Trevor Scott

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.

Bears Notes: Clausen, Safeties, Scott

The Bears played another flag-filled preseason game last night, and the Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs provided his post-game thoughts:

  • The Bears have ongoing competition for backup quarterback — Jimmy Clausen and Jordan Palmer are both playing well — and running back, where Shaun Draughn and fourth-rounder Ka’Deem Carey are vying for carries behind Matt Forte.
  • The safety position remains a jumble, though Chris Conte is expected to be cleared for action in next week’s third preseason game, and the best estimation for the starting combination come opening day might be Conte and veteran Ryan Mundy.
  • In keeping with the question mark theme, the job of kick returner is also up for grabs because Chris Williams is hurt, and Eric Weems has done nothing to take ownership. “The Bears have gone from Devin Hester to who-knows-what entering the third preseason game,” says Biggs.
  • A week after starring in the first preseason game, tight end Zach Miller went down with a left foot injury. The team will get details on the injury today.
  • Defensive end Trevor Scott is emerging as the fourth defensive end, says Biggs: “[Scott] looked good again. He’s got legit speed and is being used with the first unit on special teams by Joe DeCamillis.”
  • Sixth-rounder Pat O’Donnell has all but locked up the punting job.
  • With Marquess Wilson injured, veteran Josh Morgan could position himself as the third receiver.
  • Shea McClellin, who is being scrutinized in Chicago, struggled again last night in his second game as a linebacker, says ESPN’s Michael C. Wright: “The Bears want to remain patient with Shea McClellin as he transitions to linebacker, but his play against the Jaguars seemed just about on par with his shoddy showing last week. McClellin did stuff the run once early on but continues to struggle at shedding blocks and making tackles in space.”

NFC North Notes: Bears, Joseph, Packers

Jimmy Clausen looked better than Jordan Palmer in the Bears’ first preseason game versus Philadelphia, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Clausen had a 73-yard scoring strike and showed encouraging command for a signal caller who only has two months worth of exposure to a new system. Biggs’ “10 thoughts” on the game is full of information:

  • Suspended tight end Martellus Bennett was not with the team, and head coach Marc Trestman did not have any news about Bennett’s return. Biggs says that while the suspension is “indefinite,” the CBA states a ‘conduct detrimental to the team’ suspension can only last four weeks. Additionally, Bennett can only be fined up to one week’s pay, which would be approximately $282k. “A logical return date would be at training camp Sunday, when the team gets on the field again,” speculates Biggs.
  • Chris Williams, who the Bears plucked off the Saints practice squad, showed legitimate speed in beating the Eagles’ secondary for a 73-yard touchdown, but he suffered a mild hamstring pull and did not get the chance to return kicks, presumably the reason the Bears got him.
  • Second-year right tackle Jordan Mills has been sidelined with a sore left foot (the same foot he had surgery on in January), but X-rays showed no structural damage.
  • For years the Bears’ special teams were the envy of the league under the command of Dave Taub (now in Kansas City), but the unit fell off last year under Joe DeCamillis, and Friday night was inauspicious to say the least, as the Bears had a field goal blocked, yielded a kick return score, were inconsistent punting and were called for multiple penalties.
  • Defensive end Trevor Scott, a darkhorse roster candidate, played well. Shea McClellin and Jon Bostic did not.

Here’s some more NFC North notes:

  • With Bennett suspended, Zach Miller raised eyebrows with six catches for 68 yards and a pair of scores, writes ESPN Chicago’s Jeff Dickerson. Miller’s career was derailed by injuries, but when healthy, he’s a capable receiving tight end. He’s on a one-year, $645k deal with the Bears.
  • In a team-issued release, the Vikings say nose tackle Linval Joseph‘s calf was struck by a bullett during a Minneapolis nightclub shooting last night. The team says Joseph was an innocent bystander, was treated and released from the hospital and will return to the team next week.
  • Former Bear Julius Peppers hasn’t made a splash yet in Packers camp, and ESPN’s Rob Demovsky wonders if the veteran is pacing himself or if there’s just not much left in the tank.
  • Myles White and Kevin Dorsey are the top candidates for the Packers’ fifth receiver job, says Robert Zizzo of the Press-Gazette.

Bears Sign Trevor Scott

The Bears have signed free agent defensive end Trevor Scott to a one-year contract, the team announced today (via Twitter). Scott had been available since being released by the Buccaneers in October.

Scott, 29, started his career in Oakland before joining the Patriots and Bucs in the past two seasons. The former sixth-round pick hasn’t been a full-time starter since 2010, though he contributed three sacks as a reserve for New England in 2012.

Since Scott likely represents no more than than defensive line depth for the Bears, he’ll likely be in line for a minimum salary deal. For a player with his experience, that’d be a $730K salary for Scott, with a $570K cap hit for the team.