Are the Chicago Bears satisfied with their inside linebacker situation? It’s been a question asked since the season began. While Roquan Smith has continued to look strong, the same can’t be said for running mate Danny Trevathan. For some reason, the veteran hasn’t played at his customary speed all season. Tight ends have routinely taken advantage of him in coverage and even his run defense has looked spotty at times.
The fact Nick Kwiatkoski has looked good in Las Vegas isn’t helping Bears fans sleep at night either. Yet there’s no use crying about it. All the team can do is search for solutions. With the matchup against the Carolina Panthers approaching, the team decided to bring in some veterans for a closer look. A couple of interesting names among them.
Who most local fans will probably recognize is Manti Te’o. A star at Notre Dame, he became a 2nd round pick for the Chargers in 2013. He spent four seasons there as a starter but struggled with injuries. From there he spent three years in New Orleans but only started one full season.
Joining him was former 1st round pick Deone Bucannon. Viewed as a linebacker/safety hybrid, he enjoyed a decent run in Arizona where he racked up 313 tackles, seven sacks, five forced fumbles, and two interceptions in 70 games. Last year he bounced between the Giants and Buccaneers.
Bears are offering a tryout to linebacker Manti Te'o, formerly of Notre Dame, the Chargers & Saints. They're also auditioning linebackers Deone Bucannon (Cardinals, Bucs, Giants) and Justin Phillips (Cowboys/Raiders PS).
— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) October 14, 2020
I guess Deone Bucannon hits hard during preseason pic.twitter.com/yRDGCmuwO7
— Andrew Joseph (@AndyJ0seph) August 20, 2016
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) October 22, 2017
Will the Chicago Bears make a signing?
That is difficult to say. This could just be an effort by the team to collect data on who is available. That way if somebody gets hurt, they’ll have updated information and be able to make a signing at that point. Remember that Trevathan and Smith both ended last season on IR. So it isn’t a sure thing that both will finish 2020 without missing any games.
All things considered, the most likely of the trio would be Bucannon. He has the athleticism the Bears typically covet and his interchangeability is an asset to be sure. Not to mention his knack for getting pressure when blitzing. If something does happen, it will likely be in the next 24 hours.