Dannehy: Young Bears I Just Can’t Quit Yet, Volume I (Oink, and Others)

| June 9th, 2022

As the Chicago Bears have already seen, the changing of regimes often means a lot of roster turnover, but there are several players carrying over that could potentially still be relevant with the organization. Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus took over a roster with players designed for a hybrid, Andy Reid-style West Coast offense and a defense that played mostly Cover 1.  But new schemes and new coaches can often help uncover diamonds in the rough.

Below is a list of a few lesser-discussed players who might benefit from the regime change.

Sam Kamara, LB/Edge/DL

Kamara was kind of a weird fit in the base 3-4 scheme the Bears played last year. They ended up sticking him at edge, but at 6’1”, 285 pounds, he could find a new home inside at three-technique. He showed some pass rush burst in preseason last year and actually played 108 defensive snaps. A move inside wouldn’t be a complete projection. Kamara rushed inside at times while in college at Stony Brook.

Caleb Johnson, LB

Perhaps a forgotten man in the Bears linebacker room, Johnson could be the starting strong side linebacker when the season begins.

While there is no question that Roquan Smith and Nicholas Morrow will eat up a majority of the snaps, the competition for the last spot is pretty open. Matt Adams is probably the favorite since he came over from Indianapolis, but he has played just one defensive snap the past two years combined. Joe Thomas is another veteran who could probably do the job, but they’d certainly like to have someone better and younger. Other than that, though, it’s mostly unknown veterans and undrafted free agents. Johnson has as good a shot as any.

Charles Snowden, Edge

Snowden was a highly thought of undrafted free agent who didn’t do much of anything last year.

The 6’7”, 240-pounder played 19 total snaps in 2021 — six on defense and 13 on special teams — but he should’ve always been viewed as a project. A new strength and conditioning staff could help him bulk up and allow him to get off blockers in the NFL.

There is no question that Snowden will still require a lot of coaching, but he is a talented player who could put it together.

Pig Simmons, OL

Pig’s only real NFL action was a disaster, but that really isn’t his fault.

He was an emergency starter at right tackle against the defending Super Bowl champions in Week 7 of that season. The scheduled starter, Elijah Wilkinson tested positive for COVID-19 just hours before the game, and others were out of the lineup due to injury. Predictably, it didn’t go well, but one week should not define a player’s career.

Poles got a lot of credit for drafting athletic guys late in the draft in 2022; Simmons benefited from the same strategy used by Ryan Pace in 2020. He is big, mean and athletic and he could benefit from a switch inside to right guard. It isn’t like the Bears have a lot of better options for that position.


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