The Bears might have spent big money in the off-season but Al Dannity thinks this Chicago team is going backwards.
Off-season changes It was, to say the least, a dramatic off-season in Chicago. Mike Martz arrived in town to try and re-invent a stagnant offense. He wasn’t the only new face in Chicago as Julius Peppers, Brandon Manumaleuna, and Chester Taylor arrived in free agency.
The high-profile signing of the trio was partly to offset the Bears’ lack of draft picks. Major Wright, who the Bears selected in the third round, was seen as a potential starter from week 1 but the safety has looked rough around the edges and isn’t ready to start just yet. Dan LeFevour is an interesting draftee out of Central Michigan. The MAC has produced its fair share of NFL quarterbacks over the years. With Caleb Hanie injuring his shoulder in pre-season, LeFevour has a chance to become Jay Cutler’s back-up.
Mark your calendar We should know everything we need to know about the 2010 Bears by the end of week 3. Chicago opens with a game they should win against the Lions but don’t rule out an upset. The Bears then travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys before welcoming Green Bay to Soldier Field in week 3.
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The week 7 game with Washington is intriguing due to the match-up of Cutler and Donovan McNabb, two quarterbacks who moved franchises in search of a brighter day. The Bears end the season with a brutal three-game stretch, at Minnesota, at home to the Jets, and finally at Green Bay.
The verdict This really doesn’t look pretty. In Mike Martz, the Bears have imported an offensive guru but one whose style is totally unsuited to the tools available. Chicago’s biggest strength in its passing game is Greg Olsen but tight ends usually flounder with Martz running an offense. The wide receiving corps has plenty of burners but none who possess the skills suited to recreate the Greatest Show on Turf, which Martz masterminded in St. Louis. Furthermore, Lovie Smith continues to insist on using Devin Hester as his #1 receiver to the detriment of Hester’s extraordinary talent in the return game.
On defense the Bears remain horribly predictable and NFL betting questions must be asked about Peppers’ motivation now that he’s had his big payday. There is too much talent on hand for this to be an epic collapse but look for the Bears to drop to 6-10 or possibly even 5-11 in 2010.