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Dan Skuta's addition makes Bears linebacker

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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 8:27 am    Post subject: Dan Skuta's addition makes Bears linebacker Reply with quote

The Chicago Bears now have an outside linebacker problem.
Following the addition of Dan Skuta in free agency on Monday, the Bears now have eight outside linebackers (when including Christian Jones and Roy Robertson-Harris) on their roster.
Pernell McPhee, Leonard Floyd and Willie Young are guarantees to make the 53-man roster, meaning Sam Acho, Lamarr Houston, Jones, Robertson-Harris and Skuta will be battling for likely only two remaining spots on the roster.
The benefit that Acho, Jones and Skuta have is their ability to play both inside and outside. There is also a chance Robertson-Harris moves to defensive end once training camp begins after he added noticeable bulk to his frame after sitting out his entire rookie season in 2016.
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Houston could also be a candidate to move down to the defensive end position, but Chicago has not discussed that as a possibility at this point.
Acho and Skuta are both proven veterans who also add a lot of value on special teams. Acho re-signed with the Bears on a one-year deal earlier this offseason and has been in Chicago the last two seasons. Skuta signed a one-year deal on Monday and previous played for Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio in San Francisco.
Skuta's most productive NFL season came in 2014 under Fangio. That season he made 10 starts in 14 games and recorded 33 tackles, five sacks, one pass deflection and three forced fumbles. He and Acho will likely be competing with each other the veteran/special teamer role on Chicago's roster.
Assuming Chicago keeps five outside linebackers, the final spot will go to a combination of Houston, Robertson-Harris and Jones.
Houston is coming off his second major knee injury in the last years and appeared in just two games last season before tearing his ACL. He suffered the same injury in 2014 after celebrating his first sack of the year.
In 2015 in his first season as an outside linebacker in Chicago's system, Houston recorded 42 tackles and led the team with eight sacks. There is no doubt he has the ability to get after the pass-rusher, but after struggling to stay on the field since joining the Bears, the front office may decide to move on from the soon-to-be 30-year-old outside linebacker.
Robertson-Harris is a virtual unknown at this point but was a highly sought-after undrafted free agent last offseason. Chicago placed him on the Star Lotulelei Authentic Jersey reserve/non-football illness list in late August, ending his season. If he makes the move to defensive end it will free up more opportunities for Jones to prove himself.
A former undrafted free agent, Jones played primarily as an inside linebacker in 2015 before moving to outside linebacker last offseason. He is flexible enough to play either inside or outside and was excellent on special teams in 2016.
Three outside linebackers are locks Peter Konz Kids Jersey to make the roster, but the battle between the other five will be worth monitoring once training camp officially kicks off in late January.
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