Pre-Camp Review: Chicago Bears

by Matt Soltysiak

The Bears were a win and a Viking loss away from making the playoffs last year, but it didn’t happen.  Chicago finished 9-7, but they didn’t hibernate this off-season, they made some moves.  None is bigger than the acquisition of quarterback Jay Cutler.  Chicago sent a number of picks (and a qb) to Denver for the Pro Bowl quarterback.  This gives the team stability at the position for the first time in years.  The Bears also added Orlando Pace along the offensive line, re-signed running back Kevin Jones and tight end Michael Gaines.  Those departing the Windy City include quarterbacks Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton, receiver Marty Booker and defensive leader Mike Brown.

In the draft Chicago used two third round picks to grab defensive end Jarron Gilbert from San Jose State and receiver Juaquin Iglesias from Oklahoma.  Chicago ranked 30th in passing yards allowed last season, so getting more pressure on opposing quarterbacks is a must.  The Bears also need some targets for their new franchise quarterback.

What to watch for in training camp

See how Cutler fits.  There are a lot of knocks on this guy because of his attitude in Denver, but that doesn’t really play into things.  Just pay attention to how he seems to be picking up the new system and the chemistry he has with receivers and tight ends.  The Bears don’t really have a true number one receiver.  Devin Hester, Rashied Davis and Earl Bennett are the top threats.  Watch these guys to see if they suddenly become a favorite target of their new quarterback.  Cutler’s top target is worth having on your fantasy roster, but probably as someone to use during bye weeks.

The tight ends on the team could be better options, if anything gets sorted out.  Greg Olsen had 54 catches for 574 yards and 5 touchdowns, but Desmond Clark also had 41 grabs.  Olsen is clearly the better option, but he’s not Chicago’s only option so this hurts his value.  The running game is pretty set.

Matt Forte is the workhorse and could see more running holes if defenses are forced to defend the pass.  Kevin Jones returns to provide depth, but is nothing more than that.

Previous Reviews:
Baltimore Ravens
Buffalo Bills
Cincinnati Bengals
Cleveland Browns
Dallas Cowboys
Denver Broncos

Houston Texans
Indianapolis Colts
Jacksonville Jaguars
Kansas City Chiefs
Miami Dolphins
Minnesota Vikings
New England Patriots
New York Giants
New York Jets
Oakland Raiders
Philadelphia Eagles
Pittsburgh Steelers
San Diego Chargers
Tennessee Titans
Washington Redskins

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One Response to Pre-Camp Review: Chicago Bears

  1. Behr says:

    Well, you’re wrong on a couple counts:

    1st, the Bears were one win away from the playoffs, period. If they had won their last game, they were in. It did not matter what the Vikes did as they owned the tiebreaker. The Bears would have gotten in as a wildcard if they had won their last game.

    Secondly, at RB; Last year, Forte *was* the workhorse, mostly because Jones was ineffective due to still not being back to 100%. This year, during OTA’s, Forte had to sit out with a tweaked hammy, and Kevin turned alot of heads with the way he came out in replacement of Forte. By all account, he looked very, very good; fast and quick with power. The coaches have already said they have to work Jones in for much more PT than he got last year. Look for that to happen as they do not want to over extend Forte like they did last year.

    You also neglected to mention a couple key aquisition for the defense, those being the signing of SLB Pise Tinoisamoa, and defensive line coach, Marinelli. Both should pay huge dividens by providing a more effective pass rush (merinelli) and pursuing ultra-quick RB’s (think AP twice a year) before they break open for large gains (Pisa).

    All in all, it should be an increadibly fun year for Bears fans.

    -Behr

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