The final installment of Andrew Dannehy’s optimistic training camp preview.
There has been so much talk about the offense, but it doesn’t matter unless the Bears get their defense figured out. Fangio isn’t a miracle worker. He’s also not Mel Tucker. The difference between the two can’t be overstated.
We’ve seen teams take huge jumps in the standings by adding new defensive coordinators. Just last year, the Vikings went from having the worst scoring defense in the league to the 11th-best because of Mike Zimmer. We’ve seen similar results from the likes of Wade Phillips and Dom Capers and Fangio himself helped the 49ers go from middle of the pack to elite.
The Bears secondary is still a disaster — at least Chris Conte is gone — but their front seven should be pretty good. All the talk about changing schemes is stupid. Fangio is a good coach who will find a way to make it work. He did last year in San Francisco when most of his talented players were on the sideline.
They won’t be elite next year, but don’t be surprised if they jump into the top-20, that really should be enough for them to win more games than they lose.
The Bears have a good coach and a good quarterback. Teams with both almost always end up being good.
Andrew Dannehy continues his look at why the Bears will exceed expectations in 2015.
Alshon Jeffery and Matt Forte are the team’s two best skill position players and both are looking for a big pay day. The last time Forte was in this position, he was having the best year of his career and was on pace, before injury, to finish with one of the most productive seasons ever from a back. We haven’t seen Jeffery playing for a contract yet, but you can bet he saw the money handed out to Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas and wants to get his.
If both players have monster seasons, in addition to the other players they have, the Bears offense is going to move right along. Now, add in the fact that Marty Bennett also wants a new contract and Jay Cutler is essentially playing for his NFL life.
Nobody on the Bears was motivated last year. After a relatively successful offensive showing in 2013, they got arrogant. They can’t afford to do so again this year.
Fox has been through this before. He’s taken over two teams that were disasters the year before, one going 1-15 the other 2-14, a 5-11 team shouldn’t be a problem, right?
In both of the previous instances, the Panthers and Broncos won six more games in Fox’s first year and this Bears team has significantly more talent than those teams did.
The Bears issue wasn’t/isn’t talent, it was all the X-factors that the really good teams don’t even worry about anymore. There was no chemistry and no leadership, Fox has proven he can help with both problems.
The expectations for the Bears are at Wannstedt-level lows, but there are several reasons to think that they’re going to be better than almost everyone is predicting.
The common predictions for the Bears are ranging everywhere from 4-12 to 8-8. Not crazy when you consider they went 5-11 last year, but to describe them merely as a team that had that record last year is missing so much of the picture. As awful as they were just a short time ago, the Bears have some stuff going for them and that stuff might just be enough to get them into the playoffs in 2015. Here are five reasons why the Bears are going to be better than you think.
There has been a general assumption that the NFC North is a great division, but both Detroit and Minnesota have major weaknesses that could be their downfall.
I made the editorial / business decision a year ago to be sponsored by not-profit companies. I’ve never done this site for cash and I’m not going to start now. But if a few solid organizations could make this site profitable whilst allowing me to do something good, I’m all for it.
Several years ago I began working with an organization called Art of Men. I so loved the founder, Art Gurwitz, and the mission of the organization that I have taken on a leadership role with them. I would spend time here summarizing what the organization does but AoM’s mission statement takes care of that.
THE WORLD IS FALLING APART.
Everybody’s complaining, but no one is doing anything about it.
SOMETHING HAS TO BE DONE.
We’re doing it.
WHAT IS ART OF MEN?
We’re guys across the world taking matters into our own hands.
The 2015 Chicago Bears could end up needing Marquess Wilson more than many think.
While nobody seems overly concerned with Kevin White’s health, the fact that he’s barely practiced since the Bears drafted him should be worrisome. Alshon Jeffery has had various injury issues in the past. When the Bears top two receivers were struggling last year, they didn’t have an answer. It should almost be expected for that to happen again this year and, if it does, they’ll need Wilson to step up.
According to Paddy Power, Ireland’s premier gambling site, the Chicago Bears are 30-1 to win the NFC in 2015. Only two teams have worse odds: the Redskins and Bucs. (Those two teams are sub-professional.) Only four teams in the whole of the NFL have worse odds to win the Super Bowl. But one does not need the citizens of County Clare to state what is clear to anyone objectively examining the Bears 2015 roster: this team just isn’t all that good.
Does that mean they can’t win some games? Of course not. It’s the NFL. But they have flawed quarterback, unhappy running back, rookie at wide receiver, disgruntled tight end and serious deficiencies on the offensive line. The defense? The Bears have as many men on one-year deals as T-Mobile. The unit will be improved as a result of the coaching change alone but will any of that improvement mean anything if a majority of the group will be elsewhere in 2016?
If Ka’Deem Carey ever becomes a productive NFL running back, he will be an outlier. This is something the Bears know and part of the reason why they are making him earn a job, despite being a high draft pick just a year ago.
NFL running backs usually have good size and speed, or at least one of the two. Carey has neither.
I was mesmerized by this video over the weekend and I’m not quite sure why. Since there are only 826 views on YouTube, I figured I would share it here. This wasn’t a great Bears team or anything and the video is incomplete but it’s still a joy to watch.