na his first "offense" so to speak....plus its only misdemeanor....anways here are some Bears notes:
August 28, 2007
If Lance Briggs
was the luckiest Bear to be on the Halas Hall practice fields Monday, Devin Hester
was the most relieved.
The record-setting kick returner was back at work with no lingering effects after he got knocked out of Saturday's game with a shoulder injury on the second possession when he made an awkward attempt at a downfield block. That left only one remaining question: What was he doing blocking downfield on a Cedric Benson
run in the first place? That role normally is filled by the starter he was replacing, 6-2, 215-pound Muhsin Muhammad
Hester was supposed to block 49ers cornerback Nate Clements
but missed his assignment and went inside after strong safety Michael Lewis
. That wasn't his only error. He tried to cut-block Lewis, something receivers coach Darryl Drake
said the Bears don't do. After Lovie Smith's
extended no-comment session on Briggs was over, Drake and Hester still were going over the nuances of blocking.
''If you all want to see him at receiver,'' Drake said, ''understand he's going to block. This is football, and for everybody out there who is bitching, wondering why he is out there blocking, then they need to let him go play something else.
''I understand how valuable he is to this team, but let me ask you this: When he was playing defensive back and he was going up tackling people, did anyone say, 'Why are you letting him tackle people'? It's a hell of a lot more physical than putting his hands up and blocking.''
Hester said he wound up getting hit in the helmet by one of Lewis' legs and that he would learn from the mistake. It can't be a passing down every time he is on the field or it will be a dead giveaway, but he can win games with his return ability. He's not going to win any springing blocks downfield.
''It's football, man,'' he said. ''Me and Danieal
] are back there on kick returns. If they kick to him, I have to block for him just like he blocks for me.
''You have to be able to block. It's something that I'm eventually going to have to know how to do, so that's why in preseason you get out there and evaluate your weaknesses and you try to fix them.''
Linebacker Leon Joe
, a former fourth-round pick, was waived by general manager Jerry Angelo
for the second time. Joe ranked third on the team over the last two seasons with 31 special-teams tackles, but he was part of a crowded unit that is not done being thinned out.
The Bears have nine linebackers and likely will keep seven. Undrafted rookie Danny Verdun Wheeler
doesn't figure to make it, so the final spot could come down to former seventh-round pick Rod Wilson
and Darrell McClover
, who emerged as a standout on special teams last season with 16 tackles in the final five games. Wilson had two special-teams tackles against San Francisco and is listed as the backup at middle linebacker, giving him a probable edge.
Also let go were wide receivers Timon Marshall
and Clinton Solomon
, guard Tyler McMeans
, defensive tackle Justin Frick
, safety Jay Staggs
, kicker Nick Novak
and punter Joel Stelly
. Wide receiver Brandon Rideau
(sprained right ankle) was waived/ injured, and the team is expected to try to reach an injury settlement.
With Rideau gone, Mike Hass
may have played himself onto the final roster as a sixth receiver.
''I'm really pleased with what Mike has done throughout the offseason work, training camp,'' Smith said. ''It seemed like he made a good play each day.''
Rookie safety Kevin Payne
has been battling a rib injury that might require a few weeks to heal. The fifth-round pick was touted as a top special-teams player when drafted and made Chris Harris
expendable in a trade with Carolina. The tough timing of the injury, however, makes Payne a potential candidate for injured reserve. The top four safeties are set with Manning and Brandon McGowan
backing up Mike Brown
and Adam Archuleta
Payne was held out of practice Monday, as were cornerback Charles Tillman
(knee), defensive lineman Israel Idonije
(ankle) and wide receiver Rashied Davis
Defensive tackle Tommie Harris
, wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad
and left guard Ruben Brown
returned to practice after sitting out the 49ers game. http://www.suntimes.com/sports/footb...arnt28.article