Bears fixing to have tight ends play multiple roles

It could be easier to do what most didn’t think the Chicago Bears would consider under new offensive coordinator Mike Martz – keep four tight ends on their roster this season – if they ask the players to be more versatile.

There has been speculation that Greg Olsen, a first-round draft pick in 2007, could be used in a trade with the Bears trying to acquire a second-round pick in exchange. That seems unlikely now, especially given the market the Denver Broncos found for Tony Scheffler earlier this week. But it’s a crowded house for the Bears with Olsen, Desmond Clark, Kellen Davis and newcomer Brandon Manumaleuna on the roster.

Coach Lovie Smith hinted they’ll have additional roles as H-backs or fullbacks this season after the club released true fullback Jason McKie last month.

"When you say tight ends, I wouldn't label all of our guys as a tight end," Smith said. "Tight end? Fullback? Jason McKie isn't here anymore. They can do other things."

Smith did his best to shoot down rumors that Olsen could be dealt, primarily because he doesn’t appear to be a match for Martz’s scheme.

"Greg Olsen working hard, doing a great job for us," Smith said. "I know our offensive guys are excited about working with him. I guess there could be speculation that we are going to trade Lance Briggs and Jay was traded last year so maybe he could get traded this year too. I can't get into speculation."

Of course, Cutler was traded and the Bears thought they had Briggs traded to San Francisco in 2007 before a deal with the 49ers fell apart at the last minute, a development that eventually led to tampering charges against them.

Martz, though, has been pleased with the work he’s done on the field with Olsen thus far in the voluntary offseason workout program and the team has sent the message to him.

"He needs to get grounded in blocking. He knows that. We told him that,” Martz said. “It's hard to run the ball, guys, if you don't have a tight end who's going to be on the edge over there. We have a number of tight ends because we anticipate being able to run very well when we want to run."

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