Bears

Bears roster lacks veteran cut candidate

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USA Today

Bears roster lacks veteran cut candidate

The Bears battle for the 53-man roster doesn’t have many contentious positions entering training camp.

Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy brought back largely the same roster from their breakout 2018 season, finding replacements for the few players gone in free agency.

Outside of kicker, the entire starting lineup is pretty much set for Week 1, and the main competitions to stick with the team are at the bottom of the depth chart.

It leaves the roster with no notable veterans that stand out as candidates to be cut. ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson was asked to name one for an article, and he couldn’t come up with any.

He mentioned Taquan Mizzell, who made the move from running back to wide receiver this offseason, but as Dickerson pointed out “Mizzell is hardly a well-known commodity around the league.”

Former third-round pick Jonathan Bullard hasn’t lived up to his draft status, but the Bears have seemed comfortable keeping him around in a backup role.

The Bears roster has very little fat to trim. The only other player who could potentially qualify is cornerback Sherrick McManis, since the team has so many young players at his position, but he’s been working at safety to increase his value, and he’s one of the team’s best special teams contributors.

The trim down from the 90-man roster shouldn’t have too many significant surprises, which is why so much of the attention this offseason continues to go to the kicker position.

Matt Nagy says 'earmuffs and blinders' are keys to offensive turnaround

Matt Nagy says 'earmuffs and blinders' are keys to offensive turnaround

Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy was so confident in the growth of his offense and his young quarterback this summer that he declared Mitch Trubisky a graduate of level 101 of his offense and onto level 202. He was a teacher more than a student.

Unfortunately, the first two weeks of the 2019 season haven't produced results that match that confidence. And of course, Nagy is searching for answers. In the meantime, he wants his players -- Trubisky included -- to ignore the outside noise.

"Making sure we have the earmuffs on and the blinders," Nagy said Thursday from Halas Hall. "And I say that. I mean that. It's hard in this world today because it's everywhere. People are talking and saying things, and when you're doing real well, everyone's all about it. When you're not doing well, everyone's all about it. So we have to make sure that we control what we can control and that's today's practice."

Those earmuffs and blinders better fit just right this week. Chicago plays in front of a national audience in Week 3's Monday night matchup against the Redskins; the outside chatter will turn deafening if the offense struggles against one of the NFL's worst defenses.

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NFL Picks 2019, Week 3: Who are the experts taking in Bears vs. Redskins?

NFL Picks 2019, Week 3: Who are the experts taking in Bears vs. Redskins?

The Chicago Bears will be back in the national spotlight in Week 3's Monday night matchup against the Washington Redskins, and all eyes will be on QB Mitch Trubisky, who's quickly become the team's biggest question mark now that Eddy Pineiro proved to the Bears in Week 2's miracle finish at Denver that they no longer have a kicker problem.

The good news for Trubisky is that he'll finally face a defense unlikely to finish anywhere near the NFL's best this season. The Redskins rank near the bottom of the league in every significant category, including passing yards per game. By comparison, the Broncos are a top-three defense against the pass entering Week 3.

Chicago's favorable matchup has experts extremely confident in their ability to come away with the win. According to NFL Pick Watch, 81% of experts polled have the Bears coming out on top.

RELATED: Bears make jump in Week 3 NFL Power Rankings

Let's be honest, Week 3 should be Chicago's most convincing victory of the early season. They lost a close game to one of the NFL's best teams in Week 1 against the Packers and Week 2's game against the Broncos was more than just a regular matchup; Denver's Vic Fangio had a greater advantage than any opposing defensive coordinator will have against the Bears this season because of his familiarity with the team.

As long as Khalil Mack, Eddie Goldman, Akiem Hicks, Eddie Jackson and the rest of Chicago's stars on defense remain healthy, the Bears should have little trouble moving to 2-1 Monday night.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.