News From Terre Haute, Indiana

September 3, 2008

Amey Takes Aim: At this point, the Bears are still undefeated


We’re coming up to that small window of time each year during which I’m really excited about the National Football League.

My fantasy team is undefeated — assuming my kids didn’t get me ejected from the draft meeting Wednesday night — and so are the Bears and Colts.

Obviously at least one of those three teams will no longer be unbeaten by late Sunday night.

But like I said, it’s a small window. Before long the Bears could be as much without promise as I’m afraid they’ll be, and that promising rookie I drafted for my team — I’m a big sucker for potential — will be buried on his team’s depth chart.

The Colts do a lot of things right, so they may continue to be interesting. But I can’t say I’m overly confident in Peyton Manning’s health — he’s on my fantasy team too, although that hasn’t jinxed him yet — and by early October the battle lines for the remainder of the season will probably be drawn.

But let’s talk about not doing things right for a moment, which brings us to the Bears’ cut list.

I don’t know whether to blame the Bears or the Associated Press for this, but that list has never appeared on the list of transactions that runs pretty much daily in every newspaper in the country. There’s a polite older Bears fan who calls us — usually me — every fall on cutdown day wondering which players his favorite team has rid itself of, and this year I was of no help to him. Until now.

So because somebody dropped the ball, I’m picking it up (with the help of the Bears’ Web site) and giving that gentleman, and Dick Mace, and John Benton, and myself, and every other Bears fan in town the chance to finally evaluate the final roster.

Cut were two recent draft picks, defensive end Dan Bazuin and linebacker Michael Okwo, and the best receiver the team has had the entire preseason, Brandon Rideau. Also sent packing on Saturday were fullback Lousaka Polite; offensive linemen Anthony Oakley, Tyler Reed, Cody Balogh, Chester Adams and Ryan Poles; wide receiver Mike Hass; tight ends Fontel Mines and Marcus Stone; defensive backs Leonard Peters and Trey Brown; running back P.J. Pope; long snapper Thomas Gafford; punter Zacrey Atterberry; defensive ends Erwin Baldwin, Joe Clermond and Nick Osborn; and linebacker Joey LaRocque.

On Sunday, the Bears re-signed Baldwin, Balogh, LaRocque, Mines and Reed to the practice squad, and Rideau joined them on Monday. Also on Monday the Bears added fullback Jason Davis, cut by the Philadelphia Eagles, to the practice squad.

They couldn’t re-sign Pope because the Denver Broncos beat them to it, so Pope will probably be the Bronco with 1,000 yards this year.

• • •

Now more stuff:

• Panther from Indiana — Eastern Illinois has gotten a verbal commitment in women’s basketball from TaKenya Nixon of Michigan City, a member of the Junior All-Stars in the spring who averaged 19 points, 4.7 assists, 5.6 rebounds and 3.7 steals per game as the Wolves went 20-5 in the 2007-2008 season.

• Fan club — Don’t call Shane Abrell for this. You can become a member of the Quintin Mikell Fan Club at QuintinMikell.com if you’d like to support a former Vigo County Youth Football League star.

And finally,

• Congratulations, Z and Susie — Sorry we couldn’t get up to Clinton to help celebrate. I knew Re and Regina would be in your future.

I did think, however, they’d wait until you were a little older.



Andy Amey can be reached after 4 p.m. for comments or news items at (812) 231-4277 or at 1-800-783-8742; by e-mail at andy.amey@tribstar.com; by mail at P.O. Box 149, Terre Haute, IN, 47808; or by fax at (812) 231-4321.