Bears Place Tight End Zach Miller (Foot) On Injured Reserve- Super crappy news here after Miller was so impressive in the preseason opener. Injuries are the story of his career, unfortunately.
Podcast: Talking Bears With 'The Lineup' On Radio DePaul- I jumped on 'The Lineup' (a Chicago sports talk show for Radio DePaul) to talk Bears football with Eli Hershkovic on Saturday. This was soon after the Santonio Holmes news, but before the news that the team was cutting wide receiver/kick returner Eric Weems.
Topics include Holmes, the No. 2 QB battle, the No. 2 RB battle, the run-blocking struggles, the special teams struggles, & more. You can listen to a podcast of it here:
Thanks to Eli for having me on. He really does a great job on that show and gets some tremendous guests (much, much better than myself for certain), so make sure to give him a follow on Twitter (@EliHershkovic) and tune in to the show. (Eli Hershkovic; The Lineup)
Bears Roster Moves & Injury News
Bears Sign Santonio Holmes, Release Eric Weems- The Bears recently had Santonio Holmes in for a workout, but it was still pretty stunning to see news that the Bears were signing the NFL veteran and Super Bowl XLIII MVP.
Holmes has had off-the-field issues, been considered a "locker room cancer", and has dealt with injuries in recent years. He should not be expected to be the Santonio Holmes of a few years ago, but, who knows. Maybe a change of scenery and being around guys like Brandon Marshall that have turned their lives around since joining the Bears can help keep Holmes' head on straight, and get him to perform like a great player again. And for the No. 3 wide receiver on the Bears, that would make an explosive offense even more explosive.
If he ends up being a distraction or not performing well on the field, the Bears just cut him. It's as simple as that. It's a low risk, high reward move.
As for Weems, the fact he was already cut was as surprising to me as Holmes being signed. Weems was brutal in the Bears' two preseason games at wide receiver and returner. He fumbled a kick return, couldn't make it past the 20-yard line on the other kick returns, and pissed off Jay Cutler when he didn't come back to a pass that he could've. But, he came into the second preseason game as the No. 3 wide receiver and first wide receiver on the field next to Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, and he was the primary kick returner. So, just seeing him flat-out released right after that is a bit shocking to me, although with how Phil Emery runs things, a bold move like that maybe shouldn't be so surprising. (Larry Mayer; ChicagoBears.Com)
Report: Santonio Holmes Gets Minimum Salary Deal From Bears- According to ESPN’s Field Yates, Holmes received a one-year deal for a non-guaranteed salary of $855,000 — the veteran minimum. If the 30-year-old Holmes doesn’t make the club, the Bears won’t be on the hook for any more compensation. But if he proves a solid third option behind Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, the Bears will have made quite the value signing. For Holmes, the deal functions as a one-year “prove-it” contract.
So, Holes has a non-guaranteed salary of $855,000, the veteran minimum. There is nothing to lose here for the Bears. They can cut Holmes and be on the hook for nothing if he is a "cancer", doesn't impress on the playing field, etc., etc. And if he's what they hope, he's a damn solid, play-making third receiver (and likely fifth option in targets). (Mike Wilkening; Pro Football Talk)
Marc Trestman On Santonio Holmes: 'People Change'- The Bears are well aware of Holmes' past and why he was on the street this far into the preseason, but Marc Trestman thinks Holmes can change (and obviously, otherwise they wouldn't have signed the wide receiver):
"We spent time with him," Marc Trestman said Monday, via the Chicago Tribune. "I mean, people change. They get into new venues, new environments. You're out for a while, you get a good, hard look at where you are not only in your work life, as well as other aspects of your life." (Mike Coppinger; NFL.Com)
Holmes Plans To 'Embrace' Opportunity- (Michael C. Wright; ESPN Chicago)
Bears Signing Holmes Makes Team Leadership Statement- (John Mullin; CSN Chicago)
Signing Santonio Holmes Could Be Huge Boost For Bears If WR Can Stay Healthy- (Kristopher Knox; Bleacher Report)
Holmes Could Be A Big Upgrade- (Andrew Dannehy; Da Bears Blog)
Report: WR Marquess Wilson Could Miss 12-14 Weeks- When promising Bears wide receiver Marquess Wilson broke his collarbone on August 5th, it was assumed he would be out 6-8 weeks. But, it sounds like it may instead be 12-14 weeks, in which case it seems likely that he'd end up on the short-term Injured Reserve. That would officially keep the 21-year-old out of the first eight games, but the Bears may have no choice if he may miss that amount of time anyway, as doing so would allow them to carry another player on the roster through that time frame.
