Chad Hamilton and John Timu Days Until Chicago Bears Season Opener


Oct 12, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Washington Huskies linebacker John Timu (10) dives to tackle Oregon Ducks wide receiver Bralon Addison (11) during the game at Husky Stadium. Oregon defeated Washington 45-24. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The slow and steady march towards the 2015 NFL season continues and Bear Goggles On is here with you every step of the way, giving you a profile of the roster as we go.  Today marks 63 days from the opener against Green Bay and we’re taking a look at two rookies who currently share the number 63, OL Chad Hamilton and LB John Timu.

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If you’re a player on an NFL roster when training camp kicks up, that’s an accomplishment unto itself.  If you are currently sharing a number with another player, however, then it’s likely that there are relatively long odds you’ll make the roster.  For undrafted rookies John Timu and Chad Hamilton, both currently donning #63, the hope is there is more to them than just a number and they’ll be able to get noticed by the coaching staff when the pads soon come on.

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There are undrafted rookies all over the league, however, and when considering the changes underway at Halas Hall these two might not be able to find a better opportunity on any other team.  Let’s take a look at their individual positions and the players with whom they’ll be competing to make the team.

Chad Hamilton/Offensive Line:  Currently listed as a guard on the Chicago Bears roster, Hamilton’s best shot figures to be at guard or tackle on the right side of the line.  The left side is all but spoken for with veterans Matt Slauson and Jermon Bushrod holding it down, and in the middle it will either be Will Montgomery or rookie Hroniss Grasu.  So that leaves Jay Cutler‘s right flank.

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Kyle Long has played the first two years of his career at RG and has done so at Pro-Bowl level, but there has been some talk and speculation that he’ll be making a move to tackle sooner rather than later.  Even if he stays at guard, that still leaves right tackle up for grabs.  Whatever position Long isn’t occupying on the right side figures to be the most hotly contested along the line in training camp, and that’s where Hamilton’s best shot resides.

The best-case scenario for Hamilton would seem to be sticking on the 53-man roster as a reserve, so showing versatility is key for him.  If he can prove to the coaches that he can handle guard and tackle responsibilities and be serviceable, then he puts himself in good position to land on at least the practice squad.  Excluding the veterans that already have a leg up on him, Hamilton’s primary competitors at training camp will be Charles Leno, Jason Weaver, Tayo Fabuluje, Cameron Jefferson and Conor Boffeli.

Nov 15, 2014; Tucson, AZ, USA; Washington Huskies linebacker John Timu (10) watches from the sideline during the second quarter against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium. Arizona won 27-26. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

John Timu/Linebacker:  For the Bears linebacking corps, things are up in the air more than they’ve ever been in recent memory.  The defense is switching from a 4-3 alignment to a 3-4, resulting in a multitude of players who will be learning a new position.  The area where roster competition figures to be the most fierce is at linebacker, so what better time for a rookie to throw himself into the mix?

Timu played his college ball at Washington where he was a leader on and off the field, being named captain twice during his tenure with the Huskies.  He is a smart and aggressive player who could impress DC Vic Fangio with his football IQ, but there have been some question about his size.  Inside linebacker is where he played while in college, but it remains to be seen if the Bears staff will try him there or at OLB.

If inside is where he goes, he’ll primarily be going up against DeDe Lattimore, Jonathan Brown and Jonathan Anderson.  And that’s not mentioning Jonathan Bostic or Shea McClellin, both of whom will be fighting to keep their jobs.  If Timu is tried at outside linebacker he’ll be competing against the likes of David Bass, Kyle Woestmann and Sam Acho.

What to Expect From Chad Hamilton and John Timu in 2015:

Both will be in a dogfight to make the roster when training camp rolls around and while they certainly have a chance to stick, the odds are slim that one or both will be around when the roster is trimmed to 53.  Timu and Hamilton can play or they wouldn’t even have gotten this far, so the key for them is taking advantage of any opportunity they get in camp to impress.   Olivet Nazarene University and their football fate awaits them in Bourbonnais.

Next: Kyle Long, the New Leader of the Bears

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