Depth is unquestionably important in professional sports. No team came face-to-face with this reality more than the Chicago Bears did last season when they lost Jay Cutler and Matt Forte to injuries which, quite directly, cost them a chance at a playoff run. There is no doubt the Bears have made some significant upgrades to their roster and have some of the more impressive depth found throughout the league.
While depth is great for the team, it doesn't always mean great things for individual players. With all the Bears' additions this offseason, there are some players that will be (and have been) affected by the added talent. The first formal casualty of the increased depth was the waiving of 2011 fifth-round draft pick Nathan Enderle. Enderle was supposedly hand picked by former Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz. Now that Martz is long gone, and the Bears are sitting pretty with Jason Campbell set to backup Jay Cutler, Enderle was the odd man out. Following the move, the Bears have four quarterbacks remaining on the roster: Cutler, Campbell, Josh McCown, and undrafted rookie Matt Blanchard,
A player of slightly more consequence that might not benefit from the added depth is wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher. However, if there is one player that can overcome the odds against him, Sanzenbacher seems like the man to do it. He came out of nowhere last offseason and simply played too well to not put him on the roster. With the Bears bringing in Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Eric Weems, and Devin Thomas, the receiver position is a lot more crowded than last season. Additionally, you add in Devin Hester, Earl Bennett, and (eventually) Johnny Knox, and Sanzenbacher's road is that much more difficult. Sanzenbacher is one of those hard-nosed players that is really a joy to watch play the game. I understand the reasons if he doesn't make the final roster, but he's the kind of player I find myself pulling for.
I doubt we will find many Bears fans complaining about the depth the Bears seem to enjoy, but there will certainly be some hard roster decisions come preseason. Though. I think it would be hard to find someone who wouldn't agree that that is a pretty good problem to have.
Brian is a lifelong Chicago Bears fan, having lived in Illinois his entire life and having followed the NFL throughout.SourcesHow Depth Affects SanzenbacherEnderle as Martz's Protege
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