YOOOAdrian’s 2010 NFL Preview- Chicago Bears
The Bears brought in offensive guru, the orchestrator of the “Greatest Show on Turf” offense in St. Louis. Mike Martz to try to revitalize and revamp a struggling offense over recent seasons. Chicago thought they had themselves a franchise quarterback for the 1st time in decades when they traded for Jay Cutler in last season’s off-season; he struggled. Once again, the Bears made major splashes this past off-season spending a total of $121 million on Julius Peppers, Chester Taylor and Brandon Manumaleuna.
Jay Cutler- 336/555 60.5% 3,666 yds 27 td 26 int 76.8 rat
Cutler, the man from Santa Claus, Indiana, did not provide the necessary gifts under the Christmas tree for Chicago Bears fans. He led the NFL with 26 interceptions. An interesting tidbit about Cutler; He has yet to have a winning season as a starting quarterback in college or the NFL. I find that baffling, especially with his gifted throwing abilities.
To give Cutler some due, he finished strong with an 8:1 touchdown/interception ratio in his final 2 games. Cutler has a cannon and can make any type of throw. That can be good and bad. The good is he can fit a ball into tight spaces. The bad, he makes bad decisions because he thinks he can make every throw.
The essence of Mike Martz offense is timing. To get back to the arm of Cutler, timing is not his forte. He stares down his receivers and thinks he can get it to him even after the receiver gets out of his break.
Others- Caleb Hanie, Dan LeFevour
LeFevour is an intriguing 6th round pick. He’s mobile, but he needs to improve on his accuracy.
Matt Forte- 258 car 929 yds 3.6 avg 4 td 57 rec 471 yds
2 years ago, Forte became the 1st rookie to amass over 1,000 yards rushing and catch 60 balls. After showing such promise as a rookie, Forte was nothing but a disappointment last year.
Forte is a versatile back who brings a lot to the table, but there’s no one trait that truly stands out. Behind a poor offensive line, Forte often looked impatient. He also needs to protect the football better. He fumbled 6 times, losing 3 of them.
Chester Taylor- 94 car 338 yds 3.6 avg 1 td 44 rec 389 yds 1 td
Taylor is a guy that has never really gotten his due. He’s been a back-up for all of his career, but he could’ve easily started any of his years in the NFL. He has solid inside and outside running skills to go along with being able to pick up short yardage 1st downs.
Taylor is 30, but since he’s been a back-up so long, he still has fresh legs.
Others- Khalil Bell, Eddie Williams
Bell electrified Bear fans as he bolted on a 72-yard run on his 1st NFL carry. This is a guy to keep an eye on.
Williams takes over for the departed Jason McKie at fullback.
Devin Hester- 57 rec 757 yds 13.3 avg 3 td
Hester filled the role as the number 1 wide receiver last season. Mike Martz would like to see Hester line up in the slot, similar to what Az-Zahir Hakim used to do for St. Louis. Hester has plenty of speed, but he’s still learning how to run routes.
Devin Aromashodu- 24 rec 298 yds 12.4 avg 4 td
Besides having the coolest last name in the NFL, (Yes, better than Houshmenzadeh) Aromashodu was one of the league’s more productive receivers the last month of the season. He caught 22 passes for 282 yards and 4 touchdowns.
At 6’2, Devin has good size with big, strong hands. Fantasy players, Aromashodu is the epitome of a late-round sleeper.
Johnny Knox- 45 rec 527 yds 11.7 avg 5 td
Knox is a threat everytime he touches the ball. At the 2009 NFL Scouting Combine, Knox ran a 4.34 40 yard-dash. Certainly not the slowest man in the NFL.
TE- Greg Olsen- 60 rec 612 yds 10.2 avg 8 td
Olsen creates mismatches with his ability to move for his size.
There is concern because Martz has never been a proponent of incorporating the tight end in the offense. He likes using the tight end as an extra offensive linemen.
Others- Earl Bennett, Brandon Manumaleuna
Manumaleuna is strictly a blocking tight end who fits Martz’s offensive scheme. It’ll be interesting to see how Olsen and he rotate.
Bennett is a possession receiver who played college ball with Cutler at Vanderbilt.
LT- Chris Williams
Williams is a 2008 1st round pick who started 11 games at right tackle last year; he then started the final 5 games at left tackle once Orlando Pace was injured.
Williams is athletic and is a better run blocker than pass protector. He needs to be more consistent. He led the team in penalties last season.
LG- Josh Beekman
Beekman is an undersized guard who started all 16 games at left guard a season ago.
C- Olin Kreutz
Kreutz is a technically sound player who’s made 118 consecutive starts at center. He’s an emotional leader in the locker room.
