One aspect of the annual NFL teams offseason mission statement is to build both the quality of a roster as well as the quantity. That means not only depth but specifically depth that is good enough to either contend for a starting job or replace a starter without precipitous falloff.
The Bears, in Phil Emerys first offseason as a general manager, have added not only volume to the roster, but also players who come in not as starters, but could be.
The latest is linebacker Geno Hayes, signed to a one-year deal after starting 42 of 56 games played at weakside linebacker in four seasons for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Hayes succeeded longtime Pro Bowl fixture Derrick Brooks in Tampa and is a speed addition at 6-1, 226 pounds.
The Bears previously signed guard Chilo Rachal, a one-time starter for the San Francisco 49ers. Kelvin Hayden was a starting cornerback with the Indianapolis Colts with a stop in Atlanta last year before signing with the Bears. Brandon Marshall obviously was a starter-plus for Denver and Miami. Corner Jonathan Wilhite started 17 games over his five NFL seasons.
Jason Campbell was a starting quarterback with the Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders. Michael Bush started nine games last season for the Raiders. Devin Thomas started 11 games over his four seasons.
In 2011, Hayes started 13 of 16 games played, finishing third on the team with 86 tackles and seven tackles for losses, adding one interception and two forced fumbles.
The knock on Hayes, and why the Bucs were willing to let go of a one-time starter, was maturity and discipline, one NFL source told CSNChicago.com. He made flash plays but was prone to taking chances all pointing toward a big upgrade to special teams.
The Jonas Brothers are in Chicago for concerts that are taking place on Thursday and Friday night, and they have enjoyed quite a week. This week the trio has enjoyed a nice golf outing at Village Links in Glen Ellyn, had some quality BBQ at Bub City and even got the amazing opportunity to play a touch football game at Soldier Field. But one particular Bulls guard is looking to add another fun experience to their Chicago trip.
The Bulls organization welcomed the Jonas Brothers to the city with a set of custom jerseys for the trio and their significant others and that's when Ryan Arcidiacono chimed in with his offer.
Since the Jonas Brothers have already got to play some football on the actual Soldier Field grass, Arci figured they might as well keep the Chicago sports-themed fun going and shoot some hoops with him.
Now, Arcidiacono didn't make it clear whether or not he was offering for the Jonas Brother to get some shots up with him at the United Center, where their shows take place on Thursday and Friday night. But, either way, his time is running out as they will be moving on to Jackson County, MO for their next stop on tour on September 21.
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The Chicago Bears have a favorable matchup Monday night against the Redskins in a game that could be just what the offense needs to get back on track. Washington will be the worst defense Mitch Trubisky has faced (by far) this season and should present opportunities for big plays in both the passing and running games.
But as is the case every week in the NFL, injuries could play a part in the outcome. And the Bears have a few notable names on their injury report.
The most notable is DL Bilal Nichols, who's expected to miss the game with a broken hand. Trey Burton was limited in practice once again with a groin injury, but he should be good to go Monday night. He returned to action in Week 2 and played 26 of 60 snaps on offense.
Kyle Long (hip), Eddie Jackson (shoulder) and Eddie Goldman (oblique) were also limited Thursday, but none appear at risk of missing the game.
The long week should help the Bears climb closer to full health with the exception of Nichols.