Watch: Bears tight end battle heating up

Which of the Chicago Bears’ tight ends is leading the race to be Martellus Bennett’s backup? Dante Rosario or Zach Miller? We update the positional battle.

Chicago Bears tight ends Zach Miller and Dante Rosario are currently involved in a heated preseason competition to be Martellus Bennett’s backup.

Miller is the better pass-catching option of the two. He runs good routes and has soft hands, and has shown in the past his ability to be a weapon in the passing game.

In the preseason opener last year, Miller scored two touchdowns before injuries derailed his season. The potential is there but he must stay healthy – he hasn’t played a regular-season game since 2011 due to various injuries – or else the Bears won’t feel confident slotting him in that backup role.

Rosario is a better lead blocker than Miller and is no slouch when it comes to catching passes. He’s had a role in this offense for two straight seasons and has a lot of value on special teams.

If the Bears had to choose today, it would likely be Rosario, due to his overall skill set and his importance in the third phase. Yet don’t rule out the chance the team keeps both players.

The Bears practiced a four-tight-end set in the red zone last week in camp – Bennett, Rosario, Miller and Bear Pascoe. You don’t practice something unless you plan on using it, so don’t be surprised if all four of those tight ends are on Chicago’s Week 1 roster.

Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is in his fifth season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter.

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