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New weapons on offense, the star running back with a new contract and a talented rocket arm quarterback all mean nothing without protection.
If the Bears have any shot at a Super Bowl run they are going to have to protect Jay Cutler. He was sacked 23 times last year in a season cut short by injury. The year before that he was sacked a league high 52 times.
Since joining the Bears, Cutler has been sacked an average of 7.8 percent of his pass attempts. When he had his Pro Bowl season in Denver back in 2008 he was sacked only 1.8 percent of the time.
It's true Mike Martz's departure will mean a more fluid offense. The line will no longer be asked to consistently protect their quarterback during long drop backs and slow developing routes. However, this is still a passing league and Cutler is going to have to throw the ball a ton in order to compete.
Left tackle J'Marcus Webb will have the spotlight on him as he tries to protect Cutler's blind side. The third-year man has been largely inconsistent so far. He is going to have to step it up if the team figures to have a Super Bowl run.
Webb is not alone. Second-year man Gabe Carimi needs to stay healthy and develop into the player the team thought they were getting when drafting him in the first round last year. Chris Spencer, Roberto Garza and Lance Louis will be looked upon to secure the middle and provide stability.
A poor offensive line means the Bears cannot run the offense they want to and risk the chance that their quarterback won't stay healthy for the full season: all of which is needed if the Bears want to make it to the Super Bowl this season.