Is Blocking Still a Problem for Davis?

One of the staples of Ron Turner's offense for the Chicago Bears is the three-tight end formation in the short-yardage and goal-line packages. Kellen Davis was selected last April to take the place of John Gilmore as the No. 3 TE. He was not able to handle that role. Is his roster spot in jeopardy?

There is no question that tight end Kellen Davis, a fifth-round draft pick this past year out of Michigan State, can catch the football, but he's not going to get on the field in Chicago ahead of either Desmond Clark or Greg Olsen.

What the Monsters of the Midway do need, however, is a third tight end that can be effective in short-yardage and goal-line situations – every now and then as a receiver but mostly as a blocker. They had one in John Gilmore, although the 6-5, 257-pound veteran signed with the Buccaneers as an unrestricted free agent last offseason. While Davis is even bigger at 6-7 and 262, he hasn't shown much desire to improve his blocking and was removed as the No. 3 tight end midway through 2008 in favor of tackle and fellow rookie Chris Williams.

Davis is a gifted athlete and seems to make an incredible catch in practice almost every day, but some of the activity at Halas Hall recently suggests that the former Spartan has fallen out of favor in the Windy City and could be out of a job.

Davis might not make the 53-man roster in Chicago despite his obvious physical abilities.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

General manager Jerry Angelo selected Lance Louis, an offensive lineman from San Diego State, with one of his two seventh-rounders in the NFL Draft, claiming that the 300-pounder started his career with the Aztecs as a tight end and could play there again in the pros. Now comes word that Michael Gaines, a 277-pound free agent known much more for his blocking that his pass-catching, is scheduled for a visit Thursday to Lake Forest. Williams is slated to start at right tackle, meaning he's not an option for short-yardage and goal-line duty anymore – and Davis doesn't appear to have the coaching staff's confidence to handle that role.

If Gaines ends up agreeing to terms with the Bears, Davis may be put on the trading block immediately thereafter.

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John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit and become a Chicago Bears insider.

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