Countdown to Kickoff… 76 Days Until Chicago Bears Season Opener
I decided to do a countdown to the Chicago Bears season opener on September 8th versus the Cincinnati Bengals. Thanks to one of my Twitter followers, I decided to combine the countdown with a roster preview of sorts.
We’re Cory Brandon days away from kickoff! Or we’re Zach Minter days from the start of the Chicago Bears season. Or if you’re a traditionalist like me and stuck on the 1985 Bears, we’re Mongo McMichael days away…
I’ll give you a brief thumbnail on each of the fringe of the roster guys and then get to the main event.
Offensive tackle Cory Brandon signed with the Tampa Bay Bucs as an undrafted free agent following the 2011 draft out of Oklahoma, but was cut before the start of the 2011 season. The Bears signed Brandon in June of 2012 and he’s teetered on and off of the practice squad throughout the 2012 season. The Bears have done a lot to re-shape their offensive line for the 2013 season, so Brandon will have a tough battle to nudge his way onto the roster.
On the other side of the #76 coin, the Bears have undrafted free agent defensive tackle Zach Minter out of Montana State. Minter could have a chance to make the roster or practice squad, as the Bears are a little thin at DT. Some experts were surprised Minter went undrafted, especially in light of some of the numbers he put up leading up to the draft:
"At the super regional, Minter (6-1, 301 pounds) ran a 4.80 in the 40-yard dash and posted a 34.5-inch vertical jump. Those numbers would been the best and second-best among defensive tackles at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, if he was there. Minter also benched 225 pounds 31 times at his pro day."
No surprise Phil Emery takes a liking to a player who puts up big pre-draft numbers. Now it’s time to see if his on-field production matches his impressive gym workouts.
I’d be shamed out of writing this blog if I didn’t mention at least one Bear who sported the number 76 for the Beloved, Steve “Mongo” McMichael. Mongo is an all-time classic Chicago Bear, whose ferocious approach on the field could only be matched by his irreverent approach off the field. Mongo didn’t care what you thought of him; he told it like it is. He parlayed his unique persona into a career in professional wrestling and recently made a bid to become mayor of suburban Romeoville, IL.
Other Bears who dared wear #76 include LT’s Orlando Pace and John Tait along with the like of Marcus Spears and Bobby Setzer (but not his orchestra).
We’re 76 days away from kickoff. Are you ready???