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Chicago Bears 2014 Virtual Program: Depth-Chart Analysis, X-Factors and More

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Chicago Bears 2014 Virtual Program: Depth-Chart Analysis, X-Factors and More
Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press
Is this the year Jay Cutler is able to take the next step?

There aren't many teams that are entering the 2014 season with higher expectations than the Chicago Bears.

After finishing 8-8 in 2013, behind arguably the most potent offense and least potent defense in team history, second-year head coach Marc Trestman and defensive coordinator Mel Tucker need to find some middle ground in this new season.

2013 stats: No. 8 in total offense; No. 30 in total defense.

This offseason, general manager Phil Emery focused on fixing the issues on the defensive side of the ball. With many new faces on the defensive line and in the secondary, there more than likely will be some growing pains involved, as we have seen throughout the preseason.

A lot is riding on this team in 2014. Quarterback Jay Cutler finally is getting the due he (kind of) deserves. Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery are now widely thought of as the top wide receiver duo in the league; and Matt Forte most definitely has evolved into a top-five running back, one who is a triple threatrunning, catching and blocking. And on defense, it's just a lot of new faces.

The Bears missed out on the playoffs by only one game last season. Had they beat the Green Bay Packers in Week 17, Trestman and Co. would have been in the postseason. In order to get there this season, not much will have to change.

The offense was brilliant and will continue to be brilliant. As for the defense, Tucker doesn't have to work miracles and turn this unit into one of the league’s best. He just needs to bring it somewhere in the 15-20 range.

All in all, Bears fans have a lot to look forward toso many great storylines to follow.

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