It’s that time of year again. The Chicago Bears have released their preseason depth chart. I know they’ve barely had time to practice, but let’s see how the offensive “starters” shape up after an abbreviated offseason. I’ve brought my Magic 8 Ball along to help.
RT Gabe Carimi and LT J’Marcus Webb: The Bears are going young on the outside of the offensive line, which, most likely, does not bode well for Cutler. However, Carimi is a 6’7”, 310+ lbs. 2011 first-round pick who has looked good, thus far, in training camp. Webb has one year of experience under his belt, along with a 6’8” and 330+ lbs. frame. If these two can’t engage someone, the defensive ends will have a long way to go to get around them. While the two young tackles will make mistakes, we can look forward to seeing a lot of these two in the future, continuing to improve with every snap.
Can these young guys succeed?
Magic 8 Ball: Reply hazy, try again
RG Lance Louis and LG Chris Williams: A few days ago Mike Tice was adamant that his offensive line was set, barring injury, so get used to the guard combo of Louis & Williams. Not to be confused with Lewis & Clark, the Bears guards will also have a huge journey in front of them. Inside their division, they will be facing the likes of Ndamukong Suh and B.J. Raji. Williams began his career as a tackle in 2008-2009, but played guard last year. Hopefully a year of experience has helped him. He can’t be any worse, can he? Louis was supposed to be the full-time starter last year but underachieved. Look for some shifting of guys around if these two can’t get the job done.
Will Williams live up to his potential?
Magic 8 Ball: Very doubtful
C Roberto Garza: The good news is that he has started at center before. The bad news is that it was 10 years ago. I have a feeling that Garza is going to be more valuable at the guard position and they will utilize former Seahawk center, Chris Spencer, who they signed after the Kreutz debacle. They say that Garza is picking up the position and is a smart guy, so we will have to see if he becomes Cutler’s best friend or worst enemy.
Will Garza be able to take over where Kreutz left off?
Magic 8 Ball: Ask again later
WR Roy Williams and WR Devin Hester: Here are two guys who, by all rights, should be top NFL receivers but haven’t been consistent enough. Maybe, in the Mike Martz system, two wrongs will make a right. Maybe? While I doubt it, Williams has the height, and Hester has the speed to give defenders something to game plan for. If Cutler is given any time to throw the ball, he should be able to hit one of these guys. Let’s hope that Williams performs for Martz like he did in 2006 when he had 82 catches, 1,310 yards and seven touchdowns. As for Hester, I just hope he remembers the plays.
Can Williams or Hester emerge as a No. 1 NFL receiver?
Magic 8 Ball: Outlook not so good
TE Kellen Davis: Well, I guess you have to have a first-string tight end, and Kellen Davis is it. Mike Martz would get rid of the TE altogether or call him a sixth offensive lineman if he could. And the Bears are going to need as much help blocking as possible. As an offensive threat, you can expect little from Davis. If he does catch the ball, there’s a good chance it will be near the end zone (four of 10 career receptions were for TDs).
Will Bears fans forget that we even have a TE?
Magic 8 Ball: Signs point to yes
FB Eddie Williams and RB Matt Forte: I think it is safe to say that Eddie Williams is just a fill-in here. We can expect little out of the fullback position, like we saw last year (0 rushes and 5 receptions from Brandon Mygrandmacouldplaybetter). Matt Forte, however, has a chance to have a very productive year. With an improved offensive line (I’m only saying that because they can’t be worse), defenses will have to give more respect to the passing game, opening up the running game. Forte had a career-best 4.5 yards per carry last year with no line in front of him. Look for him to be a big part of the offense, running and receiving.
Will Forte emerge as an elite NFL RB?
Magic 8 Ball: As I see it, yes
QB Todd Collins…oops, I mean QB Jay Cutler: Have no fear, Todd Collins was not re-signed after his one-year deal in 2010. Cutler, on the other hand, is signed with the Bears through 2013. This season, could potentially make or break him, among fans especially. It’s so hard to really judge Cutler, with so little talent around him. Like him or hate him, the guy has a ton of talent. Has Angelo surrounded him with enough new faces this year to push him to that top-tier QB status? Can Jay’s body sustain the abuse his line is going to put him through? Will the departure of Kristin Cavallari give him the focus he needs to successfully execute the Mike Martz playbook? We will see.
Will Jay Cutler silence his critics, letting his play do the talking?
Magic 8 Ball: Better not tell you now
Are you ready for some Chicago Bears football?
Magic 8 Ball: It is certain