Missing in Action

Bears training camp starts July 26th in Bourbonnais, but some key players in Chicago's 2002 season plans could be MIA. The only rookie to ink a contract thus far is third round choice cornerback Roosevelt Williams out of Tuskegee.

As it stands right now the Bears offensive line would lack depth without the addition of first round choice offensive tackle Marc Colombo, and third round pick guard Terrance Metcalf. The earlier the rookies get into camp the more opportunity they'll have to learn the offensive scheme, thus earning additional playing time in preseason.

The team returns four starters from last year's o-line with the only exception being Blake Brockermeyer.

On the defensive side of the ball, Alex Brown the Bears fourth round pick figures to be a key component in rushing the passer. For Brown to make an impact on defense, he must report to camp on time, so the former Gator can add moves to his pass-rushing arsenal. Karon Riley struggled with the transition from the collegiate ranks because his only asset was speed. He lacked a secondary attack such as a bull rush, which NFL left tackles could negate.

The entire NFL has been slow in signing their draft choices this year due in part to rule changes in the rookie salaries. However, once the top choices begin to sign a domino effect follows thereafter.

The Bears have just 16 days until the start of camp and eight draft choices to sign.


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