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Chicago Bears

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GM: Phil Emery
HC: Lovie Smith
2011: 8-8 (3rd NFC North)
2011 Quick Stats
Offence Defence
Pts
22.1
(17th)
Yds
314.1
(24th)
Pass Yds
188.2
(26th)
Rush Yds
125.9
(9th)
»Full Team Stats



Last Season

The Bears had everything going for them last season when they put together a five game winning streak in October and November.

The club was playoff bound before Jay Cutler and Matt Forte went down to injury. Chicago then proceeded to fall apart turning a 7-3 record into an 8-8 finish.

With Cutler and Forte back, the Bears are hoping to return to their mid-2011 form.

Who's In/Who's Out

Important Additions: WR Brandon Marshall, QB Jason Campbell, RB Michael Bush, RB Lorenzo Booker, WR Eric Weems, DT Brian Price, DT John McCargo, OLB Geno Hayes, DT Amobi Okoye, CB Kelvin Hayden

Important Losses: WR Roy Williams, QB Caleb Hanie, RB Marion Barber, OT Frank Omiyale, S Brandon Meriweather

Drafted

Pick Player Pos Ht Wt College  
1 (19) Shea McClellin LB 6'3 260 Boise St. DE Shea McClellin
Analysis: As a speed rusher off the edge, McClellin was brought in to help the Bears get more of a pass rush across from Pro Bowl defensive end Julius Peppers.
2 (45) Alshon Jeffery WR 6'3 216 South Carolina
Analysis: Jeffery has been impressive as he tries to carve out playing time as the Bears second option behind Brandon Marshall.
3 (79) Brandon Hardin S 6'3 222 Oregon St.
4 (111) Evan Rodriguez TE 6'1 239 Temple
4 (184) Isaiah Frey CB 5'10 190 Nevada
7 (220) Greg McCoy CB 5'10 178 TCU
» Complete NFL Draft Results

Season Outlook

Reasons To Believe
1. The Three Amigos - Cutler has been in need of a reliable pass catcher ever since the Bears acquired him in 2009. This off-season the club finally made a significant move at the position, trading for Cutler's former number one target in Denver, Brandon Marshall. Chicago also brought in Cutler's old quarterbacks coach from his days at Mile High, Jeremy Bates. In two seasons in Miami, Marshall still averaged 84 catches and 1,114 yards per season with below average quarterback play. Needless to say, both players are happy to be reunited.

Long-term Deal
The biggest issue for the Bears heading into the off-season was Matt Forte's contract status. The Bears locked up their start back with a four-year $32M deal in July.

2. Run Together - When Forte was lost to injury last season, the Bears turned to Marion Barber and eventually Kahlil Bell to carry the load. Neither player was able to spell Forte during the year, or adequately replace him once he was sidelined. Enter Michael Bush. The longtime Raider knows all about being an understudy after backing up injury report regular Darren McFadden in Oakland. Bush can be a short yardage and goal line back or handle the rock if Forte is out for any period of time.

3. Today's Special - Under special teams coordinator Dave Toub the Bears third unit has been at or near the top of the league. Devin Hester steals all the headlines with his electrifying returns, but the Bears special teams are solid in all facets. They signed Eric Weems, who was a Pro Bowl returner in 2010, and he will likely take over kickoff returns to allow Hester to focus on punt returns and offensive snaps. Kicker Robbie Gould and punter Adam Podlesh have also managed to thrive, despite playing in the Windy City.

Reasons To Doubt
1. The Life of Brian - Middle linebacker Brian Urlacher underwent arthroscopic surgery in August and reports out of Chicago suggested it wasn't his first surgery of the off-season. There are reports that Urlacher had the same treatment on his knee a few months ago that Kobe Bryant had done in Europe last year. The results were positive for Kobe, so there is hope for Urlacher, who claims he will be in the lineup Week 1. If he is unable to play early in the season or if his knees don't hold up, it would be a major downgrade for the Bears' defence.

2. Issues On The Line - Offensive line coach Mike Tice is the new offensive coordinator, taking over for Mike Martz. However, Tice will still need to focus on getting the most out of his unit up front, a group that has allowed 105 sacks in two seasons. The Bears blocking has been a problem area for the team for a few seasons and they nearly got Cutler killed a year ago. Tice has promised fewer seven step drops in his offence, but that doesn't completely solve the issue. If 2011 first round pick Gabe Carimi can lock down the right tackle spot, that would be a start.

3. Step Up - Most of the attention on the defensive line will be paid to the rushers on the edges, leaving the Bears' defensive tackles primarily one-on-one inside. Henry Melton, Stephen Paea, John McCargo, and Brian Price will all battle for playing time with Melton and Paea being the favourites to land the jobs. Melton came up with seven sacks a year ago, but that's more a product of the system than the player. If Urlacher misses time as well, offences will attack up the middle and very well could be successful doing so.

What To Expect
Even with the questions on the offensive line, the Bears offence will be more dangerous thanks to their improvements in the passing game. With their defence holding strong, Chicago will remain in the playoff hunt this season and be able to hold off the Lions for second in the NFC North behind the Packers. A second place finish in the division will be good enough to help them capture a wild card berth in the NFC.


Fantasy


Get ready for the season with the latest from TSN.ca.
Players: QB | RB | WR | TE | DEF | K
Fantasy Schedules: AFC | NFC
2012 Auction Values: Cheat Sheet
Fantasy Depth Charts: Offence


Team Schedule
Week Date vs Week Date vs
1 Sep 9 10 Nov 11
2
Sep 13 11 Nov 19
3 Sep 23 12 Nov 25
4 Oct 1 13 Dec 2
5 Oct 7 14 Dec 9
7 Oct 22 15 Dec 16
8 Oct 28 16 Dec 23
9 Nov 4 17 Dec 30
Bye Week: 6
» Full NFL Schedule



2014 NFL Draft

The Houston Texans selected defensive end Jadeveon Clowney first overall in the 2014 NFL Draft.


Round-by-Round Picks: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Hall Of Fame

Ray Guy, Derrick Brooks, Walter Jones, Michael Strahan, Andre Reed, and Aeneas Williams, headlined this year's Hall of Fame class. More...

Podcasts

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TSN 1050: The Bryan Hayes Show: July 28 - John Kryk

SunMedia NFL Columnist, John Kryk joined Bryan Hayes to discuss the potential of Manziel & EJ Manuel's struggles in camp.

TSN 1050: The Bryan Hayes Show: July 23 - Jim Trotter

ESPN NFL Analyst, Jim Trotter joined Bryan Hayes to discuss Tony Dungy's comments about Michael Sam, Brett Favre's Packers legacy & Johnny Manziel.


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