If this report is accurate, is it why the Bears signed Santonio Holmes? The Bears are denying that's the case, but you have to wonder. Wilson was very likely to be the No. 3 wide receiver to open the season. Let's hope he can at least play half the season and at least make a big step in his development, as he's a very intriguing prospect. (NFL Trade Rumors)
Bears Sign KR Darius Reynaud & CB Peyton Thompson, Cut P Tress Way & LS Chad Rempel- The Bears released punter Tress Way and long-snapper Chad Rempel on Monday, and as corresponding omves, signed return specialist Darius Reynaud and cornerback Peyton Thompson.
While the Bears built up the Tress Way/Pat O'Donnell competition to really be a, well, competition, it was hard to see Way having a realistic shot at the job. The Bears wanted to keep Mr. 'Megapunt' motivated and to go out there and prove it, but when you use a draft pick on a punter... you'd better be using that punter.
Rempel was competing with Brandon Hartston for the long-snapper job after SuperBear Patrick Mannelly decided to retire, so it should be assumed that the job is Hartson's now.
Darius Reynaud is a veteran returner that you may remember an electrifying running back/receiver at West Virginia back in the day. The thing is, he's pretty much a returner-only in the NFL now, as evidenced by the Bears calling him a "return specialist" upon the signing. A big reason why they didn't seem to even bother keeping Devin Hester was that it's an inefficient use of a roster spot for a guy that only returns kicks. But, with Eric Weems struggling and ultimately being cut, Micheal Spurlock muffing two punts, and Chris Williams missing time with a hamstring injury, the Bears needed another returner around for the remainder of the preseason. (Larry Mayer; ChicagoBears.Com)
Bears Hold Out Six From From Monday's Practice- "The Bears held out guards Brian de la Puente (MCL sprain) and Eben Britton (hamstring), cornerbacks Isaiah Frey (hamstring) and Kyle Fuller (ankle), right tackle Jordan Mills (foot) and linebacker Lance Briggs (knee bruise).
Bears coach Marc Trestman called Fuller, Mills and Briggs day-to-day. But Mills hasn’t yet played in a preseason outing, and there’s growing concern that his regular-season availability could be in jeopardy." (Michael C. Wright; ESPN Chicago)
Mills Misses Another Practice, But Ditches Walking Boot- Bears right tackle Jordan Mills has missed all of the preseason, and is unlikely to play vs the Seahawks on Friday, but he's at least ditched the walking boot on his foot. (Brad Biggs; Chicago Tribune)
ReFocused: Bears-Jaguars- Ben Stockwell of Pro Football Focus breaks down the Bears' preseason victory. His three performances of note: Jay Cutler, Jon Bostic/Shea McClellin, and the Bears' cornerbacks.
Here's an excerpt on what Stockwell took away from the performances of Bostic and McClellin:
The linebacker corps was a disaster for the Bears last season and they got off to a poor start against the Eagles last weekend. A few days on, though, and things will look a little brighter. New convert Shea McClellin put in a much improved display in run defense capitalizing both on unblocked situations as well as disrupting and defeating blocks to allow others to make plays around him. He still looks a little uncomfortable in coverage, but as a fresh convert from the defensive line, that should hardly be a surprise.
Last year’s second-round pick, Jon Bostic, had about as polar opposite a performance from the preseason opener as you could manage. After struggling in both run and pass defense at the weekend, Bostic made positive plays in both phases last night (39 snaps, +3.1 overall).
Bostic's most impressive play came on the game's first drive, when he blew up Jaguars left tackle Luke Joeckel (the No. 2 overall pick in 2013) to get into the backfield to get a tackle for a loss on 3rd-and-1 (you can see the GIF of that awesome play at the end of the post). After how bad Bostic and McClellin looked against the Eagles, it was extremely encouraging to see them look much better in the second preseason game.
