By Doug Halberstadt
I’m rooting for two local guys to make it onto National Football League team rosters over the next week or so: Derek Dimke with the New Orleans Saints and Jordan Lynch with the Chicago Bears.
Dimke is a graduate of Rockford Boylan High School and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was a successful place kicker for the Titans and the Fighting Illini, and is proving his ability with the Saints. The 24-year-old Dimke is battling veteran Shayne Graham for the starting kicking job down in the Big Easy. Graham has missed kicks during practice and in one of the preseason games, while Dimke has not missed and appears to have the stronger leg.
Dimke has had previous tryouts with the Detroit Lions, New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I believe we’ll be watching Dimke in a Saints uniform during the upcoming season.
Lynch is an undrafted free agent from Northern Illinois University. He had a stellar career at NIU, setting numerous rushing and passing records while quarterbacking for the Huskies. The Bears are looking to use Lynch in a different role. Instead of playing quarterback, Lynch has been moved to the running back position by the Bears.
Lynch did appear in Chicago’s first preseason game late in the fourth quarter and played well, gaining positive yardage on each of his attempts. What concerns me is Lynch has failed to make it back onto the field during the second and third Bears’ preseason games.
The Bears have Matt Forte locked in as their starting running back. The depth chart on their website lists Shaun Draughan and Ka’Deem Carey ahead of Lynch as Forte’s back-ups.
My guess is that because of Lynch’s versatility, the Bears will not let him go. I look for Lynch to be named to Chicago’s 10-member practice squad and could eventually transition onto the active roster as the season wears on.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
Posted Aug. 26, 2014