NFL Preview: Chicago Bears

Head Coach: Lovie Smith
Offensive Coordinator: Mike Martz
Defensive Coordinator: Rod Marinelli
Special Teams Coordinator: Dave Toub
President/CEO: Ted Phillips

Offensive Starters (Projected)
QB: Jay Cutler
RB: Matt Forte
H Back: Desmond Clark
WR: Devin Hester
WR: Johnny Knox
LT: Chris Williams
LG: Roberto Garza
C: Olin Kreutz
RG: Lance Louis
RT: Frank Omiyale
TE: Greg Olsen

Defensive Starters (Projected)
DE: Mark Anderson
DE: Julius Peppers
DT: Tommie Harris
DT: Anthony Adams
LB: Pisa Tinoisamoa
LB: Brian Urlacher
LB: Lance Briggs
CB: Zackary Bowman
CB: Charles Tillman
FS: Chris Harris
SS: Danieal Manning

Special Teams
K: Robbie Gould
P: Brad Maynard

@ Dallas
Green Bay
@ New York Giants
@ Carolina
@ Buffalo
@ Miami
@ Detroit
New England
@ Minnesota
New York Jets
@ Green Bay

Position Battles:
Only a couple battles of note for the Bears this season.

First and foremost is WR. The projected starters are Knox and Hester but Devin Aromashodu is going to put up a fight to get starts and targets in the offense.

At defensive end, Mark Anderson and Israel Idonije will battle for the starting spot opposite Julius Peppers. Idonije is more of a run stopping DE and Anderson is more of a pass rush threat, so a platoon could be the result.

At LB, Nick Roach is looking to take the starting spot from Pisa Tinoisamoa. Tinoisamoa was bitten by the injury bug last season but has the talent to be a great LB.

Rookies to Watch:
The Bears don’t have a lot of rookies, they’ve used draft picks to land veteran players recently. Major Wright was the Bears first choice in the third round. He’s got a chance to work his way into the starting line-up but he’ll have to get past Chris Harris.

Season Expectations:
Jay Cutler can’t be as bad as he was last year, right? Well, he actually could be in some areas, but still have a better season. Mike Martz is running the offense, and his offenses usually bring high TD numbers and high INTs for the QBs. Cutler should surpass his TD total from last season, but could also surpass his interception totals. But with all the TDs someone has to catch them and the three main WRs should all get their share. Devin, Devin, and Johnny should all put up decent numbers and keep defenses on their toes. Matt Forte could take a hit in his overall numbers but he was down last year, so it shouldn’t be a big surprise. The offense should definitely be high scoring once they get into a groove with the offense, which could take a couple weeks.

The defense should be really good. Julius Peppers adds a big time pass rushing threat. The linebacking core is great if they stay healthy. They still don’t have great depth at the CB position, but they should have enough to stay competitive throughout the season. The defense will be a bright spot for the team this year and will carry the team to a lot of their wins especially early in the season. They play in a tough division and have to jump over the Packers and Vikings to take the division, something I don’t think they can do this year. Maybe one, but not both.

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