NFC North: NFC North

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The roster shuffling continued at Halas Hall on Tuesday, with the Chicago Bears elevating cornerback Isaiah Frey and receiver Rashad Ross off the practice squad to the 53-man roster while waiving running back Shaun Draughn and receiver Chris Williams, in addition to terminating the contract of vested veteran tight end Matthew Mulligan.

The moves come in response to the Bears placing cornerback Charles Tillman on the season-ending injured reserve, as well as to the club’s struggles on special teams during its win Sunday over the San Francisco 49ers.

The Bears also added defensive tackle Roy Philon to the practice squad.

A third-year veteran, Frey spent all of the 2013 season as the team’s primary nickel corner. But he struggled throughout the season due to a broken bone in his hand and failed to force a single turnover. Frey started six games, producing 62 tackles and two pass breakups, in addition to generating five quarterback pressures.

Frey spent his rookie season (2012) and the first two weeks of this season on the practice squad. It’s unknown whether the Bears plan to make Frey the starter at nickel for Monday night’s matchup against the New York Jets, and it’s likely the club is continuing to explore options at the position.

Because of Tillman’s injury, the Bears will move rookie Kyle Fuller into the starting lineup to play opposite Tim Jennings. Still, the club seeks a proven player to take snaps from the slot corner position, as the Bears spend approximately 50 percent of the time executing out of substitution packages.

Ross, meanwhile, spent the bulk of last season on the practice squads of the Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs after the former signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Arizona State.

Ross played in 26 games at Arizona State with 14 starts, and he caught 55 passes for 864 yards and seven touchdowns while also contributing as a return man (779 yards and two touchdowns).
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- A black briefcase lying in front of him at the podium, Chicago Bears guard Kyle Long took a businesslike approach Monday in assessing the team's dismal performance in the run game during the club's triumph over the San Francisco 49ers.

"I was embarrassed," Long said.

Bears coach Marc Trestman worded his thoughts a tad more delicately, but the fact remains the offense -- after averaging 4.8 yards per rushing attempt in the season opener -- took a major step backward running the ball against the 49ers.

Obviously several factors played into the performance, most significantly, a 17-point deficit in the second quarter, which put the team into passing mode. Still, when Chicago ran against the 49ers, it averaged just 2.7 yards per attempt, with Matt Forte finishing with 21 yards on 12 attempts.

[+] EnlargeMatt Forte
AP Photo/Tony Avelar)The Bears struggled to run the ball against the 49ers, averaging just 2.7 yards per carry.
Jay Cutler led the way with 25 yards rushing, with all of that coming on one scramble.

"Very poor in our run game performance," Trestman said. "We're gonna throw that away, and try to work off where we got started in the Buffalo game, and try to continue progress and get better there. [San Francisco is a] very difficult defense to run against. But nonetheless, the tape has certainly shown us we have some work to do. It got our guys' attention, which is a good thing."

The club's rushing aspirations become more difficult Monday night on the road when the Bears face the New York Jets, which boast the league's to run defense. Jets opponents averaged 2.8 yards per attempt and 52.5 yards per game on the ground. New York's defense is one of just seven units in the NFL which still hasn't given up a rushing touchdown.

The longest run surrendered by the Jets this season was 12 yards.

"We need to run the ball," Long said. "I know we got the win on the road, and it was big. I'm sure everybody else in our room will echo that. So will Matt. You need to run the ball in the National Football League, and we'll be better at that."

Chicago certainly needs to be Monday night to prevent New York from making it one dimensional, which in turn would allow the Jets to pin back their ears and come after quarterback Jay Cutler. If the Bears can string together success on the ground against the Jets, the playbook opens up and allows them to attack with all the weapons at their disposal as opposed to relying solely on Jay Cutler and the receivers to make the offense go.

Long attributed the offense's problems running the ball to simply "techniques, different looks." But ultimately, Long said there's no excuse for Chicago's inability to run the ball effectively.

"You run the ball. You grab the guy in front of him. You move him, and the running back has an opening," Long said. "It's hard to break that down any simpler than that. [The Jets] pose another challenge for us. When you can break through walls like those, you become stronger as a unit. I feel like it's an opportunity for us. It's a mountain. We've got to climb it, and we've got to put our flag in the top of it. We're gonna figure out a way to run the ball against the Jets."

