The Bears finally ended the Mark Anderson experiment on Tuesday. After such a promising start with 12 sacks in his rookie year, the Bears cut the underachieving defensive end who has never come close to repeating that type of production.
This season marks the second time that Anderson was basically handed a starting defensive end job. After his rookie year, he was handed Alex Brown’s starting defensive end job. That ended with Anderson being sent to the bench and Alex Brown at his rightful place.
This offseason, the Bears cut Brown so they could give guys like Jarron Gilbert, Israel Idonije, Corey Wooten and Anderson more time. How’d that work out for ya? Gilbert couldn’t get out of camp and now Anderson is on the street, Wooten hasn’t dressed for a game yet. I’m not taking any shots against Izzy because he’s a solid special team contributor and has always done what the Bears have asked him to do, but he’s not a starter in this league. Not for a team with playoff aspirations.
Meanwhile, Brown is starting for the world champion Saints. He’s not exactly setting the world on fire for the Saints, with 9 tackles through 4 games but it would be great to see what a real defensive lineman could do opposite Peppers. Tommie Harris is a shell of his former self and as a matter of fact, Anderson hasn’t been the same since Tommie was creating havoc up the middle. Brown wasn’t spectacular, but he was always a steady, consistent performer who knew his assignments and just got the job done.
To take Anderson’s roster spot, the Bears signed former Saints defensive end Charles Grant. Grant was recently released by the Omaha Nighthawks of the UFL. Yes, you read that right. The Bears just signed a guy off the street who got cut by a UFL team. Here’s what Brad Biggs had to say about it:
Grant cleared waivers in the UFL, meaning the league’s other four teams passed on him, according to UFL commissioner Michael Huyghue. Otherwise, the Bears would have had to pay a fee of $150,000 to the UFL and be granted permission to sign away Grant during the league’s season.
Grant was the fifth defensive end for the Nighthawks and did not start, but played in the rotation. The defensive line includes former Bear Dusty Dvoracek.
You know what’s worse? The Bears thought he was better than a guy on their current roster who they had pinned such high hopes on that they cut a solid, reliable and professional in Alex Brown. This defensive line is a mess and Grant isn’t the answer.
Through the month of October, my usual BEAR DOWN signoff will be in pink to raise awareness for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.