1. A new general manager and coaching staff .
Bears GM Jerry Angelo still states that he likes the team's roster, but he put it together and might be the only one who likes it.
The Bears have more holes than swiss cheese and sorely lack playmakers on offense.
Angelo's poor drafts and lack of aggressiveness in free agency have hindered the Bears at a time when several of those players selected should be heavy contributors entering the prime of their careers.
For his part, Smith seems inflexible in adjusting his defensive system to the personnel available. His constant shuffling of assistant coaches and their relative lack of NFL experience, combined with his inability to develop/nurture young players is damning.
The Bears slide from a Super Bowl appearance to three straight non-playoff appearances comes on his watch.
2. An aggressive approach to free agency .
Without a first and second round selection, the Bears must be creative.
With the collective bargaining agreement up in the air and the possibility of an uncapped year, there may be a limited amount of plum free agents available.
No matter, there will still be a core of solid players unrestricted who can contribute. The Bears need to sign a group of mid-tier players and target one blue chip talent.
3. A big play wide receiver .
The Bears sorely lack a number one receiver, someone who Cutler can depend upon.
4. An offensive line.
The fact the Bears rank last in the NFL in rushing and Cutler has been under siege says it all.
Olin Kreutz's game has slipped, Orlando Pace is over the hill, Roberta Garza is just a guy, and second year man Chris Williams remains unproven and leads the unit in penalties.
5. A pass rush.
Defensive line coach Rod Marinelli was hailed as a defensive line guru, but the Bears have a unit filled with past their prime performers (Adewale Ogunleye & Alex Brown), underachievers (Tommie Harris and Marcus Harrison), and unrealized potential (Mark Anderson).
Now, with the stockings hung by the chimney with care, the wish is that Saint Nick can help bring back the Bears.