Mark Anderson was given his pink slip yesterday. The coaching staff had high hopes for him but he was never able to live up to expectations after his breakout rookie season when he recorded 12 sacks.
There are three players that come to mind that will need to step up in his place. From all indications, Israel Idonije and Henry Melton look like they are ready for the challenge. Izzy took over for Anderson in the second game and has been a model of consistency. He has performed at a high level where ever the coaching staff has put him. Melton is starting to see more time and has made impact plays by getting hits on the quarterback. Rookie Corey Wootton could also see some playing time even though he didn't have a particularly strong offseason and preseason.
You can look at this in a few different ways. First, it's an indictment on the roster decisions made by Lovie Smith and Jerry Angelo. They consistently drafted players who have failed to live up to expectations. Not to mention, they released fan favorite, Alex Brown.
Another way to look at the Anderson cut, is that Smith is making everyone accountable. Smith has always been a loyal coach and has given his players every opportunity to perform. Some have worked out, others haven't.
Smith's perform-or-else approach is similar to a player that's in his contract year. Smith realizes he needs to go big or go home.
In Anderson's place, the Bears signed former, New Orleans Saints defensive end, Charles Grant, who most recently played in the UFL.
The Chicago Bears need all four phases (offense, defense, special teams and the fans) of the game to work together to pave the way to victory. This is the unofficial 4th Phase blog. You can follow the blog on Twitter, @4thPhase or #4thPhase.
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