Chicago Bears Preview and Training Camp

The Chicago Bears last season stunned many people by their amazing performance. They finished 12-4 on the year and every single loss was by seven points or less. Their defense was the best in the NFL leading in rush defense, points allowed, turnovers, and was third in sacks. The defense was turnover machine that was extremely hard to score on.

They lost three key components, but managed to reload in key areas.

The Bears weren’t as amazing on the other side of the ball. They had a brand new system, a young quarterback, and a whole new receiving core.

Sometimes, the offense looked like the Kansas City Chiefs. Other times, they looked like the Arizona Cardinals. Now entering their second year in the system, and adding more depth and talent to their starting offense, Mitch Trubisky and the offense should take the next step.

Chicago Bears Key Additions and Losses

Additions

  • Chuck Pagano – Defensive Coordinator
  • Mike Davis – Running back – Free Agency
  • Buster Skrine – Nickel Cornerback – Free Agency
  • Cordarrelle Patterson – Wide Receiver/Kick Returner – Free Agency
  • Ha Ha Clinton-Dix – Safety – Free Agency
  • Elliot Fry – Kicker – Free Agency
  • Eddy Piniero – Kicker – Trade with Oakland Raiders for conditional 2021 seventh round pick
  • David Montgomery – Running back – 3rd Round NFL Draft
  • Riley Ridley – Wide Receiver – 4th Round NFL Draft
  • Duke Shelley – Nickel Cornerback – 6th Round NFL Draft

Losses

  • Vic Fangio – Head Coach, Denver Broncos
  • Adrian Amos – Safety – Green Bay Packers – Free Agency
  • Bryce Callahan – Nickel Cornerback – Denver Broncos – Free Agency
  • Jordan Howard – Running back – Philadelphia Eagles – Trade for a 2020 conditional 6th Round Pick
  • Joshua Bellamy – Wide Receiver/Special Teams – New York Jets – Free Agency
  • Eric Kush – Guard – Cleveland Browns – Free Agency

The Bears seemed to replace every loss with either an upgrade, or someone just as good. The only worry I have is Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in for Adrian Amos. Clinton-Dix should be fine since he is playing alongside Eddie Jackson, but Amos was spectacular playing alongside Jackson.

The Bears also struggled running the ball last season. In response to that, General Manager Ryan Pace traded away Jordan Howard and signed Mike Davis. He then traded up in the draft to get his guy: David Montgomery.

Montgomery is a great fit for this Bears offense. Montgomery’s player comparison is most similar to Kareem Hunt, who excelled greatly in Kansas City with Matt Nagy as the Offensive Coordinator. This just seems like a perfect fit.

Key Things to Watch For In Training Camp

A new defense is being introduced, and the offense is now in its second year in the system. Is this team ready to be a Super Bowl contender? If the Chicago Bears made a few more of those kicks last season, they could’ve been.

Kicker Situation

No Bears fan wants to relive the Cody Parkey miss. That was the most heartbreaking sports moment I’ve ever seen on T.V. as a fan. To get over this hump of awful kickers, look to training camp to see the battle unfold between kickers Elliot Fry of the Orlando Apollos (former AAF team) and Eddy Piniero (acquired via trade with the Oakland Raiders). Elliot Fry was perfect in his AAF games making all of his field goal attempts. Eddy Piniero was on the Injured Reserve all of last season after having a standout college career at University of Florida.

How Will the Bears Utilize Each Running back

The trio of Mike Davis, David Montgomery, and Tarik Cohen (DMC) is going to be lethal. Cohen is going to be all over the field doing everything from lining up in the slot, to lining up on the outside, to lining up as a running back. He’s going to be the Joker of this offense, but how will Davis and Montgomery split carries? Nagy seems to like his workhorse back from the past, but coaches opinions change and maybe he prefers to now have a split backfield between the two. Another theory is Nagy just wanted Davis as a security blanket to a rookie who he also could have missed out on in the draft. Training Camp and preseason should show how these two are used.

Nickel Corner

The departure of Bryce Callahan was a huge blow. He was arguably one of the best nickel corners in the NFL last season. To replace him leaving, the Bears went out and signed Buster Skrine. Skrine is a very aggressive nickel corner who does get into trouble with holding penalties, but he fits this aggressive style that Chuck Pagano is implementing. The Bears also drafted Duke Shelley, cornerback out of Kansas State, who’s stock fell due to an injury. Shelley played corner on the outside at Kansas state while being extremely short for it (5’9″). He was also very aggressive and very good at his job and could contend for that nickel spot. These two both will be at the least serviceable. They both have the potential to look awesome on this outstanding defense.

Wide Receiver Jumble

Looking back two years, the Chicago Bears starting three wide receivers were Kevin White, Kendall Wright, and Josh Bellamy. What a transformation it has been that I now have to talk about the fact the Bears have too many good wide receivers. The Bears have their starting three who are Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, and Anthony Miller. After that, they have Trojan horse Cordarrelle Patterson, 4th round draft pick Riley Ridley, promising young wide receiver in Javon Wims, undrafted free agent rookie Emmanuel Hall, free agent Marvin Hall, and everyone’s training camp favorite from two years ago Tanner Gentry.

It’s safe to say that this receiving core is extremely deep. The Bears can only keep probably seven wide receivers out of these nine. It’s going to be really interesting who emerges and secures their spots on the roster throughout camp. It will truly be fun to watch.

Is Mitch Trubisky Ready?

Mitch Trubisky has a great attitude as a leader, quarterback, and athlete. He truly strives to be the best he can be through hard-work and leadership. According to Matt Nagy and Mark Helfrich, they are extremely excited about Mitch. Even Taylor Gabriel has said that the change between this year and last year has been “drastic.” Mitch has been very open about his desire to be great. He must now take all this hard work and bring it to training camp. Last year, the Chicago Bears were 21st in total offense. Mitch taking the next step will elevate that.

Check out more great content from Overtime Heroics!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: