My Take on the Bears Final Cuts

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /

Bad Cuts

CB DeVante Bausby– My least favorite cut of the day. It would be different if the Bears had a healthy group of corners, but there is a very real chance that their top three corners won’t be in uniform for the season opener. That would leave the Bears with the following corners available:

  • Jacoby Glenn – 2nd-year player who had an impressive preseason but will have his hands full with DeAndre Hopkins in week one.
  • Deiondre Hall – Rookie corner who has used his height (6’2) and extremely long arms to shut down end zone fades. Unfortunately there are another 80 yards of field Hall has to cover and with 4.68 speed he’s going to have a hard time with Texans burners Will Fuller (4.32) and Braxton Miller (4.46). Best case, Hall breaks up a few endzone fades and holds the Texans to field goals instead of touchdowns.
  • Sherrick McManis – Was given a chance to show what he can do on defense early last year. Didn’t leave the bench for the last 12 weeks of the season. He’s a great special teams player, but a liability in coverage.
  • Demontre Hurst – Safety/corner hybrid who unfortunately might be the Bears best corner on the field on week one
  • And that’s it…

Keeping Bausby for at least a week or two would have made a lot of sense to me, but what do I know? The Bears have been looking for a tall corner for years and seemed to have finally found a potentially good one in Bausby (6’2, 187, 4.48) who improved steadily over the course of the preseason.

Bausby played his best game in week four against the Browns, showing good anticipation and breaking on the ball with authority. There aren’t a lot of competent 6’2 corners out there who can play and the Bears just let one go for nothing.

WRs Daniel Braverman – I’m a little biased as a Big Ten fan who watched Braverman destroy the secondaries of both Ohio St and Michigan St who had 11 drafted players combined on defense. In those two games Braverman had 23 catches for 233 yards and a touchdown. As impressive as that was, Braverman also was one of the Bears best players in training camp, consistently getting open and catching everything thrown his way.

Luckily the Bears have slot receiver Eddie Royal, Marc Mariani, and… no one else in the slot. Actually they don’t even have Marc Mariani who they also decided to release for some reason. So Eddie Royal is the Bears only legit slot receiver and he’s been known to miss games for serious issues like a stubbed toe, a windy day, eating too much at lunch, and his wife’s time of the month.

It’s possible that the Bears are planning on using Josh Bellamy in the slot which could be effective if Bellamy has learned how to catch in his fifth season in the league. Most likely the Bears are targeting a lot receiver released by another team this week. Let’s hope so at least because relying on Eddie Royal to suit up every week is a recipe for disaster.

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /

TEs Tony Moeaki & Rob Housler – I wouldn’t have kept both of them, since neither if much of a blocker, but the Bears definitely should have kept one of them. Starter Zach Miller is an excellent receiver, but has struggled to stay healthy his whole career and is already struggling to get out of concussion protocol. If Miller isn’t ready to play the Bears have just Khari Lee and Greg Scruggs as backups.

Khari Lee is a good blocker but slow and very raw as a receiver. Greg Scruggs was a defensive lineman for the Bears last year and hasn’t played tight end since high school. Neither player is even competent as a receiver and if Miller gets hurt, the Bears will have no receiving weapons at tight end.

Keeping either Moeaki or Housler would have at least given the Bears a safety valve receiver who can catch short passes. Moeaki and Housler are too old for the practice squad, but all is not lost if the Bears can sneak rookie Ben Braunecker onto the practice squad. He was healthy in week four but the Bears kept him on the sidelines. I thought that could be because Braunecker had already made the team, but it turns out the Bears just wanted keep other teams from getting tape on Bronk. Hopefully the Bears subterfuge works out and Braunecker ends up on the practice squad and can be called up if/when Miller gets hurt.

Lee and Scruggs should have a positive impact in the running game and it looks like that will be a focus for the Bears this season, but their lack of receiving chops will let defenses know exactly what the Bears are doing on most plays. Lee, a former 6th round pick in 2014, does have some upside and hopefully he will develop into at least a mediocre receiving option.