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Hoge: Bears Depth Chart Breakdown

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Jay Cutler and the Bears in Bourbonnais. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Jay Cutler and the Bears in Bourbonnais. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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By Adam Hoge-

(CBS) The Bears released their first unofficial depth chart Wednesday in advance of Saturday’s preseason game against the Bills. There aren’t any major surprises, but there are some interesting battles going on.

Here’s a quick glance at the depth chart (I’m just listing the two-deep with a third if necessary) with some analysis:

OFFENSE

QB
6 Jay Cutler
12 Caleb Hanie
10 Nathan Enderle

Obviously no surprise here. The question is whether or not the Bears keep Enderle on the roster. Right now, it appears they don’t want to lose Enderle, like they did with Dan LeFevour last year.

RB
22 Matt Forte
29 Chester Taylor
24 Marion Barber

Based on how Barber has played so far in camp, it’s a little surprising that Taylor is listed ahead of him, but it’s still early. Barber is still learning the offense so that probably has a lot to do with it.

WR
11 Roy Williams/23 Devin Hester
13 Johnny Knox/80 Earl Bennett
18 Dane Sanzenbacher/81 Sam Hurd

Williams and Hester are your starters as Mike Martz said today that he needs Knox to be more consistent. Sanzenbacher has been impressive so far in camp. He’s the kind of guy who will really get to showcase himself Saturday against the Bills. He’s almost a lock to make the team at this point.

TE
87 Kellen Davis
89 Matt Spaeth
88 Desmond Clark

It’s surprising to see Davis listed ahead of Spaeth, but like the running backs, it probably has a lot to do with Davis being more familiar with the offense. I’ve always liked Davis since I saw what he could do in college. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him blossom this year with more opportunities.

FB
43 Eddie Williams
44 Will Ta’ufo’ou

LT
73 J’Marcus Webb
68 Frank Omiyale

LG
74 Chris Williams
70 Edwins WIlliams

C
63 Roberto Garza
67 Chris Spencer

RG
60 Lance Louis
79 Levi Horn

RT
72 Gabe Carimi
76 Josh Davis

Martz announced the offensive line a few days ago and nothing is going to change unless there is an injury or someone looks horrible in a preseason game.

DEFENSE

LE
71 Isreal Idonije
98 Corey Wootton

RE
90 Julius Peppers
94 Vernon Gholston/98 Corey Wootton

The biggest thing I notice with the defensive ends is a lack of depth at the position. Vernon Gholston hasn’t impressed anyone at camp and while Corey Wootton has improved a little bit, he’s listed as a backup at both end spots. Behind him, there’s pretty much no one. The Bears need Peppers and Idonije to stay healthy.

DT
69 Henry Melton
75 Matt Toeaina
91 Amobi Okoye

NT
95 Anthony Adams
75 Matt Toeaina
92 Stephen Paea/99 Marcus Harrison

There’s a good amount of talent and depth here. Paea has been battling a sore knee and should be back soon, if not tonight. He should move up to second on the depth chart, especially because Toeaina will probably run with the No. 1s Saturday against the Bills with Adams out with a calf injury.

WLB
55 Lance Briggs
52 Brian Iwuh

MLB
54 Brian Urlacher
58 Dom DeCicco

SLB
53 Nick Roach
97 J.T. Thomas

Obviously there’s not a lot of depth here, which makes me think another linebacker will be added at some point. A common thing here is staying healthy, something the Bears were blessed with last season, but can’t count on this year. Dom DeCicco is an undrafted free agent from Pittsburgh. He shouldn’t be backing up Urlacher. (By the way, if Urlacher were to get hurt, Roach would probably move to the middle and Iwuh would start on the strong side.)

LCB
26 Tim Jennings
35 Zack Bowman
30 D.J. Moore

Keep an eye on the battle between Jennings and Bowman. I think the Bears want Bowman to win the job, but they are just waiting for him to make a strong push for it. If you asked me today, I’d say it’s Bowman’s job to lose, but if he doesn’t step up his game, he will lose it.

RCB
33 Charles Tillman
21 Corey Graham

SS
46 Chris Harris
20 Craig Steltz

FS
27 Major Wright
47 Chris Conte

There’s not a lot of experience at free safety but the Bears like Wright a lot. Conte, the third-round pick, has a lot of potential, but he needs to prove he’s ready.

FG/KO
Robbie Gould

P/H
Adam Podlesh

LS
65 Patrick Mannelly
88 Desmond Clark

KR
23 Devin Hester
13 Johnny Knox
32 Kahlil Bell

PR
23 Devin Hester
80 Earl Bennett
13 Johnny Knox

There hasn’t been a whole lot talk about the loss of Daniel Manning who did a phenomenal job returning kicks. Right now, Hester is taking over that job, but he’s also listed as a starting wide receiver, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bears are looking for someone else to return kicks.

I have 56 players listed above. The Bears need to get down to 53 players by Sept. 3. Obviously one of the fullbacks will be cut and then it comes down to who is performing in camp. Will the Bears want to keep Kahlil Bell as the fourth running back/special teams contributor? Can Vernon Gholston prove that he should be on an NFL roster.? Other names to consider for final cuts include Sam Hurd and Marcus Harrison. Also watch the linebacker position. DeCicco and Thomas are already fighting for their jobs, but if the Bears add a linebacker, it will be even tougher for them to make the team.

These are all players to watch in Saturday’s game against the Bills.

adam hoge Hoge: Bears Depth Chart Breakdown

Adam Hoge

Adam is the Sports Content Producer for CBSChicago.com and specializes in coverage of the Bears, White Sox, Blackhawks and college sports. He was born and raised in Lincoln Park and attended St. Ignatius College Prep before going off to the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he earned a Journalism degree. Follow him on Twitter @AdamHogeCBS and read more of his columns here.

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