When the Bears reached an agreement with former Browns defensive end Keith McKenzie, it marked the third player to join the team this off-season with starting experience. Chris Chandler and Mike Caldwell both started games last season.

However, all three come to Chicago in backup roles.

McKenzie agreed to a two-year, $2.85 million contract on Wednesday that includes a $100,000 signing bonus and another $500,000 payment before the start of the regular season. He will be used in pass rush situations and could play a significant role if Bryan Robinson doesn't heel from surgery on his wrists as quickly as projected. McKenzie has proven he can pressure the quarterback with three consecutive eight-sack seasons.

Before suffering a season-ending injury to his left ankle against the Bears McKenzie started six of seven games and compiled 15 tackles with three sacks.

Chandler, who has been to two pro bowls, will backup Jim Miller. The two have a good working relationship. Chandler knows he came to Chicago as the second QB. Still, there are questions about Miller's durability meaning Chandler will probably not sit on the bench the entire season.

Either way Bears head coach Dick Jauron believes Chandler will be ready.

"One of the advantages, maybe, to having a two (backup quarterback) with that much experience is that he made not need the physical reps," Jauron said. "I think everybody needs some kind of physical work to be sharp. I know that mentally though he'll have a big advantage over most people just because he's been around so long and he's seen so many different things in the league."

Caldwell was an insurance policy incase Chicago lost Warrick Holdman. When the Bears decided to match the Chiefs offer sheet to Holdman, Caldwell became a second stringer. He's a solid special teams player, who can contribute in nickel coverage.

Whether, the three veterans are starting or not they should bring additional leadership and depth, a good sign for a team that went 13-3 last season.

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