Playing for keeps

Wide receivers face final cuts for the Bears

September 1, 2009, 2:13 PM

By: Jeff Dickerson

Final cuts are set for this Saturday, so players on the Chicago Bears' bubble have one final shot on Thursday against the Cleveland Browns to help their cause.

Brandon Rideau

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Brandon Rideau wasn't drafted as high as Juaquin Iglesias, so his chances of making the team could be more difficult.

One position group under heavy scrutiny is wide receiver as the Bears are expected to keep five or six on the final 53-man roster.

Will Jay Cutler have any say over who makes the team?

"We haven't had any formal talks, I don't think we will," said Cutler. "They know how I feel about it, and who I trust, and who I feel comfortable with. I think they're on the same page.

"That being said, there's still money, and there's still other issues that aren't just how you play on the field. We have to take those into consideration as well."

Cutler later clarified what he meant by "other issues".

"Cap stuff, salaries, there's a lot of stuff that goes into this," said Cutler. "It's a big equation."

That equation also includes special teams ability and draft status. Starting with special teams, that should certainly help Rashied Davis, who's always been a dependable performer for Dave Toub.

"I'm not concerned about anything," said Davis. "I just go out and play. It is what it is. Whatever happens, happens. I have really no control over that [the final 53-man roster]. The only thing I have control over is how I play. I believe I've played well with the reps that I've been given, played well on special teams and all that other stuff."

Considering how Cutler continues to lobby for Devin Aromashodu, I can't see how he doesn't make this team. In fact, I strongly believe Aromashodu should be the third receiver, behind only Devin Hester and Earl Bennett.

Which brings us to the issue of draft status. Johnny Knox has ability and a future playing special teams. Knox making the team is understandable, but Juaquin Iglesias has no business beating out Brandon Rideau. Unfortunately, Rideau might be facing an uphill battle because Iglesias was taken in the third round.

"It's hard to show up on film when you're not getting as many looks," said Rideau. "But you just got to trust that you came out and displayed enough for the coaches to have trust in you, have faith in you."

In the NFL, it's not always the best 53 who make the final 53.

Other news and notes:

•Cutler also said he doesn't expect the team to sign another receiver, and that he'll start Thursday versus the Browns. However, the quarterback is unsure how much he'll actually play.

Adrian Peterson made a strong case to stick on the roster with a solid effort in Denver. The Bears can still keep four running backs if they choose to jettison newcomer Michael Gaines. Nothing against Gaines, but Peterson is so highly thought of by his teammates, that perhaps Lovie Smith might want to consider keeping the veteran around for another season. Plus, Peterson has always been a consistent runner, and a valuable contributor on special teams.

•The Bears officially announced their deal with Rod Hood, who not only provides depth at cornerback, but also experience playing the nickel. This secondary is still a question mark, but Hood may be able to contribute somewhere right away. Smith never tips his hand about personnel, so let's see how Hood, Danieal Manning and Zack Bowman are used in Green Bay. Could be interesting. Especially if Charles Tillman isn't ready.


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