After many seasons of slight changes that led to mediocrity and stagnation, the Chicago Bears finally enter a season having revamped their entire team. From the coaching staff to personnel, this Bears team is different than the ones that were led by Marc Trestman and John Fox.
The team is now led by Matt Nagy, who in years past was the offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs. Chicago also hired Mark Helfrich, who was Marcus Mariota’s coach at Oregon the year Oregon reached the national title game back in 2015, as the offensive coordinator.
The Bears added several new offensive weapons, mainly to help second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky develop into a proven starter. While the Bears probably won’t show the same level of improvement as the Eagles did last year, the team has obvious potential to become a force to be reckoned with in 2018, and fans should be satisfied if they achieve the following:
Development of Mitchell Trubisky
This should without a doubt be the Bears’ top priority this season.
Quarterback is the most important position in football, and if Trubisky’s 2018 campaign proves that the Bears finally have a long-term answer at the position, then the season should be considered a success. The general consensus is that Trubisky’s struggles last season were due to a lack of offensive weapons and bland play calling rather than a shortage of skill on his part.
However, this season should be different. Trubisky will have to play in a quarterback-rich NFC North and prove himself in six games in which he will go head-to-head against Matthew Stafford, Kirk Cousins and, of course, Aaron Rodgers. Trubisky is not as proven as any of those three quarterbacks, and for the Bears to be able to win the division in a season or two, they will need to have a reliable arm under center.
With a new coaching staff and exciting new offensive weapons, look forward to seeing the “training wheels” be taken off Trubisky.
Some more versatility on the offense
This is why General Manager Ryan Pace decided to bring in Matt Nagy and Mark Helfrich on the coaching staff. Out of nowhere, the Bears went from having a stagnant offense that seemingly stunted the growth of Mitchell Trubisky to one with an abundance of options.
If you look at the team’s personnel, there is no reason to believe that the Bears can’t light up the scoreboard this season. They have a young one-two punch combination at running back in Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen.
The Bears will also have a new-look receiving corps that will consist of Allen Robinson, the proven wide-out from Jacksonville, Taylor Gabriel, the speedster who tore up defenses for the Falcons the past two seasons, and Anthony Miller, the Bears’ second-round pick from Memphis. And at tight end, the Bears will feature “Philly Special” extraordinaire Trey Burton as well as Trubisky’s fellow sophomore teammate Adam Shaheen.
Nagy and Helfrich should be able to endlessly experiment with the offense this season, and fans should be excited for a lot of interesting play calls.
A solid kicking game
After 11 seasons of consistent kicking from Robbie Gould, the Bears have been embarrassingly bad at kicking the past two seasons.
This was most notably highlighted last year when Mitchell Trubisky made a magical fourth down scramble to save the Bears’ hopes against the Lions before Connor Barth horribly missed a game-tying field goal as time expired, resulting in a 27-24 Chicago loss at home.
For many fans, this was the breaking point for not only Connor Barth, but for John Fox as well. Luckily, the Bears signed Cody Parkey in the offseason. Parkey is only 26 years old but has proven himself in the NFL with a field goal percentage of 86.4%. While kicking isn’t very glamorous, it is extremely crucial to the success of a team. Cody Parkey should be able to bring that needed consistency to the Bears this season and in seasons to come.