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Strategy And Personnel

The Sports Xchange
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PLAYER NOTES

--WR Roy Williams was brought in to give the Bears (QB Jay Cutler) a big target who can win jump balls downfield.

--DT Marcus Harrison is back at practice after being held out for nearly a week so he could get down to his prescribed weight of 316 pounds. He reported at 327, the second time in three years he showed up too heavy.

--RB Matt Forte says he is considering sitting out some preseason game(s) until he gets a contract extension, which general manager Jerry Angelo says is a priority.

--DE Vernon Gholston, a bust first-rounder with the Jets, was signed specifically to provide a pass-rush threat from a defensive end position after being moved back and forth between DE and OLB by the Jets and failing to register a sack in his three seasons.

--TE Desmond Clark, a UFA whom the Bears had little use for last season, was brought back for a 13th season to provide depth after Greg Olsen was traded and Brandon Manumaleuna was cut.

BATTLE OF THE WEEK
One of the more interesting position battles in camp is at left cornerback, where Tim Jennings unseated Zack Bowman last season after three games.

On paper the 6-foot-1, 193-pound Bowman seems to have an advantage over the 5-foot-8, 185-pound Jennings, but the smaller man played with a lot of feistiness and toughness against the run last year, qualities the Bears value in their corners. It's too soon to predict a winner this year.

"That's what camp's about," defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said. "Camp is a lot of fun in terms of that; for these men, too. If you're competitor, you love to come into those situations. When you get that type of competition, somebody is going to constantly get better, and your depth is going to get better. So we just let the men go out and work on their stuff and put it on tape. This game is still about just putting it on tape."

OTHER BATTLE FRONTS
Amobi Okoye never panned out in Houston, and when they switched to a 3-4 he became expendable, but he and Henry Melton should have an interesting fight for the starting job, with second-round pick Stephen Paea lurking.

ROOKIE REPORT

ORT Gabe Carimi has been given the starting job, and he's getting schooled by Julius Peppers and Israel Idonije, which should be a valuable lesson.

DT Stephen Paea has yet to make a strong statement at either three-technique or nose, but he should be in the rotation at both spots.

S Chris Conte has gotten a few snaps with the ones, but most of his work has come with the second team.

QB Nathan Enderle has not impressed in limited snaps.

LB J.T. Thomas has gotten much practice time because he plays a depth-poor position, and he has been solid, although he suffered a minor leg injury that kept him out of Saturday's practice.

INJURY REPORT

--LB J.T. Thomas (leg) is expected back soon.

--WR Johnny Knox (general soreness) will be back soon after missing two practices.

FRANCHISE PLAYER
None.

TRANSITION PLAYER
None.

UNERESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

--S Josh Bullocks is not part of what is a crowded house at safety, as the Bears will look to go younger with Major Wright.

--QB Todd Collins won't be back and shouldn't have been around last season as his postseason performance showed.

--LB Pisa Tinoisamoa is an oft-injured player and would only be back on a one-year deal at the Bears' price.

--LB Rod Wilson is a solid special teamer who has never made much of an impact on the defense and will likely be replaced by a younger player.

--RB Garrett Wolfe never found a niche in the offense but earned his keep as a special teams coverage guy. That won't be enough to bring him back.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
None.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS
None.

DRAFT CHOICES SIGNED

--QB Gabe Carimi (1/29): 4 yrs with 5th-yr option; terms unknown.

--DT Stephen Paea (2/53): 4 yrs, terms unknown.

--S Chris Conte (3/93): 4 yrs, terms unknown.

--QB Nathan Enderle (5/160): 4 yrs, terms unknown.

--LB J.T. Thomas (6/195): 4 yrs, terms unknown.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS RE-SIGNED

--NT Anthony Adams: UFA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

--DB Corey Graham: UFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.

--LB Brian Iwuh: UFA; terms unknown.

--LB Nick Roach: UFA; terms unknown.

ERFA/RFA RE-SIGNED

--RB Kahlil Bell: ERFA; terms unknown.

--TE Desmond Clark: UFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.

--QB Caleb Hanie: RFA (tendered at $1.2M with no compensation); $1.2M/1 yr.

--G/C Edwin Williams: ERFA; terms unknown.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED

--RB Marion Barber: FA Cowboys; $5M/2 yrs, guarantees unknown.

--DE Vernon Gholston: FA Jets; terms unknown.

--QB Matt Gutierrez: FA; terms unknown (subsequently released).

--WR Sam Hurd: UFA Cowboys; terms unknown.

--DT Amobi Okoye: FA Texans; 1 yr, terms unknown.

--P Adam Podlesh: UFA Jaguars; $10M/5 yrs, guarantees unknown.

--TE Matt Spaeth: UFA Steelers; terms unknown.

--C Chris Spencer: UFA Seahawks; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

--NT Tank Tyler: FA; terms unknown.

--WR Roy Williams: FA Cowboys; terms unknown.

PLAYERS LOST

--WR Devin Aromashodu: Not tendered as RFA/Vikings; 1 yr, terms unknown.

--WR Rashied Davis: UFA Lions; 1 yr, terms unknown.

--DT Tommie Harris (released).

--LB Hunter Hillenmeyer (released).

--C Olin Kreutz: UFA Saints; terms unknown.

--S Danieal Manning: UFA Texans; $20M/4 yrs, $9M guaranteed.

--TE Brandon Manumaleuna (released/non-football injury).

--P Brad Maynard: UFA Texans; terms unknown.

--TE Greg Olsen (traded Panthers).

--OT Kevin Shaffer (released).

Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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