With all the questions surrounding Jay Cutler, Mike Martz and the rest of the offense, the biggest key to the Bears making a run for Super Bowl XLVI will again be the defense. And it may not be noticed, but upgrades must be made.
Taking a look at the defensive line, we must figure out how to keep the opponents offensive line from getting to the second level. I think Tommie Harris, Anthony Adams and Matt Toeaina have nearly reached the max of potential that they have. They were good, but I think we need to upgrade, or at least bring in another big man to clog up the middle.
Brain Urlacher is not getting younger and needs the D-line to keep the hogs from getting to him. Urlacher had some of his best years with big Ted Washington doing nothing but taking up room in the middle. On the ends we are solid. Peppers is as expected, dominating Israel Idonije had his coming out party and I believe he is legit.Corey Wootton and Henry Melton have great upside and give good depth. One name I think could be a steal of a deal and improve both the inside and outside is Mark Weivoda. He last played for the Chicago Rush. He has the size and strength to hold blockers and is very solid in the run game.
Linebackers have been the main focus of strength for the Bears for years. With Urlacher and Briggs we are pretty set—if all goes right like 2010. If the Bears bring Pisa Tinoisamoa back or not, it is not a big deal, I think Nick Roach can step into his spot. That being said, if we cannot keep the offensive line from making it to the second level, the linebackers will struggle next season.
The age of Urlacher tips off that he is set for a decline if he has to perform completely on athletic ability. I think we need to look at who will be replacing him three years from now. Urlacher is the brains of the D and we need someone to sit behind him for a few years to learn what he does. Another member of the Chicago Rush from 2010 would fit into the Bears scheme well, DeJuan Alfonzo. He has the athletic ability to cover the space Urlacher does, plus he would be a huge addition to the special teams unit.
The most suspect part of the Bears D is the secondary.
Will Daniel Manning return? I think so, but I don't think he is the solution to the SS position.
Is Major Wright the man to step-up? I'm not sure. Chris Harris, when healthy, is solid. Peanut Tillman is aging, and I think he is a strong No. 2, but not good enough to cover man-to-man the top WR's in the division. Tim Jennings stepped up well, but is probably in the same class as Tillman.
So who steps up? Zack Bowman? Corey Graham? D.J. Moore? Joshua Moore?
I'm not convinced that this group can match up with the teams that can spread the field and fling it all over. With the Packers winning the Super Bowl with their spread packages, you know the use of that style of offense will increase. The Bears must improve to keep up with that and win Super Bowl XLVI.