Five Questions Heading Into The 2010 Season for the Chicago Bears
For the front office of the Chicago Bears, 2010 is a big season. Jobs are on the line, and winning is only thing to help them.
There are questions surrounding the front office, but there are important questions surrounding the team as well.
Here are five questions heading into the 2010 season for the Chicago Bears.
Does Brian Urlacher have one more Pro Bowl season left in him?
The Bears missed Brian Urlacher last year. Actually they missed him a lot. Hunter Hillenmeyer did a decent enough job in filling Urlacher's shoes, but it just wasn't the same.
Urlacher runs the Bears defense, and without him last season, offenses ran through the Bears defense. Without the centerpiece, the Bears struggled.
Although it seems like Urlacher is the downside of his career, we don't know how much he has left. Does Urlacher have one more Pro Bowl-type season left? If so, the Bears defense can be solid again.
Are the Bears good enough to win the NFC North?
With the Vikings' winning the division in back-to-back years and the Packers' seeming to be on the rise, are the Bears good enough to win the NFC North?
The Vikings are the favorites again this season but not by much. A talented Green Bay team could win it, too. On paper, as well as on the field, the Vikings and Packers are better teams.
But that was last season.
The Bears got better in free agency and in the draft. The Vikings and Packers improved only in the draft. The Lions are a young team who might surprise some people, but they just aren't ready to make that run at the NFC North title.
The Bears added Julius Peppers to a improve a disappointing defense last season. They addressed the safety position by trading for Chris Harris and drafting Major Wright.
There are still holes on this team to fix, but after some impressive games at the end of the season last year, the Bears give fans a reason to believe.
Which receiver(s) will step it up for the Bears?
Without a true No. 1 receiver, the Bears receivers will need to step it up. The question is which ones?
Going into training camp, there is an open competition for the starting spots. Devin Hester and Devin Aromashadou seem to be the favorites. Earl Bennett, Johnny Knox, and Rashied Davis should be in the mix. Either way, someone will have to step up.
Can Matt Forte return to success he had his rookie season?
Matt Forte had a impressive rookie season, carrying the load for a Bears team that finished one game out of the playoffs. Last season, he struggled for a Bears team that finished third in the division.
Forte will need to play better this season, especially in the running game. A good run game will take the pressure off of Jay Cutler as well as set up the play-action nicely. If Forte struggles this season, he could find himself on the bench watching Chester Taylor start.
In a Mike Martz offense, Forte has the chance to shine, just like Marshall Faulk did. It's a make-or-break year for Forte.
Can the offensive line protect Jay Cutler?
Last season Jay Cutler got punished by opposing defenses. The offensive line gave him little protection, and it showed. Cutler forced passes, and was sacked left and right.
Cutler is a good quarterback, when he has time. In the games he did have time and protection, Cutler shined. See the Minnesota game in Chicago.
The biggest key to the Bears offense being successful will be the offensive line. If they can protect Cutler, good things will happen.
Along with protecting Cutler, they'll have to open up holes for the running backs. It's a big season for the Bears offensive line.