It may only be OTA’s (organized team activities), but it’s been a long time coming since there was this much attention focused on the Chicago Bears offense. For years, it has been the Monsters of the Midway on defense.
The last time the offense got this much attention from both the media and fans would have to be the first workouts quarterback Jay Cutler had in a Bears uniform and even that hasn’t garnished the amount of attention the 2012 offense is generating.
But finally having a franchise quarterback in Cutler, a running back in Matt Forte and finally a legitimate number one wide receiver in Brandon Marshall, the Bears finally have all the pieces on the three most important positions in football to compete not only on the offensive side of the football but in the competitive NFC North. So it is not surprising at all the amount of attention they’re receiving even before training camp gets underway.
Cutler is no Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees or Tom Brady, but he can definitely put the ball in the smallest spots and he has his go-to favorite receiver in Marshall to make those tough catches and turn them into huge gains or touchdowns.
Aside from Marshall, the Bears also added other key pieces to the offense to help Cutler and the offense, especially in the red-zone where Chicago struggled throughout the season to get the big points, settling a lot of the time on Robbie Gould’s foot.
The Bears picked up receivers Eric Weems and Devin Thomas – in the free-agent market – along with draft pick Alshon Jeffery to take some of the load off Marshall to make the big plays in the end zone.
The firing of Mike Martz also opens more plays for tight end Kellen Davis to make big plays down the field under the Mike Tice system.
In addition, Chicago fixed major problems that prevented the 2011 squad from earning a wildcard berth in the playoffs. When Cutler went down with a thumb injury, then Forte with a knee injury the following week – both season ending – everything in Chicago seemed to be falling apart at the worst time. The Bears were 7-3 and poised to potentially take a guaranteed playoff spot from the Detroit Lions at the time.
But the Bears had to go to their backups and during that five-game losing streak, the media, fans and management found out just how unprepared the Bears organization was when injuries took down your best athletes. Caleb Hanie was not the answer for quarterback and neither was Kahlil Bell at running back.
Thankfully the Bears got a new GM in Phil Emery and he signed big named free agents to fill the holes at the above mentioned positions incase Cutler or Forte have another major injury.
Running back Michael Bush will give Forte a breather and can be that shortage guy for the 1st Down or touchdown that Marion Barber proved he was not capable of. Chicago also drastically improved the backup quarterback vacancy by signing Jason Campbell. Campbell was recently named the NFL’s second best backup QB so things on the offensive side in the windy city seem to be at all time high.
However, until a regular season snap is conducted, the questions will continue to surround the offensive line and their (in)ability to protect Cutler.
While the defense probably misses the constant attention, it for the time being takes the pressure away from answering questions about age and the window closing on this veteran defensive group to win a championship now with the dangerous offense the Bears finally have.
It’s always an anxious summer in Chicago for the Bears to start play, but it’s been a long time coming where fans can walk around the city and for once feel good that their team has a realistic shot to contend for a division title and Super Bowl instead of relying on them seeking into the post-season or shocking the entire NFL with a playoff berth.
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