For the first time since the Sid Luckman years, Chicago enters camp at Bourbanaiss with a legitimate starting quarterback in recently signed Jay Cutler.
What I find fascinating is that, while listenening to sports radio, how many fans call in and are worried about who Cutlers backup is. Caleb Hannie? Who is he? He is not a legitimate starting quarterback. If Cutler goes down, the season is over.
There are so many other issues facing the Bears this preseason outside of backup quarterback, most importantly, will the defense step up, and who will Cutler throw to. So, here are my biggest questions surrounding the Bears entering the 2009 season.
1. How good will the defense be?
The Bears, who for the past two decades, have lived and died with strong defense, and last year, the Bears were terrible. They were ranked 21st in total defense, but more strikingly, were 30th in passing defense, giving up an average of 241 yards per game.
Might I also add that they played two games against the powerful offensive units of Minnesota, Green Bay and Detroit not once, but twice. Rushing defense was strong, stat wise, but it was obvious that the D-Line was not getting to the quarterback, as Chicago was 22nd in sacks.
To me, it's time for Tommie Harris to start living up to his bill as the next Warren Sapp. Alex Brown has always been one of my favorite players on the team, mostly because he came back stronger after losing his job to Mark Anderson a few years back.
To me, the key players on defense will be Harris, and how well Kevin Payne plays at strong safety.
2. Who will step up and lead the team in catches?
Devin Hester, Earl Bennett, Rashied Davis, Johnny Knox? Who will it be?
3. Will Hester return to form as the leagues most dangerous return man?
5. Will the O-Line hold up?
6. How strong will Lovie Smiths defensive playcalling be?
7. Will Peanut Tillman be back for the season?
8. Which rookie will surprise?
9. Will Cutler be a hero or a Grossman?
10. How will the division play out?
Finally, please people. It is a good thing that Sexy Rexy is gone. Stop calling for Brian Griese to come back, though it would be cool to sign him and Jake Plummer, and say that we have all the Denver QB's of the last 10 years. Then we can sign on Mike Shanahan as an adviser, and maybe get knocked out of the first round of the playoffs.