Plenty of roster decisions loom for the Bears

Seems like the biggest news to come out of the Bears final preseason game vs. the Browns wasn’t who played, but rather who watched from the sidelines. That list included guys like Cutler, Forte, Urlacher, Briggs, Kruetz and others.
So instead of following the happenings from Cleveland, like many of you, I was glued to the tube watching opening night of the other greatest sport in the world – college football.

Luckily, Larry Mayer at chicagobears.com took notes from the Browns scintillating 13-10 victory. You can find a recap of the events that led to Chicago’s first 0-4 preseason in over a decade here.

So which fringe players locked up a roster spot and which ones will hit the street? We’ll have our answers in the next few days. Until then, here’s my (revised) prediction on how the final 53-man roster will shake down:

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2010 Chicago Bears:

Quarterbacks: Cutler, Collins, Hanie
In Collins, Martz gets his wish for an experienced backup. Probably the best guy the Bears could have landed for Jay Cutler insurance.
Running Backs: Forte, Taylor, Bell
Signals the end of the line for the talented, but diminutive, Garrett Wolfe.
Tight Ends/H-backs: Olsen, Manumaleuna, Clark, Davis
I never would have imagined they’d keep all 4 of these guys, but with Clark sliding into the H-back role, that meant an extra spot became available.
Receivers: Hester, Knox, Aromashodu, Bennett, Davis
I bet the coaching staff/Angelo agonized over the omission of Iglesias, but Davis has had a great camp/preseason. And Olsen pretty much gives Martz another receiver, which makes it easier to keep these 5.
Tackles: Williams, Omiyale, Schaffer, Marten
The most scrutinzed position on the field had better show marked improvement by week one or else Jay Cutler won’t make it through the season alive.
Center:Kruetz
Beekman will serve as backup here.
Guards: Louis, Garza, Beekman
I’m looking forward to watching the athletic Louis grow. He brings an attitude to a unit that (with the exception of Kruetz) lacks a mean streak.
D-Ends: Peppers, Anderson, Wootton, Idonije, Gilbert
With a 2-sack performance this preseason, Angelo will bring last year’s top pick back. Idonije gives the line depth and versatility at tackle as well.
D-Tackles: Harris, Toeaina, Adams, Harrison
I’m sure the staff wishes they could’ve kept Melton here, but they just don’t have time to wait for him to develop. Harrison gives them a more known commodity.
Linebackers: Urlacher, Briggs, Pisa, Roach, Hillenmeyer, Iwuh, Malast
The development of Malast and the special teams experience of Iwuh will push last year’s special teams demon, Shaw, out of the final spot.
Cornerbacks: Bowman, Tillman, DJ Moore, Turenne, Graham, Jennings
With the sudden emergence of Moore, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Graham let go in favor of a new addition (another team’s cast-off). Danieal Manning gives them an option at nickelback too.
Safety: Wright, Harris, Manning, Steltz, Bullocks
Afalava is the odd man out here. If Wright continues to develop, expect to see more of Manning at nickel and Steltz and Bullocks strictly on special teams.
Specialists: Mannelly, Maynard, Gould
I’m kind of glad Dez Clark struggled with snaps this preseason. It reminded me to stop taking Mannelly for granted.

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