After reading all the negativity regarding the Chicago Bears receiving core I sat in bewilderment, and wondered where it was all coming from.
Even as a die-hard Cleveland fan with no ties to Chicago positive or negative, I couldn't help but be intrigued by all the talk surrounding the Bears' this season...so what is it?
Is it divisional rivals with false hopes of the Bears falling apart, and snatching up two easy division wins?
Is it jealous Broncos fans who, whether they admit it or not, got the short end of the stick in the Orton-Cutler trade?
Whatever the case may be, the Bears are far from falling apart. Urlacher, Harris, and Briggs will be back as strong as ever leading a bruising Chicago defense, and with the addition of Jay Cutler, their offense finally has the point-man they've been missing for the last two decades.
The key issue keeps coming back to the wide receivers.
With even Donald Driver of the Green Bay Packers making jokes of their offensive capabilities, perhaps it's simply a matter of experience. Sure, they aren't the most experienced group in the NFL, but the potential to become a great core is definitely there.
1. Devin Hester had 51 receptions for 665 yards last season. Although everyone says he will never be a number one receiver in the league, his numbers last year were decent for a position changing player.
With more experience under his belt, and a quarterback with the ability to thread the needle down-field, Hester will easily break 1000 yards this season.
2. Rasheed Davis had 35 receptions for 445 yards last season. Not to knock Kyle Orton at all, but Davis will benefit greatly this year from Cutler's passing ability. What Davis lacks in yards after the initial catch, his sure-handed receiving will make him a great short yardage option.
3. Juaquin Iglesias, out of Oklahoma, led his team in receptions the past 2 seasons. He has great hands, quickness, and toughness. Also he is great for yards after the catch.
4. Johnny Knox, out of Abilene Christian, if lined up with Devin Hester can speed down the field and leave a lot of secondaries reeling to catch up. If Knox hits the weight room hard and packs some muscle on, he could become a solid deep threat for Cutler.
5. Derek Kinder, out of Pittsburgh, was a top prospect in 2007 before a season-ending ACL injury. If healthy he could be a solid 3rd or 4th option.
I think it's a matter of time before the Bears' youth steps up and shows what they can do. This could very well be one of the fastest groups they've ever had, and with the arm strength of Jay Cutler at the helm, the Bears could be looking to the postseason again.