John Crist: The Bears acquired Dante Wesley prior to last season to
be a backup cornerback and primary special teams player. He's become known as
somewhat of a training camp legend with the organization, but he's never been
able to translate his success in Bourbonnais to the regular season. After a
fine training camp in 2006, he was curiously passed over for ultra-green rookie
Devin Hester when the team needed a fourth corner in Week 14 at pass-happy St. Louis. Wesley was again playing well in camp as the team prepared for 2007,
but he was a no-show on Family Night at Soldier Field this past Sunday. Head
coach Lovie Smith proceeded to tell the media that [Wesley] was no longer in
the team's future.
Question: Does Wesley have the skills to fit into another system?
JC: Physically, Wesley possesses prototype size for teams that put a priority on bigger corners. Unfortunately, his coverage skills are limited, and he never gained the coaching staff's trust in Chicago. I asked him at Bears Convention back on Mar. 30 why he's never been given a shot at safety considering his physical gifts and desire for more playing time -- the team was much more unsettled at safety than corner at the time. He said he would do anything asked of him if it got him on the field more often, but he continued to line up exclusively at corner in the offseason program. The Bears have four rookie corners -- two draft picks and two undrafted free agents -- in camp and have been relatively happy with their progress, so Wesley became expendable.
John Crist is the Editor in Chief of BearReport.com and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com