The Chicago Bears play the Cleveland Browns tonight at 7 pm central time at Soldier Field. The game is the fourth and final game of the 2015 preseason. Tonight is the last chance for the young and unproven players or even some of the veterans to make the final roster. After the game, the Bears staff will get together to discuss who they will cut from the team to make the final 53 man roster. There are some players who are a lock to make the roster and there are some players who need this game in order to prove themselves to the staff. Tonight's game should play out very interestingly because it will show who can shine in the clutch and who isn’t ready for the real deal.
One of the positions to watch is tight end. No, this is not for the starting position. 8 year veteran Martellus Bennett has that locked up. The second TE slot is the battle we're talking about. The most likely case it that two players will make the 53 man roster thus acquiring slots 2 and 3 on the team. The four players fighting for the position are Zach Miller, Blake Annen, Bear Pascoe, and Dante Rosario. Firstly, Zach Miller, who is a former Seahawk has a good chance of making the final roster, even though he has battled injuries for his entire career. However, Miller has not played a single snap since the 2011 season. If Miller stays healthy he could prove effective for the team receiving wise, but blocking wise needs to show improvement to the Bears staff. Second, Blake Annen, a practice squad player that doesn’t have a very good chance of making the roster, but could prove himself this game and end up making it. Bear Pascoe is meant to play for the Bears right? No, that is not the case, just because his nickname is Bear doesn’t mean he should be on the roster. However, he did sign a one year deal with the Bears and has a good chance to make the roster if he consciously improves his pass blocking. I have watched Bear Pascoe play and he blocks for the run very well. He is also solid receiver with nice hands who can make catches when needed. And finally, the 2014-15 second string TE Dante Rosario, who has the best chance of making the roster and acquiring the second string spot. Rosario fits in better with the new offensive coordinator Adam Gase than anyone else. My pick for the second spot is Dante Rosario, but we'll have to watch and see in tonight’s game.
Another spot I think is going to be fun to watch in tonight's game is the running back spot. Once again, obviously not the starting spot (hint Matt Forte). I'm describing the second RB slot, being battled over by Jeremy Langford and Jacquizz Rodgers. The backup battle is mostly between Langford and Rodgers but Carey and Perry are fighting for what will most likely be one of the final spots on the 53 man roster. Langford put up impressive numbers this preseason with 19 carries for 98 yards and 3 receptions for 30 yards with 1 total touchdown. Langford also has very impressive college stats with a 2014 season of 276 attempts for 1522 yards and 22 touchdowns. Jacquizz Rodgers was a second string running back for the Atlanta Falcons in past seasons. He was a great addition to the Bears roster over the offseason but he has just been average in the preseason. I love both of the running backs but the rookie Jeremy Langford will snag the number 2 RB slot if he continues his outstanding preseason tonight. Langford has shown he has both amazing speed as well as power, and has shown he will be a great backup to the star Matt Forte. Week 4 of preseason play will be fun to watch to see who will show that they can backup Matt Forte.
The wideout position will also be interesting to watch. With the injuries of Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White, this preseason showed who could step up at the wideout spot and be Jay Cutler’s go to guy while those two wide receivers are out. Even though Alshon Jeffery will most likely come back for week 1 of the regular season the Bears organization still needs a number two wide receiver as Kevin White is out with a stress fracture in his lower shin. Kevin White recently underwent successful surgery and will likely be out for the entire season. He still has a chance to play this season but the Bears want to be careful with what they do with White. White has a great career ahead of him and they don’t want to ruin that with unnecessarily early playing time. So far, Eddie Royal has been the guy that Jay Cutler has gone to in the preseason with White and Jeffery out. Eddie Royal is a solid veteran receiver that could prove a worthy WR2 while White is out. Royal, however, is injured, and was listed as day to day with a hip injury. Another wide receiver that could make a good option is Marquess Wilson. Wilson is also battling an injury but will most likely be back early in the season.
The Bears' position is bittersweet. The bitter side being their top 4 wideouts are injured. The sweet side is opposing team's roster cuts. With other players becoming attainable, Chicago hopes to acquire a solid interim wideout. There is also one more roster cut. The final 53 man roster. The Chicago Bears are hoping that a solid wideout becomes available when the roster cut is made. The Bears need to get a deep threat with White out and Jeffery and Royal lacking deep reception ability. If Hakeem Nicks doesn’t make the 53 man roster for the Tennessee Titans, he could prove solid to this Bears offense riddled with injuries. While the Bears' top 4 wideouts all injured, who will be the wide receiver to step up and prove that they are good enough to make the 53 man roster?