The 2009 season for the Chicago Bears was one to forgot. With so much expectations heading into last season, the Bears finished poorly.
Improvement was made in the off-season, which is a good sign.
But is this team good enough to make a run? Here is 10 impact players for the 2010 season.
Before I unveil the 10 impact players, to me, here are the honorable mentions.
It was tough leaving Hester off the list, but he is a common impact player.
I like to do players I can predict will have a big impact.
Zackary Bowman started the 2009 season opposite of Charles Tillman, and returns as the favorite to start opposite of him again.
Bowman had a good season for the Bears last year, finishing with six interceptions. He played well in man to man coverage, and gives the Bears something to look forward to this season.
Bowman isn't ready to be an elite corner....yet. But with time and a healthy defense, his stock could rise.
Bowman needs to play well as a starting corner back to relieve some pressure off Tillman and the rest of the secondary.
Kreutz seems to be on the downfall of his career, with only a limited number of years left. But he's still the backbone to this Bears offensive line; the offensive line that will have to be good in order for the Bears offense to have success this season.
After an impressive rookie season, which earned him a Pro Bowl honor, Knox looks to 2010 to improve. As a dual threat in the return game and the receiving game, Knox will be a key for the Bears this season.
His blazing speed, just ask corner back Charles Woodson, will help open up the field for other receivers, as well as become a big target for Cutler.
In the return game, Knox can take it to the house anytime and also meaning good field position for the Bears offense if opposing teams elect to kick away from him.
The Bears first pick in the 2010 draft, Major Wright needs to make a impact, and make one quick.
The Bears are hurting at the safety position, and haven't found a consistent safety in a while. Wright is expected to start alongside Chris Harris and many believe this kid will make an instant impact.
As a Florida Gator in college, Wright was known as a hard hitting safety; a quality that fits in nicely with the monsters of the midway. His coverage skills are lacking, but overall talent makes up for it.
Enjoy watching him prowl on receivers on the field.
Lance Briggs is an elite NFL linebacker, and we all know it.
He lead the team in tackles last season, but a big part due to Brian Urlacher's injury. As a sidekick to Urlacher, the two combine as a feared linebacking duo. Briggs has all the skill to become one of the best.
If Briggs and Urlacher can stay healthy, its positive that the Bears defense will be better than last year's. Hopefully they will regain what is left from that Super Bowl season.
Look for Briggs on the outside to make big plays all season.
It's do or die for the 2008 first round pick.
He's struggled learning a new position and injuries haven't helped him much. Williams will be one of the biggest impacts on the offense and offensive line for the Bears.
Without good play from Williams, the Bears could be doomed. Williams can also succeed and learn from veteran Olin Kreutz, but must pay attention.
Williams needs to have a stellar year in 2010, or he could be hearing "bust" along with his name.
Coming off a season in 2009 where Urlacher played one game, the Bears sure could have used him. They struggled the whole year on defense without him, and it showed. Urlacher is the quarterback of the defense, and is a hard player to replace.
Look for Urlacher to make a impact this season, leading to the Bears defense becoming better. A solid defense is a key to this team, and that leads directly to the veteran Urlacher.
The addition of Julius Peppers will help take double teams and pressure off of Urlacher, meaning holes on the offensive lines, and blitzing just becomes a whole lot easier.
After a successful rookie season, Forte's sophomore season was a clunker.
He struggled all year, and couldn't gain any momentum at all. But people close to the Bears organization say this is a different Forte. He looks to be stronger, quicker, and smarter.
Forte will not only have an impact on the Bears running game, but receiving game as well. In a Mike Martz offense, his receiving numbers should only increase.
Forte is a dual threat and an offensive weapon. Now it's on him to make the impact.
Cutler is easily an impact player for the Bears. It's not always good though.
Last season we saw the bad from Cutler, throwing over 20 interceptions; something that can't happen this season. With weapons around him, I'm convinced Cutler is a top 10 quarterback, but he just doesn't have those weapons....yet.
Cutler is good enough to improve the receivers here in Chicago, but it will take a lot. With a new offense that Mike Martz has brought in, I think Cutler will only benefit from it.
I see Cutler making an impact instantly and having a good year. Prove me right Jay.
Ahh the winner of the 2010 free agency period, Julius Peppers. Peppers cashed in on a huge contract with Chicago. Now why wouldn't he be an impact player?
On a Bears team whose defensive line hasn't been the same since the 2006 season, Peppers will make an impact immediatley.
Being the versitle player that he is, Peppers will take the load off of Urlachers shoulders, and just cause chaos in opposing teams' backfields. From week one, you will see Peppers impact, causing opposing teams to game plan around him, double teams, and taking him out of the game.
This only means good things for the rest of the Bears defensive line.