Under the Microscope

The Bears made several personnel moves this week. Many more roster decisions are to come over the next two months, which brings us to take a look at who will make the 53-man roster when the season starts.

Projected starting quarterback: Rex Grossman
Projected reserves: Brian Griese and Kyle Orton

Projected starting backfield: Cedric Benson (RB) and Bryan Johnson (FB)
Projected reserves: Thomas Jones (RB), Adrian Peterson (RB) and J.D. Runnels (FB)

Projected starting receivers: Muhsin Muhammad and Mark Bradley
Projected reserves: Bernard Berrian, Justin Gage and Airese Currie

Projected starting tight end: Desmond Clark
Projected reserves: John Gilmore and Tim Day

Projected starting offensive line: John Tait (LT), Ruben Brown (LG), Olin Kreutz (C), Roberto Garza (RG) and Fred Miller (RT)
Projected reserves: Terrence Metcalf (G), John St. Clair (T), Steve Edwards (G/T) and Lennie Friedman (G/C)

Projected starting defensive line: Alex Brown (RE), Ian Scott (DT), Tommie Harris (DT) and Adewale Ogunleye (LE)
Projected reserves: Mark Anderson (RE), Alfonso Boone (DT), Dusty Dvoracek (DT), Israel Idonije (LE) and Tank Johnson (DT)

Projected starting linebackers: Lance Briggs (WLB), Brian Urlacher (MLB) and Hunter Hillenmeyer (SLB)
Projected reserves: Leon Joe (OLB), Jamar Williams (LB) and Brendon Ayanbadejo (SLB)

Projected starting secondary: Nathan Vasher (CB), Charles Tillman (CB), Chris Harris (FS) and Mike Brown (SS)
Projected reserves: Ricky Manning (CB), Danieal Manning (S), Dante Wesley (CB), Devin Hester (CB), Brandon McGowan (S) and Todd Johnson (S)

Projected specialists: Robbie Gould (K), Joel Stelly (P), Patrick Mannelly (LS) and Devin Hester (PR & KR)
Projected reserves: Bernard Berrian (PR) and Danieal Manning (KR)

There are very few surprises when it came to predicting the roster. Among the biggest names as projected cuts are defensive lineman Michael Haynes and punter Brad Maynard.

The only reason Haynes is in anyway a surprise is because he's a former first round selection. He's likely to catch on with another team that needs a run stuffing defensive end that can occasionally get to the quarterback.

Although Maynard has experience on his side, it will prove hard to beat out Stelly for two reasons. As an undrafted free agent, Stelly is the cheaper option and he has a lot of upside considering his powerful leg only lacks consistency.

With a year of NFL success under his belt, Robbie Gould has the inside track to beating out Josh Huston. If the two have similar numbers on field goals in the preseason, kickoffs could be the determining factor. If that's the case then Huston's chances improve.

Jason McKie has a shot to stick around if Bryan Johnson continues to be hampered by foot problems or J.D. Runnels struggles to pickup the offense.

Rashied Davis will need to win the kick return job to make the team, which would allow him to be the fourth or fifth receiver.

The depth on the offensive line probably means Qasim Mitchell's days in Chicago are numbered. Even though he can play either tackle or guard, the Bears have enough experience to make him expendable.

Cooper Wallace could beat out Tim Day for the third tight end spot. However, Day is the better receiving threat and it's obvious that's what the position has lacked in recent years.

The only draft pick not expected to make the team is sixth rounder Tyler Reed. He's an excellent candidate for the practice squad, but there's too much veteran depth for him to beat anyone out.


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