The signs have been there: Mark Anderson has not been on Lovie Smith’s good side. He hasn’t had the ability to do whatever it is Smith thinks he should be able to do, which I believe is rush the quarterback. It is one of those situations where a player has gone up and down, in part due to injury, and hasn’t gotten the career comfort other players get over time.
Larry Mayer has posted an article at the Chicago Bears website titled “Bears sign defensive end Grant, release Anderson.” Indeed, Mark Anderson is gone in favor of Charles Grant. Who is Charles Grant?
Grant is a very good defensive end who was with the New Orleans Saints and, despite injury, received a Super Bowl ring. Grant was a first-round draft pick (25th overall) in 2002, playing until last year. He registered “505 tackles, 47 sacks and 14 forced fumbles,” according to Mayer’s report. That is not too shabby! And that is what I think Smith is looking for.
The Bears retrieved Grant from the United Football League, where he was playing with the Omaha Nighthawks. He had a torn tricep muscle and ultimately was released by the Saints, and later failed to make the Miami Dolphins’ roster.
The Bears are probably lucky to get him, and he is certainly very excited to play with Urlacher and Peppers. On the other hand, he is an unknown quantity, so the Bears are taking a bit of chance, and that must mean they really didn’t want Anderson any longer.
In other Bears news, it is expected that Jay Cutler will play against the Carolina Panthers Sunday, although at this point that is not a given. He has no symptoms at this time of the week, but Lovie Smith treads carefully when discussing the subject, insisting it must be left up to the doctors. Apparently the injury that back-up quarterback Todd Collins sustained was a stinger and would not keep him out of the game, so he would apparently start if Cutler couldn’t go.
Also there is an article at the Bears Website that indicates the offensive line is determined to do better this week.
They couldn’t possibly do any worse.
Chicago Bears’ Website, Larry Mayer, “Bears sign defensive end Grant, release Anderson”