With high expectations come great opportunity. But when those expectations aren't fulfilled, there can be hell to pay. So it goes for the 10 Bears on this list.
It's not as if all of them will be traded, released or not re-signed if they coach or play poorly this season, though that could be true for some of them. It's just that the heat has been turned up, and I'm sure these guys don't want to get burned.
The Bears were on a roll last season when Jay Cutler got hurt, having won five in a row and averaging 27 points per game over the course of that winning streak.
So naturally, with a healthy Cutler (and Matt Forte, assuming he signs), this team is expected to make a run again in 2012. And not just a playoff berth—I'm talking a run to the Super Bowl.
I may be biased, but I truly feel more confident about this Bears team than I have about any Bears team in years. Barring injuries to key people, there is no reason this group shouldn't contend.
But that will take performances from key personnel that either match or exceed their capabilities. For those that do that, there is a great opportunity for them to get a lot of accolades.
But for the people on this list, there will be a lot of criticism headed their way if they fail to perform up to expectations. So welcome to the land of opportunity, Bears; just beware of the hot seat.