Ladies, find the 2013 Chicago Bears season is now upon us. Let us relish in these last few days of excitement and clean slates where anything can happen and the sky is the limit for our Chicago Bears. But first, viagra let’s mentally prepare for what offensively lies ahead.
After a heartbreaking 2012 season when the Bears went 10-6 and still managed to miss the playoffs, I am hopeful for what’s to come in 2013. This season promises a fresh start, with a revamped roster and coaching staff. Offense-minded head Coach Marc Trestman has made some strategic moves leading up to Sunday’s game in order to better the offense, and now it’s time to see what sort of performance Jay Cutler and crew can put on week in and week out.
Under Trestman you can expect to see weekly game plan changes on both the offense and defense to match the skills of each individual opponent. That’s what he’s done in the past and it’s worked for him.
The Bears have only made the postseason once in the past six seasons, so the “it can only go up from here” saying is definitely fitting. Under Trestman’s coaching, Chicago came out of the preseason with 2 wins and 2 losses and gained some valuable experience. On Saturday, the Bears roster was cut down to the required 53 players that will hopefully take them deep into postseason play this year. Below I will offer some insight into who remains on the offense and the role they’ll play this season.
Offensive Positions and Players to Know:
Starter: Jay Cutler
Back-up: Josh McCown
Jay Cutler was in the hot seat last year and this year that seat is practically on fire. Going into his fifth year as the Bears franchise quarterback and his third offensive coordinator during that timeframe, it is extremely important for Cutler to prove himself as a leader and better QB this season. A contract renewal depends on it. It’s this simple: if Cutler doesn’t improve this season, he’s out.
Since arriving in Chicago from Denver in the 2009 season, Cutler’s performance on the field has continued to deteriorate. In 2010, Cutler’s best season, he had 23 touchdowns and 16 interceptions for a 81.3% quarterback rating. Last season, Cuter had 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, but was sacked 38 times, for a 81.3% QB rating.
Cutler can’t be blamed entirely on all of the sacks and interceptions. The offensive line has been a hot mess the last few years. But Cutler is certainly who Trestman had in mind when he and GM Phil Emery overhauled the offensive line this offseason. The o-line overhaul was executed in order to give #6 more time to get the ball out and reduce that number this season.
For the Cutty haters who think that won’t happen, you may want to think again. Trestman runs a derivative of the West Coast offense, which is high-tempo offense with a focus on getting plays off quickly, allowing little time for the QB to drop back and stare down the defense.
The Coaching staff decided to keep Josh McCown on board as Jay Cutler’s main back-up, seeing as he is more familiar with the new offense. Cutting Jordan Palmer, last year’s back-up, certainly put him out of sight but that doesn’t mean he is out of mind for the coming season, if need be, he’ll be their first call.
Position: Running back
Starters: Matt Forte, Michael Bush
Back-up: Michael Ford, Tony Fiammetta (FB)
Matt Forte has had a promising preseason, averaging 9.93 yards per carry and looking faster than ever. Forte had a tremendous game against the Raiders, tallying over 100 yards and there are already rumblings that he could run for 1,000 yards and catch 100 passes under Trestman’s new leadership this season.
In the past Bush has been essential for short runs at the goal line, but it is likely that he will be used as a pure back-up this year. Ford offers help for Devin Hester on kickoff returns and Fiammetta is a said to be a strong lead blocker.
Position: Wide Receiver
Starters: Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffrey
Back-ups: Earl Bennett, Joe Anderson, Eric Weems, Marquess Wilson, Terrence Toliver & Brittan Golden are 4th string options
Currently Brandon Marshall is being deemed as probable after his offseason arthroscopic hip surgery and Earl Bennett is questionable, so having six wide receivers on hand is a plus. Due to a check-up, Marshall missed the exhibition finale against Cleveland but he returned to practice Monday (phew).
The Bears will be looking to spread the wealth this season, as far too much weight fell on Marshall in 2012. The WR caught 118 of the team’s 287 total receptions last season. That is just over 40% of all receptions and the highest percentage of a team’s total receptions in half a century. In the secondary role, Jeffery has the potential to make some big moves for the Bears and live up to his 2012 draft predictions, if he can stay healthy.
Position: Tight End
Starter: Martellus Bennett
Back-ups: Steve Maneri, Dante Rosario
One of the most exciting additions the Bears made in the offseason was acquiring tight end Martellus Bennett from the NY Giants. At 6’6, 270 lbs., TE Martellus Bennett is quite the beast.
The “Black Unicorn” is definitely one to watch this year – if anything for the shock factor. Bennett is a force on Twitter and is never one to shy away from a camera opp or the chance to make a fashion statement.
The vocal TE has been with three teams in the last three years and is somewhat of a wild card. Bennett had a huge 2012 season in New York with 55 receptions, 625 yards and 5 TDs and the Bears are betting on him being another weapon for Cutler when Marshall and Forte are tied up – but one that can also block.
However, Bennett has had a pretty shaky preseason with zero TDs and not much to show for on the field, so we could see a fair amount of rotation at this position.
I’m not losing faith though, in fact, he’s on one of my fantasy football teams. But just in case, Chicago acquired tight end Dante Rosario, a six-year veteran, on Monday from the Dallas Cowboys for a conditional seventh-round pick.
Position: Offensive Linemen
Starters: Jermon Bushrod (LT), Matt Slauson (LG), Roberto Garza (C), Kyle Long (RG), Jordan Mills (RT)
Back-ups: Eben Britton (RT), James Brown (RG), Taylor Boggs (LG & C), Jonathan Scott (LT)
When you hear people mention the “young rookies of the Bears” this season, they are referring to the offensive linemen. Bears veteran left tackle J’Marcus Webb has been replaced by free agent signee Jermon Bushrod and that is definitely something to smile about.
Kyle Long, the Bears first-round pick this year will be replacing 2011 first-round pick Gabe Carimi. Long is an incredible athlete but his lack of NFL experience has some worried, so only time will tell.
Roberto Garza is the only returning starting vet to the O-line which includes the most rookies of any position on the team. If the O-line can gel early in the season and keep Cutler vertical, Trestman will be hailed as an offensive genius and very good things could be in store for the Bears.
Eyes are also on offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Aaron Kromer, to continue molding this unit into the best it can be. Facing early injuries in training camp, Kromer received praise from Brandon Marshall for doing an “amazing job,” so hopefully that is something that continues.
Kromer spent the past five seasons with the Saints, who tied for the fewest sacks allowed in the NFL over the past four seasons. That is great news for us Chicago fans, since the the Bears have really struggled with sacks in prior seasons.
The Bears face the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday September 8th at noon, marking the start of a telling regular season for the squad and more importantly, Jay Cutler. He has an offensive line that can better protect him and some powerful weapons to work with, so the pressure is certainly on for him to perform.
The NFC North has always been a tough, competitive division and that hasn’t changed for the coming 2013 season, it may even be better than ever. But hey, you have to face the best to become the best, right? We’re about to find out!