Balancing out the run-pass ration might help (83 passes to 35 runs so far this season), as well as bringing back fullback Tony Fiammetta. Fiammetta missed the opener due to a hamstring injury. Then the team -- reeling from injuries along the offensive line and receiver -- cut the fullback last week as it adjusted the roster to compensate. The Bears brought Fiammetta back on Monday, and Trestman is hopeful he can help spark the rushing attack as Forte's lead blocker.

"He certainly could [help]," Trestman said. "Tony Fiammetta is an excellent player, and we haven't had a chance to utilize him because of the hamstring injury. Very, very good as a lead back. I know Matt likes running with Tony leading the way."
Charles Tillman said “this isn’t the end of the road for me” in a statement released by the team on Monday after it announced he’d go on the season-ending injured reserve due to a ruptured triceps. The first thought to come to mind was it may not be the end, but in Chicago it’s essentially over.

That’s not the way to think regarding a player of Tillman’s ilk. But reality is reality.

Tillman
Tim Jennings signed a four-year extension back in January worth $22.4 million, and rookie Kyle Fuller received a four-year deal with a club option for a fifth year which pays $9.687 million, including a signing bonus of $5.365 million.

Tillman, meanwhile, was playing on a one-year contract worth $3.25 million, and he signed that late after free agency proved fruitless.

Moving forward, the Bears can't afford to pay starter's money to three corners, especially with Jay Cutler's monstrous salary and potential extensions coming down the pipe for several players such as Brian de la Puente and Alshon Jeffery, just to name a couple.

Tillman certainly deserves to finish his career in Chicago. But with the corner set to turn 34 before the start of the 2015 season, it’s unlikely the Bears bring him back at a salary he wouldn’t find to be a slap in the face.

When Tillman hits free agency, he likely won’t be looking to break the bank. But he’ll definitely feel he’s worth more than a veteran minimum type of deal, which is probably what the Bears will offer given Tillman’s age, recent injury history, and the emergence of Fuller, who picked off a pair of passes Sunday in the club’s win at San Francisco. Besides that, if the Bears did decide to bring back Tillman for another season, would it be as a starter? Would he feel comfortable taking on the role as the nickel corner?

It’s sad to be pondering all this with emotions still raw, fewer than 24 hours after Tillman’s latest setback.

But that’s the reality we’re faced with; one in which special players such as Tillman always leave on someone else’s terms.

“He’s one of our leaders on this team, and much needed,” receiver Brandon Marshall said during his radio show Monday on ESPN Chicago 1000. “It’s sad for the city, it’s sad for our team, it’s sad for him.”

It truly is.

Tillman was correct in saying it’s not the end of the road, because it isn’t. Once Tillman rehabs from this injury, he’ll still be a player capable of starting and playing at a high level in the NFL.

But the problem is this team, even before Tillman’s injury, has already moved on. If Brian Urlacher and Devin Hester have taught us anything, it’s the fact the Bears -- like every other team in the NFL -- always moves on.
The Chicago Bears signed fullback Tony Fiammetta to the 53-man roster, while also adding rookie quarterback David Fales to the practice squad.

Fales
Fiammetta
The Bears brought back Fiammetta and Fales after cutting the duo last week in a series of roster moves brought about due to a rash of injuries along the offensive line and at receiver. Fiammetta had been nursing a hamstring injury headed into Week 2, while Fales had missed practice time because of a shoulder injury.

A six-year veteran, Fiammetta serves primarily as a lead blocker for Matt Forte, and has run the ball 11 times for 26 yards throughout his career, while also producing 130 yards on 12 catches in 50 games with 24 starts.

Fales, meanwhile, joined the Bears as a sixth-round pick out of San Jose State.

Over two seasons at San Jose State, Fales started in 25 games, throwing for 8,382 yards and 66 touchdowns with 22 interceptions. Fales has impressed the staff enough throughout his brief tenure with the Bears, that he would likely develop into a potential backup to starter Jay Cutler.

With the Bears placing cornerback Charles Tillman on the injured reserve, it's expected the club in the coming days will make more roster moves.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- San Francisco’s Jim Harbaugh provided glowing reviews of Chicago’s Marc Trestman back in 2013, saying he “taught me everything." The latter reciprocated on Friday as his team prepared to board a flight for the Bears-49ers matchup Sunday at Levi’s Stadium.

