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Chicago Bears Digest Vol. Two

Nathan VenegasCorrespondent IMay 1, 2009

CHICAGO - DECEMBER 22: Charles Tillman #33, Tommie Harris #91 and Lance Briggs #55 of the Chicago Bears celebrate a tackle for a loss against the Green Bay Packers on December 22, 2008 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Packers 20-17 in overtime. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

News and Notes

Lance Briggs Cut While shaving that is. The Pro Bowl linebacker showed up to an public appearance with a heavily bandaged hand while shaving with a straight razor.

The extent of the injury looks minor and even the most cynical Chicago “journalists” couldn’t arouse some controversy for this incident. Some reporters even asking if Briggs was in violation of team policy by not reporting the incident, but rest assured there was no violation of team policy.

The only thing Briggs should worry about is the ribbing he’ll get from his teammates. The Bulls' Derrick Rose can relate.

Nine Undrafted Free Agents Signed Most notably a couple of big offensive lineman in Johan Asiata and Dennis Conley. Both listed at 6’4” and 300+ lbs. Creating competition on the offensive line is probably a good thing as it helps to elevate everyone’s game.

In addition learning from Pro Bowlers Olin Kreutz and Orlando Pace will only benefit these young linemen.

Unless there’s a stellar standout most of these undrafted free agents will fight for back up positions and the practice squad.

Offseason Schedule

May 1-3 rookie mini camp

May 20-21, June 1-4, June 8-11, June 15-18 (OTAs)

Rookies will get the first taste of Halas Hall this weekend when they fill out all the necessary paper work and get their numbers.

Speaking of which, Earl Bennett changed his number from 85 to 80.

Perry Improving The Fridge was upgraded from “Serious” to “Fair” condition this week and is expected to make a full recovery from a bout with a nerve inflammation disorder.

Favre Retires…Again Bret Favre was released by the Jets this week from the reserved-retired list. This means that Favre can essentially sign with whom ever he wants. While many don’t see that happening, the same thing was said this time last year.

In what I’m sure is an unrelated note, the Vikings front office have chartered a jet to Mississippi.

Draft

The Bears had no picks on the first day (first two rounds) but made an effort to get more bang for their buck. Here are the picks.

           Round Three, Pick 4 (68) Jarron Gilbert DE 6'5" 288 San Jose State

Round Three, Pick 35 (99) Juaquin Iglesias WR 6'1" 210 Oklahoma

Round Four, Pick 5 (105) Henry Melton DE 6'3" 260 Texas

Round Four, Pick 19 (119) D.J. Moore CB 5'9" 192 Vanderbilt

Round Five, Pick 4 (140) Johnny Knox WR 6'0" 185 Abilene Christian

Round Five, Pick 18 (154) Marcus Freeman LB 6'0" 239 Ohio State

Round Six, Pick 17 (190) Al Afalava FS 5'11" 213

Round Seven, Pick 37 (246) Lance Louis OG 6'2" 303 San Diego State

Round Seven, Pick 42 (251) Derek Kinder WR 6'0" 202 Pittsburgh

 

Without a pick in the first two rounds the Bears weren’t in position to nab a big playmaking receiver. Instead they chose three smaller guys to compete for a roster spot. Juaquin Iglesias was a part of an explosive offense in a tough conference, that being said I expect him to dress and maybe start Week One.

Jarron Gilbert, despite his pool exiting ability, is a gamble due to his feast or famine style. Having the tools to be a good pass rusher Gilbert can potentially put the current defensive line starters on notice. We just have to see his work ethic and how much time he’s willing to put in to learning the NFL pass rush with Rod Marinelli.

The defensive backs chosen offer an interesting change of pace from the physical play of Charles Tillman and Kevin Payne. As was stated all last year the pass coverage starts with pressure up front, hence taking Gilbert in the third round.

Bears at Wrigley?

With the Chicago Blackhawks playing their “Winter Classic” this past New Years Day at the Friendly Confines talk has sparked regarding whether or not the Bears should turn back the clock and play a game in their old stomping grounds.

It’s an appealing option to have the Bears play a regular season game, most likely against a division rival, in one of the oldest stadiums in American Sports.

I have to admit that if this were before the Soldier Field renovations I’d be all for it but the work put into Soldier Field wasn’t for not and from what I’ve heard fans love the new interior of Soldier Field.

So while it sounds tempting I feel the Bears home is along the lake front.

Where Are They Now? Willie Gault

A standout track star at the University of Tennessee he also was a part of the American team that boycotted the 1980 Summer Olympics.

Willie was drafted by the Chicago Bears in 1983 in the first round out of Tennessee. In his rookie season nabbed 40 receptions for 800+ yards. The highlight of his stint with the Bears was undoubtedly being a part of the 1985 championship team.

He finished his career with the Los Angeles Raiders and retired from football in 1993.

After stepping off the gridiron Gault stepped in front of the camera trying to make a living in Hollywood. Throughout the '90s and into the 2000’s he guest starred on several T.V. shows such as In the Heat of the Night, Baywatch, and The West Wing.

He’s also set world records for 100m and 200m dash for his age bracket in 2006 and 2008.

Next Week

Roster Battles

Rookie Mini Camp report

Five Questions

Should the Bears defensive starters start to worry about their jobs?

What does Cutler have to do to lose the starting job?

Is Jay Mariotti aware of his own shock-jock status?

Are you also worn out by the NHL and NBA playoffs?

Which member of the current roster would like to have a beer with?

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