The Tribune writers put their heads together to assess the state of the Bears roster and review the state of each position. Since the eight core special teamers who are going to play on each unit are going to be a huge part of determining who makes the team, its worth looking at who they might be. Here are my guys:
- Jordan Senn
- Dante Rosario
- Khaseem Greene
- Sherrick McMannus
- Danny McCray
- Matthew Mulligan
- Tony Fiammetta
- Trevor Scott
It’s worth noting that this leaves perennial special teamer, Craig Steltz, off of the list. Steltz missed a lot of camp with an injury. If he stays on, one of these players will come off. In my mind it came down to him, Mulligan or Scott and I think the other two offer more in terms of depth and the ability to help every week on game day at their respective positions. Mulligan can serve as an extra blocker in obvious running situations the way that Eben Britton did last year but can also serve as a receiving threat. Scott will likely make the team regardless and will rotate in occasionally as the fourth defensive end. By putting him on all of the special teams units they save a roster spot. McCray is undoubtedly far ahead of Steltz in all areas and has played before under special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis
The absence of a wide receiver in this group is also notable. One of the bubble candidates will likely have to make it as the punt and kick returner. This was why Weems would have been valuable in this position. He would have contributed on the other units. But that wasn’t meant to be. There was a point where I wondered if Josh Bellamy might make the team as part of this group. He still might but he’ll have to be what Weems basically was last year if he does. It looks like he’ll contribute little to the passing game as a wide receiver.
I also left the running backs off but both Shaun Draughn and, especially, Ka’Deem Carey are candidates. Michael Ford‘s prospects are looking dim. Reading between the lines, he probably doesn’t offer a lot in pass protection as a running back. If he makes it, it will likely be as a kick returner and the Bears probably don’t want to use a roster spot for that kind of specialist who can’t contribute elsewhere. If they did, Devin Hester would still be here.