Harbaugh and Trestman worked together on the staff of the Oakland Raiders back in 2002. It was Harbaugh’s first coaching job as a quality control coach on offense, and he reported directly to Trestman, who served as offensive coordinator.

“Jim, he’s an amazing guy. He’s hypercompetitive, was extremely detailed and really worked hard at his job. He was quality control. He was drawing the pictures,” Trestman said. “The standard was very, very high. He took it very, very seriously. He went from there, he moved on. He started working with the quarterbacks in his second year and spending … individual time with them -- just a good friend, and just a very good football coach and person.”

After the Bears hired Trestman as head coach in 2013, Harbaugh spoke on the "Waddle & Silvy" show” on ESPN Chicago 1000, saying the 49ers still use Trestman's system of calling plays.

Asked at the time whether Chicago hit a home run with the hiring of Trestman, Harbaugh, a former Bears quarterback, said, “Absolutely. Grand slam. That was a grand slam hire. You see the coaches that Marc has put around him. They know football. He knows football. He’s a great teacher. That’s something I learned working with Marc, by example and by things he would tell me. That’s one of my lucky breaks in coaching was to work with Marc Trestman, because he took the time to train me and to teach me. I will always be thankful for that.”

During their time working together, Trestman quickly noticed Harbaugh’s competitive nature and drive.

“He was very serious about making sure every picture was perfect. It was always detailed out,” Trestman explained. “If there was a line that wasn’t correctly done, he took it personal that he didn’t do it right. He was a guy [who] spent time at the office, slept at the office, did whatever he could to help the football team.”
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Sure, Jay Cutler struggled in the season-opening loss to Buffalo, throwing a pair of interceptions which led to Bills points.

Cutler
 
But former NFL quarterback Scott Mitchell believes Cutler is in the right hands with Bears head coach Marc Trestman. Trestman spent the 1997 season working with Mitchell as the quarterbacks coach of the Detroit Lions, and helped the signal-caller produce a 3,483-yard passing season, which at the time ranked as the second best in team history (it’s now No. 6).

“Jay’s a little bit like Matt[hew] Stafford,” Mitchell explained to ESPN NFL Nation reporter Mike Rothstein. “Big arm, is much more temperamental. I’m really curious to see what Marc can do with him if Jay will actually let him.”

Cutler passed for 349 yards and two touchdowns in the opener, but the performance was marred by the turnovers. Cutler took accountability for the INTs, and offered assurances he’ll make better decisions with the football as the season progresses.

Mitchell, who once started 57 games for the Lions, recently joined the cast of NBC’s The Biggest Loser, and was asked what Trestman does to coax the most from his quarterbacks. During his tenure with the Lions, Mitchell passed for 12,647 yards and 79 touchdowns and played in two postseason contests.

“Marc really understood how to keep your mind calm. Everything happens so fast and the decisions you have to make ... we just spent a lot of time preparing to keep your mind calm,” Mitchell explained. “So you knew on this play, you just know this is exactly what I do. On this play, this is exactly what I do. And he was just excellent at helping you with having a calm mind when you played. Marc was the best coach I ever had, actually. I just really connected to him. He got quarterbacks. He understood the position. He understood all that went into it. He was great at developing and teaching and communicating offenses. He looked so cerebral. But he has this fiery intensity with how he goes about things. It really, really resonated and we connected quite well.”
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- First, the personal day off to open a barbecue restaurant, then the constant barrage of inquiries regarding his nightlife.

On the heels of the team’s season-opening loss, Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs found himself on the defense Wednesday as the club kicked off preparation for Sunday’s matchup against the San Francisco 49ers.

Briggs
“I don’t think you know what I do every day. I don’t think you have any idea,” Briggs said. “I’m here early. Every day that I’m here, I get a lot of treatment on my body. I’m here. I work out in the middle of the day. Even though this is not necessarily anybody’s business, but I’m gonna tell you. After practice, I’m getting treatment, and I do an additional workout after I leave this building to get my body ready. People don’t know that.”

Despite clearing it first with Bears coach Marc Trestman, Briggs took a day off from practice last Monday to attend the grand opening of his new barbecue restaurant, Double Nickel Smokehouse in Elk Grove, California. Briggs admitted to never telling Trestman why he needed that day off, and the linebacker later received a barrage of criticism for not being with the team during the first day of practice leading into the opener.

