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