last season. Manning missed just three tackles all last year, finally coming into his own at the safety position. If the Bears won’t budge on the financial package, he’ll go elsewhere. Several teams are interested.

Maynard

P Brad Maynard

Priority level: Moderate
Maynard seems to have fallen out of favor with some in the organization after producing somewhat of a down year in 2010. Kicker Robbie Gould has shown strong support for the punter, but it might not be enough.

Roach

LB Nick Roach

Priority level: High
Injuries slowed Roach last season, but he should be in contention for the starting strong-side linebacker position in 2011. Roach wants to re-sign with the Bears, but the club could lose him if it can’t offer a strong deal during the exclusive period. Multiple teams are interested.

Tinoisamoa

LB Pisa Tinoisamoa

Priority level: Moderate
Because of his injury history, Tinoisamoa said the Bears will “try to find a way to devalue” him. When healthy, Tinoisamoa is a strong contributor. But the Bears probably won’t offer much more than a veteran minimum contract.

Wilson

LB Rod Wilson

Priority level: Low
Considered more of a special-teams player and reserve linebacker, Wilson could be brought back for depth reasons. But at this point, a return to Chicago seems unlikely.

Wolfe

RB Garrett Wolfe

Priority level: Low
Wolfe will only fall further down the depth chart with Harvey Unga returning from spending last season on the injured reserve. With the team already stacked at running back, Wolfe’s special-teams prowess still might not be enough to warrant a roster spot.

Note: QB Caleb Hanie is a restricted free agent, and in March received a low tender from the Bears. Running back Kahlil Bell is an exclusive-rights free agent.

Desmond Clark tweets he'll play Sunday

January, 21, 2011
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Bears tight end Desmond Clark eliminated some of the ambiguity associated with trying to determine the team’s inactive list Friday when he tweeted that he’ll be on the field Sunday against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game.

Read the entire story.

Second quarter: Bears 17, Vikings 7

December, 20, 2010
12/20/10
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Jay CutlerAP Photo/Hannah FoslienJay Cutler threw two touchdown passes against the Vikings in the first half at TCF Bank Stadium.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Thirty minutes stands between the Chicago Bears and their first NFC North crown since 2006.

After a shaky start, the Bears dominated the second quarter and lead the Minnesota Vikings 17-7 at halftime.

All the excitement swirling around Brett Favre's surprise return as the Vikings' starting quarterback proved to be short-lived, as he got knocked out of the game with a head injury early in the second quarter. Favre dropped back to pass on a third-and-4 play from the Bears' 48-yard line, only to be sacked and slammed to the turf by rookie defensive end Corey Wootton.

Favre walked off the field under his own power, but was replaced by rookie quarterback Joe Webb on the Vikings' ensuing series.

Meanwhile, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler continues to fluctuate between brilliant and reckless.

Cutler was red hot for much of the second quarter, and hit Devin Hester on a 15-yard touchdown pass to extend the Bears' lead to 10 points.

But after a Cutler-to-Devin Aromashodu touchdown completion was wiped out because of off-setting penalties, the Bears quarterback heaved a badly underthrown ball and was picked off by Asher Allen on the ensuing play.

Cutler finished the first half 9 of 15 for 142 yards with two touchdowns and that one costly interception.

Streaking/Slumping: Week 13

December, 7, 2010
12/07/10
2:09
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Forte/AromashoduUS PresswireMatt Forte was a dual threat against the Lions while Devin Aromashodu continued to struggle.
STREAKING
Streaking
Earl Bennett
1. Earl Bennett, WR: Offseason knee surgery blew his chances in the spring to make an impression on then-new offensive coordinator Mike Martz, and a pulled hamstring put Bennett on the shelf for much of the preseason, leading to the receiver being inactive for the season opener. But Bennett has made the most of his opportunities lately, tying his career high for catches (seven) against the Lions, in addition to posting a career high in receiving yardage (104). Bennett’s production has increased in each of the past three weeks, and more impressive than his chemistry with Jay Cutler, is his ability to break tackles to gain yardage after the catch.

