Talent Search

The Bears have been busy at work scouting the practices for the East-West Shrine Game in San Antonio. They've spoke with several players on both sides of the ball. Here's a look at some of the names that have been making the rounds.

  • Virginia Tech LB James Anderson spoke with the Bears. He may be the most complete linebacker at the Shrine Game. Anderson got good depth in pass coverage, displayed excellent speed to the sidelines, aggressively attacked the backfield, and showed solid reactions.

    At six-foot-3, 232 pounds Anderson fits into the Bears speed first philosophy at linebacker. The team lacks depth behind the starting trio of Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs and Hunter Hillenmeyer.

  • Oregon State receiver Mike Haas put up impressive numbers with the Beavers. He became the first receiver in Pac-10 history to go over 1,000 yards receiving three times. He averaged an impressive 17.8 yards on 220 catches, which is a school record.

    The six-foot-1, 208-pounder also has a nose for the end zone with 20 touchdowns during his career. He won the Fred Biletnikoff Award as the nation's best receiver. He led the NCAA in receiving yards (139.3 per game).

  • Despite being the deepest part of the roster, Texas Tech DT Johnny Jolly caught the Bears eye. The 6-foot-3, 310-pounder has quickness off the snap to make him a good fit for what the Bears look for a defensive tackle. He has shown the ability to immediately change direction and can pursue laterally. He's also athletic enough to drop off the line then play in space, but he's most effective when he keeps his pads low to the ground. Displays good hand technique defeating blocks. Works hard and gives consistent effort.

    The knock on him is that he has a tendency to get tall immediately out of his stance, which makes him an easy target for opposing blockers. He's slow to locate the ball.

    The Bears have enough depth on the interior of the line that they could take a chance on a hard worker like Jolly, who needs to iron out the rough edges of his game, with a middle round choice.

  • The only tight currently under contract is Desmond Clark. With that in mind the Bears are looking to add depth to the position. TE Boone Stutz caught just two balls as a senior for Texas A&M, but at six-foot-6, 251 pounds he can open up holes in the running game. He also has experience as a long snapper. He would be an undrafted free agent type prospect.

  • Texas Tech E.J. Whitley has the size to be a force on the offensive line. At six-foot-7 302 pounds he played in an offense that forced him to be a pass blocker first and think run second. Not necessarily a natural fit for what the Bears do on offense, but his size can't be taught.

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