The Chicago Bears are in full swing entering training camp as they prepare for the Hall of Fame game against the Baltimore Ravens.
In front of fans and media personnel, the Bears entered into practice with the mindset of stretching the field, working out the receivers, polishing quarterbacks footwork and reads, blocking and tackling skills and perfecting field goals and kickoffs.
With the induction of linebackers Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, it was only fitting for the Chicago Bears and the Baltimore Ravens to duke it out on the field. This allowed the Bears and Ravens to start training camp early and get the cobwebs out after long disappointing seasons.
The question has always been, with all the off season acquisitions and NFL Draft picks, did the Bears do enough to have a promising season?
Well the answer is YES! As with all teams, everything looks good on paper but does it transfer on the field? Is the new culture one that is being embraced by the whole team, not just a few? I’m glad to say so far, yes!
With rookie mini-camp complete and OTAs underway, the Chicago Bears are slowly putting together a well-balanced team. Ryan Pace and company have done their due diligence in signing key players that will have an immediate impact on the team.
But it’s those additional spots, the supplemental players that will have to be ready to step in on a moment’s notice. Who will make a statement in training camp that they belong on this team? Who will shine when it matters and when it counts?
The list of possibilities are endless and the Chicago Bears need to make all their 2018 NFL Draft picks count. But will General Manager Ryan Pace go rogue like he did last year by trading up one spot for their franchise quarterback, Mitchell Trubisky? I wouldn’t put it past him. He was very adamant about getting the best player off the board to fill their needs. The question is, what need will the Bears focus on? Will they go offense with a wide receiver or guard? Or defense with an outside linebacker or cornerback?
Now that the 2018 NFL Combine has painted a picture of what options are available, the Bears have a few choices to make in free agency and the draft. Let’s take a look at free agency first.
“And now I’m glad I didn’t know, the way it all would end the way it all would go. Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain, but I’d have to miss the dance.”-The Dance
Some people would have preferred to sit out the 2017 season, but something about it intrigued fans to continue watching, cheering and remain loyal.
Was it the quarterback controversy that would inevitably take place once rookie QB Mitchell Trubisky was drafted? Even after the Chicago Bears brass had preached that newly signed QB Mike Glennon would be the starter, they tried desperately to stick to their guns but to no avail. It was his performance that lacked the spark needed on offense…or was it?
The Chicago Bears have little to show for a dismal 2017 season. There was so much promise entering a somewhat easy schedule, only to be beaten down by injuries and a questionable coaching staff.
In the past four years, the Bears have lived in the bottom of the NFC North. Lead by two head coaches, (John Fox and Marc Trestman) three offensive coordinators, (Aaron Kromer, Adam Gase, and Dowell Loggains), and five quarterbacks (Jay Cutler, Brian Hoyer, Matt Barkley, Mike Glennon and Mitchell Trubisky). At least, for now, Trubisky is moving forward to next season.
But as silly as this sounds, it is now a matter of dignity for the Bears to beat the Cleveland Browns on Christmas Eve. They were already bested by the then 1-9 San Francisco 49ers by one point. The 49ers have managed to keep that momentum going winning four more with their future quarterback in Jimmy Garappalo.
However, the Browns are 0-14 and are looking to win at least one game this season. But it can’t be against the Bears. It just can’t.
If you are a true competitor, losing should never be something you accept. It hurts and gnaws at you. As a fan, it’s heartbreaking when you know the knowledge and talent are there, but so are mental mistakes. The Bears young QB has no tolerance for losing. He took ownership of bad footwork and not being on the same page as his receivers.
The sound could be heard throughout the nation. It was the sound of the deflated air of every Chicago Bears fan and player in Sunday’s loss to the Detroit Lions. To be honest it was worse than #deflategate. The look on quarterback Mitch Trubisky‘s face when kicker Connor Barth missed the game-winning field goal was the telling tale of a Bears leader who was crushed when he couldn’t give his team a win.
The shock of the NFL Draft is over for Chicago Bears fans and it’s a good thing. The Bears can now focus on developing a team whose goal is to win games and make last season’s horrible 3-13 nightmare disappear.
Despite the “wonderful outlook” for the 2017 season by ESPN, Sports Illustrated and the NFL Network, (sarcasm intended), the Bears are not taking anything for granted. According to bearswire.com, general Manager Ryan Pace was graded with a D+ by 15 NFL Executives for his off season moves.
His grading was based on lack-luster veteran free agent signings and the gutsy moves in “selling the farm” for the second overall pick in quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Frankly, these owners see the Bears transactions as “scrambling to get to 6-10 or 8-8.” As a matter of fact to them, the offseason was the signing of “a lot of mediocre players on mediocre deals.”
Tell that to the face of defensive backs Prince Amukamara and Quintin Demps or wide receivers Marcus Wheaton or Kendall Wright. The only way these players are going to prove they deserve a shot is to show it on the field. The voluntary OTAs proved to be an opportunity for players and rookies to show that they are ready and hungry to win games. To assume that these players have nothing to offer is absurd and disrespectful.