Biggs On Bears: Clausen, McCray, McManis

One of the heartiest post-game reads around is the Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs’ “10 thoughts,” and this morning’s wrap-up of the Bears’ loss in Seattle is full of tid-bits:

  • Technically teams have until 3 p.m. Tuesday to cut down from 90 to 75, but Biggs expects an announcement before Monday. “That’s because the Bears (and other teams) don’t want to go back to the practice field to prepare for the exhibition finale and have a player slated for the first wave of cuts suffer an injury. In that scenario, the team could be on the hook for several hundred thousand dollars if the injury is bad enough.”
  • Jimmy Clausen should be Jay Cutler‘s backup, in Biggs’ opinion. While the preseason numbers for Clausen and Jordan Palmer are similar, Clausen has looked more decisive and experienced.
  • “All signs point” to Danny McCray starting at safety in Week 1. “At this point, McCray might be about the only choice the Bears have at free safety,” says Biggs.
  • Austen Lane and Trevor Scott have shown well enough to wonder if the Bears will keep five defensive ends. David Bass, who was part of the rotation last season, looks like the odd man out.
  • Eben Britton‘s injury has opened the door for Michael Ola, who has played well and shown desirable versatility, increasing the chance he earns one of the team’s reserve lineman spots. Marc Trestman values his sixth lineman, as he used Britton for 235 snaps last season, primarily as an eligible tackle. “In a perfect world, coach Marc Trestman has a player that wears an eligible number to handle that role this season as an in-line blocker, extra tight end or even a presence in the backfield,” says Biggs, which is why tight end Matthew Mulligan looks like a “good bet” to secure a roster spot.
  • In “I’m not saying, I’m just saying” fashion, Biggs highlights the play of Sherrick McManis, a 26-year-old cornerback whose value to this point in his career has been as a core special-teams player. However, the Bears No. 4 and No. 5 cornerback spots are up for grabs, and Biggs notes “Since training camp has opened, McManis is at the tops of a chart in the defensive backs room for takeaways. He’s not only practiced well, he’s played well in preseason and has seven tackles on defense, one interception, one tackle for loss two passes deflected and two stops on special teams.” Biggs intimates McManis’ situation could have the Bears front office flashing back to that of Corey Graham, whom the team undervalued. Graham went on to earn a two-year deal in Baltimore where he played well enough on defense to get $8.1MM guaranteed from the Bills this March.
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