Rumors surfaced later that Briggs spent Friday night and early Saturday morning leading up to Sunday’s game out socializing, which isn’t wrong, considering the time spent out was his own personal time, and there wasn't a team curfew. Still, Briggs received criticism for it, likely because of his role as a leader on defense. The criticism intensified when the veteran was credited with three tackles in the official box score as the Bears gave up 193 yards rushing Sunday in the loss to the Bills.

Briggs also took responsibility for Anthony Dixon’s 47-yard run in the second quarter.

“I popped out to go get the quarterback and left that gap wide open,” Briggs said. “That’s a mistake that I don’t normally make, and I won’t moving forward.”

Briggs said the criticism he’s received lately “doesn’t bother me at all.”

“We’ve only played one game,” he added. “I told [defensive coordinator] Mel [Tucker] on my day off, I’m like, ‘Man, you know, I once came out in our first game and had 36 loafs and one tackle against Atlanta, and got some of the same criticism. [I] went on to have a regular year.’ I’m not like everybody else. I don’t hit the panic button. For us, it’s time to focus on beating the 49ers.”

Trestman defended Briggs and the rest of the team.

“Regarding Lance or any of our players, I’ve never seen anything significant [that would affect preparation for a game],” Trestman said. “When guys show up to work, they’re here to work. That goes for Lance and everybody else on our team. I’ve never seen anything lingering in terms of guys not being ready to work and ready to practice since the time I’ve been here.”
CHICAGO -- Observed and heard in the locker room after the Chicago Bears' 23-20 loss to the Buffalo Bills:

Martellus Bennett
Bennett on INTs: Tight end Martellus Bennett took responsibility for the first of Jay Cutler's two interceptions but claims to not know what happened on the second INT, which led to Buffalo taking a 20-17 lead in the fourth quarter. Both passes were intended for Bennett, with the second being picked off by defensive tackle Kyle Williams.

"I don't know what happened on that s---," Bennett said. "The fat guy got a pick."

Jeffery appears to be fine: Alshon Jeffery missed the fourth quarter and overtime due to a hamstring injury, but Bears coach Marc Trestman said, "Alshon was prepared to go in there at specific times. I'll just leave it at that." Jeffery was seen in the locker room after the game, and he didn't appear to be walking with a limp or any type of discomfort. Trestman said he didn't know the extent of Jeffery's injury.

Garza and Slauson hobbled: Center Roberto Garza conducted postgame interviews with a walking boot lying on the floor in front of his locker while left guard Matt Slauson walked with a limp on the way out of the locker room. Both players missed the entire second half and said they will receive MRI exams Monday morning.

Rapid Reaction: Chicago Bears

September, 7, 2014
Sep 7
4:20
PM ET

CHICAGO -- A few thoughts on the Chicago Bears' 23-20 overtime loss to the Buffalo Bills at Soldier Field:

What it means: One loss typically isn’t cause for concern. But when you start the season playing four out of five on the road with the division-rival Green Bay Packers sandwiched in the middle, it’s easy to see how the Bears put themselves in a hole that will be difficult to climb out of considering next week’s matchup is on the road against the San Francisco 49ers.

Stock watch: Tight end Martellus Bennett caught eight passes for 70 yards and a touchdown and bailed Jay Cutler out of a couple of sticky situations when the quarterback was under duress. In Bennett, Cutler has a sure-handed 6-foot-6 security blanket the quarterback can find on crossing routes when under pressure.

Drive killers: Chicago gave up 10 points due to turnovers on back-to-back possessions to help the Bills seize a 17-7 lead at intermission. First, Brandon Marshall fumbled after a 14-yard reception. Leodis McKelvin stripped it loose and Preston Brown recovered, romping 30 yards to the Chicago 46. The turnover destroyed a promising Bears drive that started at the 14 and allowed the Bills to go up 10-7 on Dan Carpenter's 50-yard field goal with 8:07 left before intermission.

Chicago turned it over again the very next possession, with Cutler throwing an interception to Corey Graham on a pass intended for Bennett. Graham returned the pick 41 yards to the Chicago 17, and an Alshon Jeffery hands-to-the-face penalty tacked on an additional 10 yards. Buffalo scored on the next play on a C.J. Spiller 7-yard reception from EJ Manuel.