Streaking
Matt Forte
2. Matt Forte, RB: Forte averaged 4.9 yards per carry against the Lions, and scored a touchdown. But he also made plays in the passing game, catching two passes for 36 yards, including a difficult 20-yard grab on Chicago’s opening possession of the fourth quarter. The catch led to the go-ahead TD pass from Cutler to Brandon Manumaleuna. Forte has proven capable of breaking a big play at any given moment, which only adds to Cutler’s diverse arsenal of offensive weaponry. Prior to the game on Sunday, Forte had run for 97 yards or more in two consecutive games.

Streaking
Jay Cutler
3. Jay Cutler, QB: For the first time all season, Cutler finished back-to-back games without throwing an interception. But more impressive is the fact he’s thrown five TDs in that same stretch while producing passer ratings of 117 or better. Cutler has also proven to be adept at buying time with his feet, and tucking and running to move the chains. It’s too early to say that Cutler has eliminated his tendency to make one or two questionable decisions per game. But his recent performances are promising. Cutler is on the first five-game winning streak of his career, and this team needs him at the top of his game for the playoff push.

SLUMPING
Slumping
J'Marcus Webb
1. J’Marcus Webb, RT: Bears coach Lovie Smith didn’t want to take credit away from Detroit defensive end Cliff Avril, who finished Sunday’s game with a career-high three sacks lining up primarily against Webb. “He had a heck of a game,” Smith said. “You have to give Cliff his due. Those three sacks were big.” They were also the result of Avril beating Webb consistently on Sunday. On one play, Avril jumped over a cut block by Webb to register a sack of Cutler. Sure Webb is a rookie, but he’s also taking on a prominent role in protection. As long as Webb struggles, he will continue to be a target of defenses.

Slumping
taylor
2. Chester Taylor, RB: Taylor registered his first game in three weeks in which he actually finished with more yards (33) than carries (nine). He also scored a touchdown and played a prominent role in the passing game, finishing second on the team with five catches. But he’s still not generating the type of numbers the club needs from him. Taylor ran five times for 24 yards in the first half against the Lions. But over the final two quarters, he gained just 9 more yards on four additional attempts. Taylor rebounded somewhat against the Lions, but not enough to pull him out of this category.

Slumping
Devin Aromashodu
3. Devin Aromashodu, WR: Arguably the club’s best receiver in terms of raw talent, Aromashodu seemed to prove against the Lions why the staff has been reluctant to expand his limited role in the offense. Cutler threw a short pass Aromashodu’s way in the second quarter that sailed pass without the receiver even looking. It’s important to mention that Lions defensive end Lawrence Jackson tipped the pass at the line of scrimmage. At the same time, Aromashodu never once looked for the ball. In fact, as the ball sailed past, he appeared to be trying to block the cornerback that was covering him.

Aromashodu proved himself vs. Vikings

November, 10, 2010
11/10/10
1:14
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[+] EnlargeDevin Aromashodu
AP Photo/Nam Y. HuhDevin Aromashodu had seven catches for 150 yards against the Vikings last season.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Things were different for Devin Aromashodu the last time the Minnesota Vikings paid a visit to Soldier Field.

After being forced to wait almost the entire 2009 season to crack the Chicago Bears' wide receiver rotation, Aromashodu exploded against the Vikings in the second to last game of the year, turning in the best performance of his NFL career: seven catches, 150 yards and the game-winning touchdown reception in overtime.

"It was real fun. I had the game-winning touchdown, it was cold and on Monday night," Aromashodu said Wednesday. "It was great because I knew everybody was watching. The Vikings played a lot of man [defense], a lot of bail technique where the cornerback would kind of run and read what was going on. That was mostly what I saw, but I got a lot of one-on-one situations because Minnesota was trying to stop the run."

For whatever reason, Aromashodu has been an afterthought after making five catches in the Bears' Week 1 victory over Detroit. But if his situation here in Chicago fails to improve, at least Aromashodu can point to that previous meeting with Minnesota as proof he can be an effective player in the NFL.

"I always knew I could play, but all I needed was an opportunity," Aromashodu said. "I got that opportunity [a few weeks before the Vikings game in 2009], and I feel showed I could compete at this level. I thought the Minnesota game just reinforced that."

