Since the infamous "Almost" in 2006, the Chicago Bears have been building up a team for the future.
Well, it seems that time is finally upon us. Now is the time for the Chicago Bears to step up and start winning.
There is no more time for excuses, no more teams that were simply better than the Monsters of the Midway. The ferocious Bears are back and better than ever, and are primed and ready to make a run at the Super Bowl this season.
Here are some reasons that the future is finally here, and that 2012 can finally be the year to bring the Lombardi Trophy back to the pride and joy of Illinois.
Phil Emery was hired as the new GM for the Chicago Bears this off-season
Jerry Angelo is no more, and Chicago Bears fans everywhere rejoiced this offseason after finding out that Angelo was not coming back to be a part of the Chicago Bears organization next season.
Angelo had long been hated by Bears fans for doing what was best for himself, and not for his team. The combination of poor drafting and just as poor free-agency moves got Angelo replaced, and fans couldn't have been happier.
On January 29, 2012, the Chicago Bears announced that they had made their choice for Angelo's replacement; that man was none other than Phil Emery, who at the time was the Director of Scouting for the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Bears had said when they got rid of Angelo that they were looking to close a "talent gap" that was growing between the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions, and the rest of the division. Bringing in a former director of scouting who could see and develop young talent would certainly help where Angelo hurt the Bears in drafting, and it seems like the Bears have done a marvelous job in improving their front office this offseason.
The moves to change the front office show that the Bears are looking for people who can build a team that can win right now. Brian Urlacher, Jay Cutler, and all of the other Bears are tired of waiting; they want a ring now, and this front office can help them get there.
In the 2nd round of the draft, the Bears selected Alshon Jeffery at WR
For years, the Chicago Bears have been blowing picks in the draft and not addressing the real problems on their team. Well, this year was different.
In the first round, the Bears selected Shea McClellin out of Boise State. While the Bears may not have a great need at DE/LB right now, there is no denying that the defense is aging. The best way for a rookie to learn is to watch and learn under the best at the position, meaning watching and learning from Julius Peppers and Brian Urlacher. McClellin can play either position, and the Bears will not regret this pick in years to come.
In the second round, the Bears selected WR Alshon Jeffery out of the University of South Carolina. Everyone considered this a steal, seeing as how most scouts had him going in the mid to late first round. Plus, it's no secret that the Bears needed help at WR, especially with the news that Johnny Knox—a key component to the Bears offense last season when Cutler was healthy—could miss all of this upcoming season recovering from back surgery.
Adding Jeffery in the draft was a huge help to the team in addressing what they needed, and getting a player whom they felt could help right away.
With these and all of the other draft picks that the Chicago Bears got in the 2012 NFL Draft, it is clear that the Bears are looking for players that not only can build the future, but also can help out right now in terms of getting the Bears back to the Super Bowl.
Brandon Marshall was brought in to help add some fire power to the offense
Everyone knows about the offseason acquisition of Brandon Marshall, who was brought in to help add fire power to the offense while both giving weapons to Jay Cutler and taking a little pressure off of him.
However, Marshall was not the only free agent brought in this offseason. The Bears went out and got many players who are veterans and can help the Bears win now.
The first player is Jason Campbell. Not only a former first-round pick, but an experienced veteran who can help run an offense in the event of an injury, and help avoid another Haine-like fiasco.
The next player is Eric Weems. With the news that Knox may be out all of next season, the Bears got Weems to help on special teams as well as catch a few passes throughout the season. Let's face it, Hester is not longer the Hester of 2006, and bringing in Weems to help take pressure off of Hester may be just what he needs to get going again.
Another player brought in was Devin Thomas. Thomas was mainly brought in to help out on special teams, after Pro Bowl special teams player Corey Graham left to go play for the Baltimore Ravens. Thomas has hands that can punch the ball out and get fumble recoveries anytime and in any situation, as seen in the NFC Championship Game this past season when he was a member of the New York Giants. With the help of Thomas on special teams, the Bears won't miss a beat going from Graham to Thomas.
Those were just a few of the free agents brought in to help the Bears this upcoming season, all veterans who can help the team win now.
The dream has come true for Bears fans: Not only is Jerry Angelo gone, but so is offensive coordinator Mike Martz, who chose to officially retire this offseason, but is suggested to have been asked to leave.
Martz just wasn't a good fit with the Chicago Bears. Martz never wanted to run the ball, he wanted Cutler to do seven step dropbacks and he made it impossible for a new quarterback to learn his system, which proved hurtful when Cutler was knocked out for the year last season.
After Martz "left," the Bears promoted offensive line coach Mike Tice to offensive coordinator, a move that fans and players alike adored. Tice immediately went to work, integrating the ideas of offensive linemen, wide receivers, quarterbacks, running backs and tight ends to make a new offensive system, one that the players would be comfortable running and one that would be easy for a new player to learn.
Another coach brought in this offseason was quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates. Bates worked with Cutler in Denver, where Cutler made the Pro Bowl, along with his wide receiver Brandon Marshall. Bates knows Cutler better than anyone, and if anyone is going to get this guy to be an elite quarterback, it is going to be him.
Bringing in Bates and promoting Tice shows that the Bears are prepared to win now, and that they want coaches who are going to lead the talent that they currently have.
With all those good things that are happening for this season, there is also one semi-alarming reason that the Chicago Bears need to win now: The players aren't getting any younger.
Let's face it, some faces of the franchise are seeing their days become limited. The defense is quickly becoming one of the oldest in the business, and everyone has seen what can happen to lifetime Bears when they get old (look at what happened to Olin Kreutz).
The Bears have made all of these offseason moves, but that does not help them when all of their best players get old and are constantly sidelined with injuries, and soon become too old to keep up with the lightning fast pace of the game.
There is only so much that the human body can physically handle, and if the Chicago Bears don't win soon, it may lead to more changes in the team (such as a new head coach), more years of rebuilding, more years of chaos and many more years of trash talk from Packers fans.