32 Days Until Chicago Bears Season Opener
After revisiting an NFL legend at stop #34 on our Countdown to Kickoff series, we took a brief hiatus yesterday since there is no current player on the roster donning #33. Probably next year we can take a look back on Charles Tillman, easily the best player in Bears history to wear the number, but he’s barely out the door and it’s not quite time to reminisce. At any rate, today we take a look at two players currently sharing #32 in Chicago Bears Training Camp: rookie cornerback Jacoby Glenn and second-year running back Senorise Perry.
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Coming out of Louisville where he shared carries in their backfield, the Bears signed Perry as a priority free agent after he went undrafted in 2014. A longshot to make Marc Trestman’s Chicago Bear roster last year, Perry flashed enough on special teams to stick around after the cut down to 53.
It didn’t hurt that the Bears were mired in a post-Devin Hester funk and were desperate for a competent return man to step up. Perry beat out Chris Williams, a player known by Trestman for his exploits up in the Canadian Football League, for the kick returner job. That was enough for Perry to get his foot in the door and while he ended up not doing much as a return man (four returns for 88 yards) in 2014, he did contribute additionally on kick coverage with 10 total tackles (eight solo).
Jacoby Glenn played his college ball at the University of Central Florida, redshirting his first year on campus and then playing only two seasons before declaring himself eligible for the 2015 NFL Draft. Seemingly another year of development would’ve helped the young Glenn climb draft boards, but that’s a fact that could work in the Bears favor after they were able to secure him as an undrafted free agent.
Feb 23, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Central Florida defensive back Jacoby Glenn catches a pass in a workout drill during the 2015 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
As a redshirt sophomore in 2014 at UCF, Glenn was named the American Athletic Conference’s Co-Defensive Player of the Year after a 48 tackle, seven interception performance. That was the follow-up to his first year on the field when as a redshirt freshman he recorded 52 tackles, two interceptions and two sacks. Based on the numbers alone, the kid can play and he could be a player on the rise.
NFL.com’s analysis of Glenn opens by referring to him as a “salty cornerback who plays with passion and intensity”, and that can’t hurt his prospects of making an impression on Vic Fangio’s defense. The problem is that he’s a bit skinny and not the fastest defensive back in the world, traits that definitely could hurt his chances of sticking on an NFL roster.
What To Expect From Jacoby Glenn and Senorise Perry In 2015:
Oct 18, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Tulane Green Wave wide receiver Leondre James (86) is unable to catch the ball as he is hit by UCF Knights defensive back Jacoby Glenn (12) as the Knights beat the Green Wave 20-13 at Bright House Networks Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports
For players like Perry and Glenn it’s as much a numbers game as it is a question of whether or not they can play. Perry has already shown his worth as a special teams player in the NFL and we all know how that can tip the scales this time of the year when deciding how to fill out those last few spots on the 75-man or 53-man roster.
That’s not saying Glenn couldn’t contribute adequately there as well, we just haven’t seen it yet. We should get a good long look at him tomorrow as the Bears hit Soldier Field to take on the Miami Dolphins in the preseason opener, and ideally he gets significant time at cornerback.
The uphill battle at corner is a significant one for Glenn. The Bears have 11 on the roster at the moment and likely will cut that number down by more than half to go into the season with five. Kyle Fuller and Tim Jennings are the stone-cold locks while Alan Ball, Demontre Hurst, Al Louis-Jean and Sherrick McManis would seem to have the initial leg up based on experience.
That’s not even mentioning fellow rookies Bryce Callahan and Qumain Black (who I like a lot). It won’t be easy for Glenn, to say the least.
Nov 27, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago Bears running back Senorise Perry (32) before the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Meanwhile with Perry he’s likely in a bit more trouble this summer than he was last year. The Bears added Jacquizz Rodgers and Daniel Thomas thru free agency, Jeremy Langford thru the draft and Ka’Deem Carey is still around. Rodgers has impressed thus far thru camp and Langford is likely the long-term plan after Forte.
With Rodgers the experienced change-of-pace runner slotted as the initial back-up to Forte and Langford the heir apparent, Perry’s primary competitors to make the roster are Ka’Deem Carey and Daniel Thomas.
Carey is a former fourth round draft choice, but he was a pick of the Trestman and Phil Emery regime which doesn’t necessarily help his chances. Thomas is a bruising veteran who could specialize in goal line work, a niche that could help him to stick around. However, I can’t see Thomas as a special teams ace at this stage of his career so that aspect still favors Perry.
We’ll know more very soon, but pressed for an answer my guess would be that both Perry and Glenn don’t make it to the 53-man. There is film on Perry so it’s easy to see another team scooping him up if the Bears cut him loose, meanwhile Glenn is an ideal practice squad player who the Bears can bring along.
Next: First Look at Chicago Bears 2015 Depth Chart