Harris, Aromashodu active for Bears

October, 3, 2010
10/03/10
5:43
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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ -- Tommie Harris and Devin Aromashodu are back in the mix for the Chicago Bears.

Read the entire story.

Streaking/Slumping: Week 3

September, 29, 2010
9/29/10
5:45
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Brian Urlacher, Zach BowmanAP PhotosBrian Urlacher has been all over the field while Zack Bowman might see less of it.
STREAKING

Devin Hester
Streaking
1. Devin Hester, WR, PR:
Hester tops this list for the second consecutive week. After making a mark at receiver against the Cowboys a week prior, Hester showed he’s still arguably the most dangerous return man in the league. Hester returned three punts for 93 yards against the Packers, including one for a 62-yard touchdown to start the fourth quarter that gave the Bears their first lead of the night. Hester continues to show he’s capable of contributing significantly on offense and special teams. With 12 career kick return TDs in the regular season (eight punts, four kickoffs), Hester needs only one more return TD to tie Brian Mitchell’s all-time record.

Greg Olsen
Streaking
2. Greg Olsen, TE: Pundits considered Olsen trade bait in the offseason, and declared him a misfit in Mike Martz’s offensive system. But so far, Olsen is quieting the skeptics. Coming into Monday night’s game, Olsen had hauled in five passes for 76 yards. Well, the tight end nearly matched that production in one night against the Packers, catching five of the six passes thrown his way for 64 yards and a touchdown. Of all the weapons at quarterback Jay Cutler’s disposal, Olsen could potentially be the most dangerous because of the matchup problems he presents (too athletic for linebackers to cover, too big for safeties).

Brian Urlacher
Streaking
3. Brian Urlacher, LB: Weakside linebacker Lance Briggs could easily fill this spot, based on his production. But Urlacher gets the nod here, primarily because of the impact play he made at the end of Monday night’s matchup, which basically won the game for the Bears. In three consecutive weeks, Urlacher has posted no fewer than nine tackles in every outing. In addition, he’s posted a sack, six tackles for lost yardage, and forced a fumble, in addition to recovering another. More importantly, Urlacher appears to be as mobile as ever -- despite his age -- which is the main reason the Bears can successfully cover the deep middle zone between the safeties in their Tampa-2 scheme.

SLUMPING

Tommie Harris
Slumping
1. Tommie Harris, DT:: Based on Harris’ production in the first two games (1 tackle, two quarterback hits), the staff’s decision to make him inactive for the Packers game would seem like a no brainer. But the deeper issue to explore is why he’s not producing at a higher level. Harris received plenty of publicity throughout the offseason and training camp for his newfound practice availability, which had been hindered almost every year up this one due to various injuries. So for Harris, the extra practice seems to have amounted to less production. Perhaps Harris’ near-perfect attendance for workout sessions is wearing him down, and actually hurting his performances in games.

Devin Aromashodu
Slumping
2. Devin Aromashodu, WR: Cutler directed 10 passes Aromashodu’s way in the opener. Now, not only can the receiver not get on the field, he can’t even strap on the pads. The Bears limited Aromashodu to only one snap against the Cowboys, before placing him on the list of inactives for Monday night’s game against the Packers. Aromashodu insists he doesn’t know exactly what he’s done wrong. Offensive coordinator Mike Martz, meanwhile, implied last week that Aromashodu -- despite him spending a good portion of the offseason working at the position -- didn't know what he was doing operating out of the slot. This one seems a little fishy to us. Our belief is the Bears are a better team with Aromashodu on the field.

Bowman
Slumping
3. Zack Bowman, CB: The Bears made it a point in the offseason to publicize the fact they were moving the third-year veteran to the left side, which in the Tampa-2 scheme, is where the top corner plays. Then, against the Packers, the staff decided to bench its supposed No. 1 cornerback after just two series. While Bowman made a couple of mistakes in coverage and missed a tackle early in the game, the decision to bench him for the rest of the game in favor of Tim Jennings seems a bit questionable. Besides that, what type of message does it send to the rest of the team? It’s worth pondering whether such abrupt moves will cause players to play too tight in the coming weeks. It’s believed the Bears haven’t even discussed the situation with Bowman yet, which is even more surprising.

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