NFC North: Greg McCoy

Chicago Bears cut-down analysis

August, 31, 2012
8/31/12
8:56
PM ET
Most significant move: The most significant move of the final cut-down, and the entire offseason, is how aggressive the Bears were in trying to upgrade special teams. In free agency, they signed Eric Weems to help Devin Hester with returns. They kept undrafted safety Jeremy Jones to help on special teams, then traded fullback Tyler Clutts to Houston to acquire cornerback Sherrick McManis. They also kept linebacker Patrick Trahan to help out on special teams. Figuring the team will have a better offense, the Bears wanted to shore up special teams to keep their offense in good field position.

Onward and upward: With only three draft choices making the 53-man roster -- third-round pick Brandon Hardin ended up on injured reserve -- the Bears need to see if they can slide released draft choices Isaiah Frey (sixth round) or Greg McCoy (seventh round) to the practice squad. The Bears may only keep one on the practice squad because both are cornerbacks. They also hope to get undrafted tackle James Brown through waivers to get him on the practice squad. The Bears kept the predicted eight offensive linemen on the active roster, so they need a tackle (Brown, A.J. Greene or Cory Brandon) and an inside prospect to fill out the practice squad.

What’s next: The Bears aren’t standing pat. They ended up adding 16 new players to the roster and are in the process of signing defensive tackle Amobi Okoye as a backup. It wouldn’t be surprising if they look at Antonio Dixon, a defensive tackle released by the Philadelphia Eagles. A decision still has to be made on a punter. Adam Podlesh suffered a hip flexor injury, so the Bears kept undrafted punter Ryan Quigley on the active roster. It’s not out of the question for them to look for another punter who was released.
We're Black and Blue All Over:

Let's take a break from our (relatively) serious coverage of the Minnesota Vikings' stadium bill to note some highly significant intersections of the NFC North and reality television.

First, Green Bay Packers receiver Donald Driver made it through another week on "Dancing with the Stars" and is headed to the semifinals of the competition. I guess that means we'll need to ramp up our "DWTS" coverage. Via Twitter, Driver said: "I want to bring the Mirror Ball to Titletown." The question now is if Titletown is ready for the Mirror Ball.

Meanwhile, EW.com reports that Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is part of a new celebrity dating show on Fox called "The Choice." New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is also a cast member.

Whether this appearance fits into Suh's offseason image repair plan remains to be seen.

With that, let's continue around the NFC North:

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