NFL Network is going around the league previewing all 32 teams in 32 days and the Bears were recently featured. The “expert” panel consisting of Nate Burleson and Warren Sapp did not have as bright of an outlook for the Beloved as we do around here. The short story is they don’t think the Bears are Super Bowl contenders. I’d love to post the video clip on the site, but the NFL doesn’t offer embedding of their clips, so you’ll have to go see to NFL.com to see it. Hit the jump after you’ve viewed the clip or if you want to save yourself the 4:47 and just see my comments.
First of all, they conduct a survey where they pull clips from Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher talking about how this Bears team is “stacked” and how “this is their best shot” for a Super Bowl. They go on to waste the next segment crying about Forte and his contract situation. The experts point out how Forte’s situation is likely to create doubt in the locker room about the Bears organization.
Burleson tries to take a careful tack since his Lions are the in same division as the Bears and hypes up the Pro Bowl Bears but says that time will tell if this group has what it takes to get to the Super Bowl.
Sapp on the other hand, doesn’t mince words. He calls out the Bears and says he doesn’t see them as Super Bowl contenders. He points out that the defense and their main stars of Urlacher, Briggs and Peppers are all on the wrong side of 30 and even calls out Briggs specifically asking “what 8-8 team is stacked?”
Sapp points out that Urlacher, Brigg and Peppers are still getting it done, but they need help. Uh, hello, the help is on the other side of the ball. What Sapp fails to recognize is that the pendulum is swinging for the Chicago Bears. It’s not all about the defense any more; they got some new weapons on this team for Jay Cutler and this new and improved offense will be expected to carry the water. Don’t expect the Bears to be winning games 10-6 or 13-10. This new Bears team, led by Cutler and Brandon Marshall, may need to outscore some teams IF, and it ‘s a big IF, the defense is starting to show signs of it’s age.
I’m not saying the Bears are a shoe-in for the Super Bowl, but the logic they use to tear down the Bears is flawed. If they said they had concerns about the offensive line or the new offense coming together, I’d buy it. If they said there are still questions about the secondary or depth on defense, I could understand. To throw the Matt Forte contract thing out there and then say that the defensive stars are still getting it done but need help doesn’t play with me and it shouldn’t play with you either.