Europe Week 2

While none of the Bears that are playing in NFL Europe are expected to make an impact on the 53-man roster, Chicago has had their share of talent emerge from playing abroad.

Marcus Robinson got his break in NFL Europe in 1998. After a stellar season with the Rhein Fire, Robinson put together a record-setting performance the following year for the Bears with 1400 yards receiving, which still stands as the record for receiving yards in a single campaign.

Ahmad Merritt used a World Bowl Title as a springboard to stick on the Bears 53-man roster as a solid role player following the 2001 season.

At this point Jerry Schumacher is making the most noise of the seven Bears that were allocated to the league. He's the starting middle linebacker for the Amsterdam Admirals and has five tackles (4 unassisted) through two games. After being waived by the Bears in training camp the undrafted free agent signed a futures contract following the season. Obviously perennial Pro Bowler Brian Urlacher has the MLB spot locked up, but Schumacher could challenge Hunter Hillenmeyer for the backup role.

Another Bear that contributing for his club is Marcus Reese, who is starting at strong-side linebacker for the Cologne Centurions. Reese finished the season on Chicago's practice squad and is looking to gain experience after being an undrafted free agent out of UCLA. In two starts he has two tackles on defense coupled with two special teams stops.

The player the Bears were hoping to get a look at more than any other they allocated was punter Brooks Barnard. After spending time with the Bears in training camp last year he was waived before the start of the season. Barnard had a brief stint with the New England Patriots and the Bears thought enough of him to sign the punter to the 53-man roster in order to keep him from other teams.

There is a chance that Barnard could supplant current punter Brad Maynard. However it will be difficult to gage anything from Barnard's performance thus far, as he has just one punt for 43 yards in two games for the Rhein Fire.


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