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On Masters Week, Nine Holes Bears Must Fill to Succeed in 2014

| April 8th, 2014

masters

I love golf. And while most golf fans are down on their knees with their mouths in the lap of Augusta National, I am more reserved. I think Augusta is, for the most part, the most self-indulgent sports entity in creation and The Open Championship is my favorite tournament. But I still get excited for the first major championship of the season and it seems a convenient way to put a column together.

Here are nine issues, nine holes, still facing the 2014 Bears.

Hole #1 Tea Olive

The Bears don’t currently have a good safety on the roster.┬áIs it possible Ryan Mundy will thrive at the strong safety position after showing limited flashes in both Pittsburgh and New York? Yes. But ask yourself this question: if Mundy were a budding star, why would the two best run organizations in the sport, both with proud lineages on defense, let him walk out the door?

And while Chris Conte has been the subject of ridicule, he’s a capable free safety if his run-stopping assignments are limited. His lack of availability for the bulk of training camp won’t help build his confidence heading into the 2014 season. I see his days in Chicago numbered.

Hole #2 Pink Dogwood

The Bears will have to win a game or two with Jordan Palmer playing quarterback. History says what history says and history says Jay Cutler will get banged up at some point during the season. Today, that would mean Palmer steps under center.

Side note: I could have written the same thing, with Josh McCown’s name a year ago and it turned out not to be a hole. But McCown at least has a MINOR track record in the sport. Palmer does not.

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