We’re Lance Briggs days away from the start of the Chicago Bears season. This is going to be a strange season for Briggs. It will be the first time that he won’t be starting the season alongside his partner in crime, the retired Brian Urlacher.
Briggs will be counted on to be to step into an even greater leadership role now that Urlacher is gone. Along with Peanut Tillman they’re the most tenured Bears defenders but will be somewhat on level footing with everyone else as Lovie Smith is gone and Mel Tucker will do his best to carry on the stout Bears defense. Briggs led the team in tackles last season, tied for the lead with 73 solos. He also notched two pick-6′s in consecutive games, a feat matched by teammate Peanut Tillman.
Briggs has been a tackling machine for the Bears; not surprising as the Will linebacker in a Cover-2 defense. He did some of his best work at the line of scrimmage, often coming up with key tackles for loss and stifling opponents on short yardage plays. Don’t expect that to change. But there will be a change coming for the veteran linebacker.
To take pressure off presumed middle linebackers, newcomers DJ Williams and rookie Jon Bostic, Briggs will be calling the plays for the defense. There are a lot of questions facing Briggs this season which is odd for a veteran entering his 11th season with the same team.
Can he take his perennial Pro Bowl performance to an even higher level? Will he be able to lead the defense and what will the defense look like under Tucker? Can Briggs become the new face of the Bears defense? To put it in terms Briggs might relate to, can Robin emerge from Batman’s shadow?
We’re 55 days from kickoff. Are you ready???