The Chicago Bears released their first depth chart of the 2009 season, and there are a few surprises...
First, the two starting receivers are Devin Hester and Earl Bennett. Not a huge shock, but the two players listed as their backups are Brandon Rideau and Rashied Davis.
This continues a trend from the coaching staff to not give the rookies too much. Especially rookie receivers.
Juaquin Iglesias is listed with Devin Aromashodu as the third stringers leaving rookie fifth round pick Johnny Knox on the outside looking in.
Next is the nose tackle position where Anthony Adams is listed as the starter next to Tommie Harris. This comes as a slight shock since it has been reported that Adams was fighting for a roster spot against Dusty Dvoracek. Not a starting spot.
This could be stemming from Marcus Harrison missing the first couple practices, since he came to camp overweight. But it certainly should motivate Dusty knowing that his status is in jeopardy.
Another unexpected move was the announcement that Hunter Hillenmeyer is the backup MLB behind Urlacher. This might be best suited for him as he can drop in coverage and is a sure tackler. Pisa is the top strong side linebacker with Nick Roach as his backup.
Rookie Marcus Freeman is listed as a fourth stringer, which makes you wonder if the Bears are going to risk moving him to the practice squad or stick him on the IR list with a "mysterious injury" and let him learn the system.
But perhaps the biggest surprise was Craig Steltz, who was thought to be in the competition for free safety with Danieal Manning, has dropped to the third string behind Josh Bullocks.
Nothing coming out of camp seemed to mention that Steltz had been playing poorly or that Bullocks, by any means, had stepped up his game.
While this is just the first draft, so to speak, the coaches have sent notice to all of the rookies (and a couple vets) that they will certainly have to earn not just their playing time, but their roster spot as well.