Feeling Drafty #29: Chicago Bears

April 25, 2011 at 6:00 pm (Sports) (, , , , , , , , )

When I first heard that the Bears won the Julius Peppers lottery, I called BS, since it was announced on April 1st (which is one my list of things big businesses should never do), but Peppers was the real deal last season, winning Chicago Team MVP.

Ah, finally, my team.  The Chicago Bears.  Winner of the NFC North.  Runner-up in the NFC to the eventually champion.  This was a good season. 

But, the Bears has so much work to do.  Seriously, they shouldn’t have gotten this far, and looking back, luck may have had a thing or two to do with it.  There were at least four different times when the Bears faced teams starting backup or third-string quarterbacks.  And in the playoffs, they had the fortune of facing the first team to ever make the playoffs with a regular season losing record.  That probably won’t happen again next season.

But, let’s talk about what the Bears did right this season.  Their defense rocks.  Brian Urlacher made a good comeback after being gone for the entire 2009 season, with 125 tackles, four sacks, and two forced fumbles.  And Lance Briggs did pretty well as well, with 100 tackles, two forced fumbles, and three interceptions (playoffs included).  Chris Harris had five interceptions in his last nine games, and is known as someone who can force more than a few fumbles.  Charles Tillman had five picks, as well, along with three forced fumbles.  Israel Idonije has become one of the best kick blockers in the NFL, alongside with eight sacks, and three forced fumbles.  And there’s also Julius Peppers.  Nuff said.  So causing turnovers definitely isn’t a problem for the Bears.

But, the Bears do have problems on the offense.  Jay Cutler has the potential to be in the elite tier of quarterbacks, but he needs to improve his work ethic, and his willingness to play through pain (especially in the playoffs, when it really matters).  And the wide receiver situation is a bit of a mess (OK, a big mess).  Johnny Knox(ville?) emerged as the #1 receiver for the Bears going for 51 receptions, 960 yards, and five touchdowns, and emphatically putting his name into the “speedster” category of receivers.  But, the Bears could definitely use another wide receiver, since they’ve (wisely) decided to put Devin Hester back on return duty, and Earl Bennett fits better in the slot than as one of the guys on the side.

Gabe Carimi's nickname is "The Jewish Hammer". Awesome, we'll take him.

But, that’s not what the Bears will go with, because their offensive line was just that:  offensive (-ly bad?, OK, that was a stretch).  They need a new leader on the OL to replace Olin Kruetz who, even if he does make a comeback next season, doesn’t have long left in the NFL.  And besides, with Mike Tice serving as the offensive line coach, they might as well give him some supreme talent to work with.  Supreme talent, like Wisconsin OT Gabe Carimi.  He’s a fierce, mean blocker.  Tough, strong, and tenacious with a motor that doesn’t stop.  His biggest downside, however, is the fact that he played at right tackle at Wisconsin, but he should be able to move to the left side soon enough.

Everybody hopes that their team will win the Super Bowl, and the Bears are close.  Even though they had a lot of luck on their side, don’t be shocked if the Bears make it back to the playoffs next season.

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