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Chalk Talk


Which tight ends have stepped up?


Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of email questions from fans on

I'm a little concerned about depth at the tight end position behind Zach Miller. Have any of the backup tight ends stepped up in training camp?

Art P.
Muncie, Indiana

The two reserve tight ends who have stood out in training camp to me are Tony Moeaki and converted defensive end Greg Scruggs. With Zach Miller sidelined due to a concussion, Moeaki has helped fill the void as a pass catcher, making several receptions, including a couple for touchdowns. The Wheaton native had a great rookie season with the Chiefs in 2010, but his career has been derailed by injuries. Here's what offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains had to say about Moeaki on Wednesday: "We feel that if he can stay healthy he can help us. He's a smart football player. We'll see. He's got an opportunity to compete like the rest of them and there's no roles that have been defined at this point. But we like where he's at and we like what he's competing. He's a pro." Scruggs, who was switched to tight end from defensive end in May, has impressed me with his physicality as a blocker and he's also made a couple of catches as well. Quarterback Jay Cutler brought up Scruggs' name Wednesday when asked about the backup tight ends, saying: "I think Greg Scruggs has probably taken the most steps there. You see him as a blocker. He caught a couple passes today. He's a big physical guy, the kind of guy we're kind of looking for out of the tight end group, someone who can kind of set the edge, can pass pro a little bit, but he still can get out and catch the ball."

Of all the Bears' injured players, which one concerns you the most?

Neil A.
Portland, Oregon

I don't have any idea about the severity of any of the injuries Bears players are dealing with, but I would say my biggest concern at this point is outside linebacker Pernell McPhee, only because he is such an important member of the team and he has yet to step onto the practice field. With that being said, there is still more than a month until the regular-season opener and I have full confidence in the work the Bears training staff does on a daily basis with every injured player.

What do you think is the Bears' deepest position?

Fred S.
Bolingbrook, Illinois

I believe that outside linebacker is the deepest position on the Bears roster. It features the aforementioned Pernell McPhee as well as veterans Lamarr Houston, Willie Young and Sam Acho, and first-round draft pick Leonard Floyd. Having that many talented players at such an important position on their defense will allow the Bears to constantly put fresh pass rushers on the field.

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