Here's some of the high and low grades given to Bears players by PFF:
Top 4 Offensive Grades Vs Jaguars
1. QB Jay Cutler, +1.6 (14 snaps)
2. RB Senorise Perry, +1.0 (14 snaps)
3. LG Robert Turner, +0.9 (46 snaps)
T-4. TE Martellus Bennett, +0.8 (14 snaps)
T-4. WR Josh Morgan, +0.8 (30 snaps)
Bottom 4 Offensive Grades Vs Jaguars
1. RB Ka'Deem Carey, -2.2 (28 snaps)
2. WR Josh Bellamy, -2.1 (25 snaps)
3. LG Joe Long, -2.0 (14 snaps)
4. C Roberto Garza, -1.4 (24 snaps)
Top 4 Defensive Grades Vs Jaguars
1. LB Jon Bostic, +3.0 (38 snaps)
2. DE Cornelius Washington, +2.6 (18 snaps)
3. CB CJ Wilson, +1.7 (13 snaps)
T-4. CB Tim Jennings, +1.5 (29 snaps)
T-4. CB Charles Tillman, +1.5 (28 snaps)
Bottom 4 Defensive Grades Vs Jaguars
1. LB Khaseem Greene, -2.9 (30 snaps)
2. CB Kelvin Hayden, -1.4 (33 snaps)
T-3. DE Austin Lane, -1.0 (26 snaps)
T-3. DT Will Sutton, -1.0 (26 snaps)
Jon Bostic's 38 snaps were the most played on defense; newly acquired offensive lineman Robert Turner's 46 snaps were the most on offense. (Ben Stockwell; Pro Football Focus)
Bears-Jaguars Observations: Devin Hester Is Missed- While it doesn't mean the Bears should've given a returner-only the $3 million the Atlanta Falcons did to sign Devin Hester (and note: the Falcons plan to use him at receiver too... good luck with that), the Bears definitely miss Hester so far this preseason. Eric Weems was absolutely awful as the primary kick returner, Michael Spurlock has muffed two punts (granted, he was never expected to make the team)... there has not been a notable return once, both in the kick and punt return games.
Chris Williams is probably the best option at returner (and could end up being an electric one as he was in the CFL), but he missed this game with a hamstring injury, and you'd like to see him showing what he can do in game action before just handing the regular season duties to a guy that has been playing in the CFL. So, the (Adam Hoge; The Game)
Bears-Jaguars: Notes, Scribbles, & Things Jotted Down- Steven Schweickert's notes taken during the game. Lots of good takes here. (Steven Schweickert, Windy City Gridiron)
Impressions From Bears-Jaguars- (Dan Durkin; 670 The Score)
Report Card: Offense Solid As Bears Beat Jaguars- (James Neveau; NBC Chicago)
Chicago Bears: What We've Learned Through Week 2 Of Preseason- (Ross Read; Bleacher Report)
Bears Preseason Rookie Report: Week 2- (Mike Flannery; Bear Goggles On)
More Bears Stories
Morgan To Receiver First Shot At Bears' No. 3 WR Job- Marc Trestman says that veteran wideout Josh Morgan will get the first crack at the Bears' No. 3 wide receiver job, even with the signing of Santonio Holmes.
And this makes plenty of sense, for a few clear reasons. One, Morgan is a solid receiver that has three years of 40+ receptions in the league, and has impressed in the preseason. I wanted him to get time with Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery in the previous two games. Two, Santonio Holmes should be handed nothing. The Bears want Holmes to go out there and show he still has it on the field, and that his head is in the right place. Three, Holmes still has to learn the offense and develop a solid quarterback/receiver relationship with Jay Cutler.
Holmes may ultimately win the No. 3 job, but going into the Seattle game, Morgan should be the guy in that role. (Michael C. Wright; ESPN Chicago)
Bears Stand To Measure Progress Friday Against Seahawks- The third preseason game is generally considered the most "regular season"-feeling preseason game, as the starters usually play more (and many of them then sit out the fourth game). And this year, the Bears' third preseason game happens to be against the defending champions in the most difficult road venue in the sport. So, this game could be a nice measuring stick for the Bears. (Sam Householder; Windy City Gridiron)
Breaking Down The Bears' Likely Opening Game Starting Lineup- (Matt Eurich; Bleacher Report)
2014 Preview: Chicago Bears- (Tyler Horn; Pro Football Focus)
Bears Wait For Backup RBs To Set Themselves Apart- (Patrick Finley; Chicago Sun-Times)
The Future Price Of Alshon Jeffery- What is it going to cost to keep Alshon Jeffery around long-term? Bear Goggles On's Alexander Zorn takes a look. (Alexander Zorn; Bear Goggles On)
Tweet Of The Day
The #Bears' offensive line has been terrific in protecting Cutler in the preseason. 3 examples from Thurs: pic.twitter.com/MvYCteTTErTweet Of The Day No. 2
— Matt Eurich (@MattEurich) August 19, 2014
Cutler said Holmes is a little rusty but says his speed and explosiveness is definitely there.Video Of The Day
— Michael C. Wright (@mikecwright) August 19, 2014
Santonio Holmes with a 69-yard touchdown reception for the Jets in week three of 2013 (he had 5 receptions, 154 yards in the game):