Roster Battle: Ka’Deem Carey vs Jacquizz Rodgers vs Senorise Perry
Ka’Deem Carey surprised most everyone by making the roster last season. He was drafted in the 4th round by the old regime, but managed to not only make the team but be an effective short-yardage back when needed. Carey put up prodigious numbers in college with 3,814 yards and 42 touchdowns in two seasons as a starter, so the talent could be there to earn the primary running back gig.
Carey was projected as a 2nd round pick until a 4.70 40-time and some fumbling issues in college dropped his draft stock to the 4th round. He runs as hard as any back on the Bears, showing the ability to break tackle and fight through contact, but will need to show more explosiveness to earn carries and perhaps to even make the team.
Jacquizz Rodgers is a solid veteran who understands the Bears offensive scheme, can catch out of the backfield, run effectively inside on draw plays, and be an effective pass blocker. Rodgers offers little upside besides those traits though. He does offer special teams value, but the Bears have added enough special teams talent this off-season that Rodgers will need to do more than be a special teams asset to make the team.
Senorise Perry was one of my favorite long shots to make the team as an undrafted rookie back in 2014. He’s an elite athlete with 4.36 speed, a 37″ vertical, and a 6.89 3-cone time that was 3rd among all running backs in the 2014 draft. More importantly, Perry was a standout special teams player at Louisville, not only as a successful return man, but as their best kick and punt coverage guy.
Perry showed enough flashes of those skills to make the team in 2014, but has been unable to stay healthy long enough to solidify that spot with the Bears. The fact that he’s still on the roster, means Perry still has a shot to earn a spot as a key special teams player and potential return man, but he’s again a long-shot to make the roster.
Player to Watch: Jordan Howard
He’s arguably the most talented running back on the Bears roster and the best fit for the Bears new offensive scheme under new OC Dowell Loggains. Howard’s ability to determine the right hole and attack it with authority could be the best fit for the Bears new scheme and his size, power, and ability to wear down defenses is something no other back on the Bears roster can offer. It would be hard for Howard to be less effective than the sub 4 yards per carry that Langford and Carey produced last year. Don’t be surprised if Howard eventually wins the job as a rookie and is the primary Bears running back from week eight on.