5 Things to Glean From the Bears' Depth

A few surprises in the first depth chart of the season

By Maggie Hendricks
|  Thursday, Sep 2, 2010  |  Updated 12:54 PM CDT
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Lovie Smith and the rest of the Bears brass set the depth chart.

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The Chicago Bears released their unofficial, pre-season, don't-look-too-much-into-this depth chart on Monday, and there are some interesting entries contained within it. 

Here are the top things you need to glean from the release:

1. Offensive coordinator Mike Martz may have found a way to squeeze every bit of effectiveness out of his bevy of Tight Ends -- Greg Olsen, Desmond Clark and Brandon Manumeleuna by lining up Clark at H-Back. This puts another blocker in the backfield to protect Jay Cutler while also putting another set of capable hands to catch Cutler's passes.

2. Special teams are as stable as ever. The Bears have long boasted top-notch special teams, led by punter Brad Maynard and kicker Robbie Gould, and that isn't likely to change this season. Johnny Knox is expected to handle kickoff return duties, while Devin Hester will take punt returns.

Though Bears fans always are hoping for Hester to recapture the magic of the 2006 and 2007 seasons -- when he was perhaps the most prolific talent the league has seen -- Hester's more important role is as wide receiver. Splitting return duties with Knox, and having Earl Campbell and Danieal Manning pitch in, will be better for Hester and the team overall.

3. The linebackers will look a little different. After a season-ending wrist injury, Pro Bowler Brian Urlacher is back, and Lance Briggs will be by his side. Who will be on the other side of Urlacher is still a question mark. When Urlacher went down with injury, Hunter Hillenmeyer moved over to middle linebacker, and Nick Roach filled in on the outside. After Roach proved himself last season, he isn't willing to give up that spot. Now, Hillenmeyer is Urlacher's back-up, and Roach is battling Pisa Tinoisamoa for the OLB starting spot.

4. Roberto Garza will move to the left side of the ball to make room for Lance Louis. After starting 64 straight games at right guard, Garza is moving to the other side of the center so that second year player Lance Louis can get a shot at left guard. Garza isn't bothered by the move, and the Bears brass is excited with the way Louis is taking to the position.

5. Nothing is set in stone. This early in the pre-season, players still have the chance to prove themselves. Saturday night's pre-season opener will give the players a shot to impress the coaching staff.

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