Bears release first depth chart of the summer


Bears release first depth chart of the summer

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. The Bears have put out their first official depth chart of 2012 going into Thursdays preseason opener at Soldier Field against the Denver Broncos.
"Official," but unlikely to be the final one by the time opening day arrives in September.
Chris Williams is listed as the No. 2 at both right and left tackle after the decision to install JMarcus Webb as the starter at left tackle. James Brown is listed as the No. 3 at left tackle and Cory Brandon No. 3 at right tackle and both have played well enough to represent a looming threat to Williams hold on his job.
Alshon Jeffery and Earl Bennett are the backups to Brandon Marshall and Devin Hester at wide receiver. Bennett has put in a lot of time as the slot receiver and the Bears are expected to use multiple three-receiver packages, meaning that Bennett and Jeffery will see extensive playing time.
The Bears are somewhat less committal on defense. Stephen Paea and Matt Toeaina are co-starters at nose tackle. Shea McClellin is co-backup at both defensive end spots, with Corey Wootton behind Israel Idonije, and with Chauncey Davis backing up Julius Peppers. At this point McClellin has failed to play consistently as strong as Wootton in particular, although his steps over the past two weeks has been noteworthy.
Curiously, Nick Roach is listed as the starter at strong-side linebacker but nowhere on the list of middle linebackers behind Brian Urlacher, even though Roach has taken all the No. 1 snaps in the last four practices missed by Urlacher. Dom DeCicco is the current No. 2 at middle linebacker, indicating that the Bears want to see what they have in DeCicco vs. knowing already that Roach is a solid alternative to Urlacher.

Anthony Miller sports Bears uniform at NFLPA Rookie Premiere

Anthony Miller sports Bears uniform at NFLPA Rookie Premiere

Anthony Miller has quickly become a fan favorite on social media. He has the confidence and swagger found in most top wide receivers and it comes through on his Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Miller was one of 40 players in attendance at the 2018 NFLPA Rookie Premiere where he not only learned about the business and marketing side of football, but also suited up in his Bears gameday uniform for the first time. Of course, he shared the moment on Twitter:

Panini America, a sports collectible company, snapped a picture of Miller with fellow rookie receiver Calvin Ridley (Falcons) and quarterback Mason Rudolph (Steelers):

Miller has become something of a standout for the Bears despite not playing a single snap. He's expected to have a big role in an offense that has several new pieces and roles that are up for grabs.

Miller will compete with former first-round pick Kevin White and free-agent addition Taylor Gabriel for reps opposite Allen Robinson. Miller has the necessary skill set to play as both an outside receiver and in the slot which should give him an even greater opportunity to be on the field quite a bit.

The Bears first three draft picks are all vying for starting jobs in 2018. Roquan Smith (first round) is a lock to start next to Danny Trevathan and James Daniels (second round) will start at guard. Miller should make it three-for-three in a draft class that could end up the best of Ryan Pace's tenure.

Ryan Pace ranked among bottom-third of NFL general managers

Ryan Pace ranked among bottom-third of NFL general managers

Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace is having what many believe is his best offseason since taking the job in 2015, but after three seasons and only 14 wins, he needs a big year in 2018 to justify the confidence ownership has in him. 

According to a recent breakdown of all 32 general managers, Pace ranks among the worst decision-makers in the league.

No. 23: Ryan Pace, Chicago Bears

There’s only so much you can accomplish in one spring. The problem is that Pace let himself accumulate so many needs to begin with. He needs Trubisky and Nagy to springboard a fourth-year turnaround. 

The rankings didn't include six new GM hires, which makes Pace's positioning even more troubling.

Even though the Bears haven't seen wins on the field, Pace has done a solid job through three draft classes and appears to have the right coaching staff in place. His first hire, John Fox, was a calculated move by a rookie general manager to have an experienced football guy to lean on. Now, several offseasons later, the team is starting to take on his identity.

Despite all the talent Pace has added through the draft and the slow but steady transformation of the team's overall culture, it's a win-now business and if his blueprint doesn't start producing more wins than losses, it will be hard to justify more time and patience for his plan to develop.