2015 NFL Season Preview- Chicago Bears
The end of 2014 marked one of the most embarrassing seasons in Chicago Bears history for many reasons.
Quarterback Jay Cutler remains the inconsistent tease of a big play, big mistake quarterback when he came to Chicago in 2009 and lacks the leadership to bring his team together. He led the league with 24 turnovers and still has six years and $100 million left on his contract. Matt Forte is a jack of all trades at running back bit doesn't possess a powerful, downhill running style. Brandon Marshall has the same level of talent but his relationship with Jay Cutler seemed to deteriorate more and more each week. The was no consistency in the offensive line as a league leading nine different starting lineups made appearances.
The defense continued its historic run to mediocrity. Each level of the defense suffered from severe injuries and illnesses. Despite recording 39 sacks, the team had the third worst pass defense and total defense.
Chicago only had two Pro Bowlers in tight end Martellus Bennett and guard Kyle Long. Bennett set a team record with 90 receptions by a tight end. Long is the ideal guard and could see time at tackle next season.
The rookie class gave a lot of hope for the future of the Bears. Cornerback Kyle Fuller forced the most turnovers by a rookie defensive back with seven. Defensive tackles Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton struggled at times but both are dependable players. Running back Ka'Deem Carey showed some promise playing in relief of Matt Forte.
Bears 2014 Rankings
Opponent Passing Yards
Opponent Rushing Yards
NFL Rank- 15th
NFL Rank- 27th
NFL Rank- 30th
NFL Rank- 17th
NFL Rank- 21st
NFL Rank- 30th
After going 13-19 in his two years in Chicago, head coach Marc Trestman was fired along with general manager Phil Emery. The team ended up replacing Emery with former New Orleans Saints director of player personnel Ryan Pace. Chicago then hired former Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos head coach John Fox to be the team's new head coach.
The team fired offensive coordinator Adam Kromer and replaced him with former Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase. Chicago also replaced defensive coordinator Mel Tucker with former San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.
Notable Additions- RB Jacquizz Rodgers, WR Eddie Royal, ILB Mason Foster, CB Alan Ball, CB Tracey Porter, FS Antrel Rolle
Notable Departures- WR Brandon Marshall, C Roberto Garza, LB Lance Briggs, LB D.J. Williams, FS Chris Conte
Bears 2014 Highlights
2015 NFL Draft
The Bears held the seventh overall pick and had several holes on the defensive side. Primarily at defensive end, linebacker, and safety.
The Bears have three talented defensive ends, but only Jared Allen is ready to start at the beginning of the year. A pass rusher is necessary for this defense.
Chicago has had trouble filling a void at safety for years. The team signed Antrel Rolle, but he's on the wrong side of 30 and doesn't have the physicality for Chicago's style of play.
Lance Briggs and D.J. Williams are gone. The team needs to restock the linebacker corps no matter what defensive direction the team goes in.
The team decided to replace Brandon Marshall and draft West Virginia wide receiver Kevin with the seventh overall pick. White had the best hands of any receiver in this draft but has to improve on his route running.
Chicago also notably drafted Florida State defensive tackle Eddie Goldman in the second round, Oregon center Hroniss Grasu in the third, Michigan State running back Jeremy Langford in the fourth, and Penn State safety Adrian Amos in the fifth. Goldman has the perfect body for the 3-4 defense, which is good since doesn't have any threat of pass rush. Grasu was the best pulling center in the draft but must improve his footwork and anticipation. Langford's draft stock grew after a good scouting combine performance but he lacks flexibility and acceleration. Amos has the perfect size for the position but isn't a game changer by any means.
Kevin White Highlights
What to Expect
On paper, this looks like a strong team but there are just to many questions.
For the offense to have success, Matt Forte has to be the focus. He has deceptive speed and has better hands than half of the receivers on the team. Jay Cutler can't take chances or he will be on the first plane out of Chicago. His success depends on the offensive line staying healthy and on how quickly Kevin White can adjust to the pro game.
The newly restocked defensive line and secondary will be improved. The big concern is with the linebackers. There seems to be little experience in the corps and a Chicago defense is built around the linebackers. Mason Foster is a nice addition, but John Bostic and Shea McClellin are unproven.
Overall, this team is missing too many key pieces to compete right away. Give them a year to add more offensive lineman and linebackers, this can be a talented team.
Best record they can hope for: 7-9