Game ball: Marshall caught a team-high eight passes for 71 yards and a touchdown and showed plenty of grit and toughness doing it. Marshall suffered what appeared to be an ankle injury on the final play of the third quarter making a 7-yard reception. As the quarter changed, he left the field to have trainers tape up the injured ankle. Marshall re-entered the game and limped off again after failing to haul in a third-down pass from Cutler. He returned to the sideline to undergo another tape job from the athletic trainers before coming back and finishing the game.

Three other starters in center Roberto Garza, left guard Matt Slauson and Jeffery also left due to injuries. Marshall was the only one to return.

What’s next: The Bears head back to Halas Hall on Monday to evaluate Sunday’s performance before taking Tuesday off. The club begins preparation Wednesday for next Sunday's matchup against the 49ers.
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Bears released their list of inactives for Sunday’s season opener against the Buffalo Bills.

The list includes quarterback David Fales, cornerback Kelvin Hayden, fullback Tony Fiammetta, linebacker Khaseem Greene, and tackle Charles Leno Jr.

Fales missed all week of practice leading into Sunday’s contest due to a sore right shoulder. But as the No. 3 quarterback, a healthy Fales still would have landed on the team’s list of inactives. Fiammetta was limited during the week of practice due to a sore hamstring.

Inactives for the Bills include cornerback Stephon Gilmore, running back Bryce Brown, safety Jonathan Meeks, defensive end Jacquies Smith, tackle Cyrus Kouandjio, and tight end Lee Smith.

The Bills announced that former Bears cornerback Corey Graham will start at right cornerback in place of Gilmore.
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 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."
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.
Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte improved his standing from a year ago in our #NFLRank project, moving from No. 48 to No. 29 in the latest edition, in which ESPN ranks the top 100 players in the league on both sides of the ball.

Forte
Forte
The latest rankings grouped players between Nos. 30 through 21. Receiver Alshon Jeffery was one of 23 players on offense to make his debut in the 2014 #NFLRank project, checking in at No. 31

Forte finished last season ranked third in the NFL in total yards from scrimmage (1,933 yards) on the way to being named to his second Pro Bowl. Forte rushed for 1,339 yards, carrying the ball on 71.5 percent of the team’s rushes, which ranked as highest in the league, according to ESPN Stats and Information.

Since 2008, Forte ranks third in the NFL in yards from scrimmage (9,585), behind Chris Johnson and Adrian Peterson.

Forte ranked one spot ahead of San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers and one slot behind Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

None of Chicago’s defenders made Wednesday’s offering in the #NFLRank project.
Most significant move: The Chicago Bears officially made Jimmy Clausen the No. 2 quarterback and jettisoned Jordan Palmer, who quickly signed with the Buffalo Bills. While Clausen and Palmer aren’t considered proven commodities, the latter had more familiarity and experience in Chicago’s offense. Jay Cutler hasn’t played an entire 16-game regular season since 2009, so it’s almost a given that at some point in 2014 the Bears will need to lean on the backup quarterback. That’s not to say the Bears made the wrong move, because Clausen appears to be the better player. Interestingly, Palmer signed with Chicago’s Week 1 opponent: the Buffalo Bills. So there’s a good chance the Bills are pumping Palmer for information on Chicago’s offense.

The end of a career? The Bears signed Adrian Wilson hoping he still possessed many of the physical traits that made him one of the NFL’s most dominating safeties over the years. Had Wilson panned out, he would have given the Bears the type of physical presence on the back end they haven’t had since Mike Brown roamed the secondary. The Bears gave Wilson plenty of opportunities to earn a spot on the team, but he never flashed the brilliance that made him such a force for so many years with the Arizona Cardinals. Wilson says he’s a “prideful person,” but at this point it appears his career is over.

What’s next: The Bears finish out the preseason on Thursday at Cleveland, and upon returning they’ll start to finalize the roster heading into the Aug. 30 cutdown date before beginning preparation for the regular-season opener against the Bills.

Bears' cuts: QB Jordan Palmer, KR/PR Darius Reynaud, LB Jordan Senn, RB Michael Ford, WR Greg Herd, WR Kofi Hughes, OT Joe Long, RB Derricus Purdy, DB Peyton Thompson, DT Nate Collins, OG Dylan Gandy, S Adrian Wilson, S Craig Steltz, OG James Brown, B Isaiah Frey.

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