After cuts: Breaking down the Bears roster

After cuts: Breaking down the Bears roster
August 31, 2013, 5:45 pm
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The Bears reduced their roster to the requisite 53 players late Saturday afternoon, with few real surprises but a couple of impressive stories, particularly on the offensive and defensive lines.

Three undrafted rookies made the NFL roster: center Taylor Boggs, who played the entire Cleveland game and gave steadily improving play all through camp and preseason; defensive tackle Zach Minter, who began showing up with bull-rushes in camp pass-rush drills and carried it over to games; and cornerback C.J. Wilson, who had an interception at Oakland in addition to four tackles, one for loss, and two other pass deflections.

[MORE: Bears cut ties with LB Thomas amidst 'final' roster moves]

Here's the way the current roster breaks down:

Quarterback (2): Jay Cutler, Josh McCown

Analysis: The Bears have Jordan Palmer on speed-dial. They opted for the QBs already most up to speed with new offense.

Running back (4): Matt Forte, Michael, Bush, Michael Ford, Tony Fiammetta (FB)

Analysis: Ford offers help for Devin Hester on ickoff returns. Fiammetta is a force as a lead blocker.

Tight end (3): Martellus Bennett, Steve Maneri, Kyle Adams

Analysis: Fendi Onobun might return on practice squad or more eventually, but the coaches go for “dependable” with this group.

[RELATED: Urlacher hoping Marshall is right physically]

Wide receiver (6): Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Earl Bennett, Joe Anderson, Eric Weems, Marquess Wilson

Analysis: Keeping six gives the Bears insurance with the Marshall and Bennett injuries. Terrence Toliver is available for the practice squad.

Offensive line (9): Jermon Bushrod, Matt Slauson, Roberto Garza, Kyle Long, Jordan Mills, Eben Britton, James Brown, Taylor Boggs, Jonathan Scott

Analysis: Offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer hinted at eight, but Boggs showed too much to risk sending him to the practice squad. And Scott provides proven depth.

Defensive end (5): Julius Peppers, Corey Wootton, Shea McClellin, Cornelius Washington, Cheta Ozougwu

Analysis: All won’t be active on game days, but the search is on for speed off the edge with Ozougwu and Washington.

[MORE: Allen, Onobun among latest Bears cuts]

Defensive tackle (4): Henry Melton, Stephen Paea, Nate Collins, Zach Minter

Analysis: Minter turned heads throughout camp to earn a spot in a strong rotation.

Linebacker (6): Lance Briggs, Jon Bostic, James Anderson, Blake Costanzo, Khaseem Greene, D.J. Williams

Analysis: Williams hasn’t had a special-teams tackle since ’05, but as Bostic’s backup he’ll have to contribute there.

Cornerback (6): Tim Jennings, Charles Tillman, Isaiah Frey, Zackary Bowman, Sherrick McManis, C.J. Wilson

Analysis: Frey won the nickelback job, and Wilson just kept making plays as a rookie free agent.

[RELATED: Bears with two quarterbacks after release of Edwards]

Safety (4): Major Wright, Chris Conte, Craig Steltz, Anthony Walters

Analysis: The Bears will be looking at the waiver wire for depth and special teams.

Specialists: Robbie Gould, Devin Hester, Adam Podlesh, Patrick Mannelly

Analysis: Hester is worth a roster spot apart from the offense’s 25 slots.