All Eyes On the Lombardi
We are less than 2 weeks away from the start of Bears preseason. Usually a team that’s ready to compete for a Super Bowl has the majority of their roster set, but there’s still a lot of questions surrounding this Bears team. For the first time in what seems like franchise history, those questions aren’t so much surrounding the offense but rather the defense. Last year was a season we would all like to forget on the defensive side of the football. The defense suffered injuries to their veterans and a lack of experience from the young guys having to step up immediately didn’t help. They were not the Monsters of the Midway we were accustomed to seeing.
A new season approaches and this Bears team has their eyes set on a Super Bowl, but they know it won’t be easy. A lot of teams each year look great on paper during the off season but fail to perform on the level that they should during the regular season. The Bears offense performed much better than a lot of people expected last season even with the head coaching change and significant changes to the offensive line. Everyone who started on the offense last season is expected to be the starters again this year on offense. How long has it been since we could say that? Plus, everyone has a year of experience working together and building chemistry. That’s especially important for the offensive line which featured 2 rookies last year, one of which went to the Pro Bowl.
General manager Phil Emery immediately saw what the biggest needs were this off season and didn’t hesitate to improve the horrendous defense we saw last year. The very second free agency began, he acquired Lamarr Houston to help improve the pass rush and the Bears’ run defense which ranked 32nd in the league a season ago. Emery also pulled off a last second signing of 5-time Pro Bowl defensive end Jared Allen before Allen signed elsewhere. With other free agent signings including veteran safety Adrian Wilson, they also began to fill their needs at the safety positions. They also added depth to the cornerback position by drafting Kyle Fuller with their 14th overall pick in hopes of developing behind Charles Tillman and perhaps becoming his replacement after this season.
With the offense all set and ready to roll, there’s no more excuses on that side of the football. While the Bears have never really been known for having great offenses, I truly believe we are in for a historic year for the franchise with the offensive talent we have. Let’s hope the new look defense with the revamped defensive line brings our title of “Monsters of the Midway” back to life. While we all have our eyes on the Lombardi, we have to take it one game at a time.