RG- Roberto Garza
This is the 5th consecutive year that Garza and Kreutz have played alongside one another. They make a solid tandem.
RT- Frank Omiyale
Omiyale is long armed and tall. He played left guard last year, but he is better equipped to play tackle.
LDE- Mark Anderson- 28 tck 3.5 sck
Anderson has yet to match his 12 sack total he had as a rookie in 2006. He’ll share duties with Israel Idonije. Anderson will serve as the pass rusher on the left side.
LDT- Tommie Harris- 24 tck 2.5 sck 1 int 1 p def
At his ultimate potential, Harris is one of the best and most disruptive 3 technique tackles in the NFL. He’s an effective interior pass rusher who gets off the ball quickly. The acquisition of Julius Peppers should free up some space for Harris to operate.
RDT- Anthony Adams- 44 tck 2 sck 1 p def
The Bears keep trying to upgrade the right defensive tackle position, but Adams keeps fending off his competitors. The disappointing Marcus Harrison will be Adam’s main challenge in preseason.
RDE- Julius Peppers- 42 tck 10.5 sck 2 int 5 p def 5 ff
Peppers is an athletic freak who has compiled double-digit sacks in 6 of his 8 seasons. He has an unlimited amount of pass rushing moves in his repertoire.
Others- Israel Idonije, Marcus Harrison, Corey Wooton.
Idonije will share time with Anderson at left defensive end. He is the better run stuffer of the 2.
Wooton was a promising player before tearing up his knee in the 2008 Alamo Bowl.
LOLB- Pisa Tinoisamoa- 4 tck 1 ff
Pisa is a good fit in Chicago’s defensive strategy, but he’s coming off 2 injuries from last season.
MLB- Brian Urlacher- 3 tck
Urlacher was lost for the season in week 1 when he suffered a broken wrist. Chicago really missed his leadership defensively.
At 32, he’s not the same athlete he once was in his prime, but he can still make plays. He can still cover the deep middle and make tackles from sideline to sideline.
ROLB- Lance Briggs- 118 tck 2.5 sck 1 int 5 p def
Briggs has made the Pro-Bowl for 4 consecutive years. He has great range against the run, can rush the passer and drop into coverage. He’s instinctive and laterally quick.
Others- Hunter Hillenmeyer, Nick Roach
Hillenmeyer and Roach filled in nicely for the injured Urlacher and Tinoisamoa. Hillenmeyer is smart and versatile while Roach is fast and good in space.
LCB- Charles Tillman- 77 tck 2 int 7 p def 6 ff
Tillman is a hard working physical corner who excels in run support and matches up well against bigger and taller receivers. He has long arms in which he utilizes to cause fumbles. He forced a career-high 6 fumbles last season.
RCB- Zack Bowman- 66 tck 6 int 10 p def 1 ff
Bowman steadily improved as the season went along as he got absolutely burned by Calvin Johnson in week 1. Like Tillman, Bowman is physical an good in run support.
CB- Tim Jennings- 57 tck 2 int 10 p def
Jennings was acquired from the Colts, At 5’8, he’s undersized, but has o.k. cover skills.
FS- Danieal Manning- 92 tck 1 int 2 p def 1 sck 2 ff
Manning has all the physical tools, but has never really put it together thus far.
SS- Chris Harris- 60 tck 3 int 6 p def 2 ff
The Bears acquired Harris from Carolina after Harris was originally drafted by Chicago in 2005. Like most of the secondary, Harris is physical.
Others- Major Wright, Craig Steltz, Josh Bullocks
Both starting safety spots are up for grabs. Major Wright is a guy I love. The 3rd round rookie from Florida is a playmaker with good range and can hit. I think he’ll start by season’s end.
PK- Robbie Gould- 24/28 52 lg
Gould has a team record of 4 consecutive 100+ point seasons.
P- Brad Maynard- 77 punts 41.4 avg 26 ins 20
Maynard had just 2 touchbacks last year.
KR- Johnny Knox- 32 ret 29.0 avg 102 lg 1 td
Speed, speed, speed!
PR- Devin Hester- 24 ret 7.8 abg 33 lg 0 td
If he plays the slot, he’ll return punts more often.
Defensively, the Bears are stout. Urlacher is back, and the Bears signed the prize of the offseason in Peppers. I still have questions about the offense. How will Mike Martz and Jay Cutler mesh? Who will emerge as viable receiving option?
Offensive MVP- Jay Cutler
Defensive MVP- Julius Peppers
Breakthrough- Devin Aromashodu
Overrated- Jay Cutler
Underrated- Chester Taylor