Earlier this week, I reflected back on the first quarter of the season, in very Lovie Smith manner, and discussed my Top 5 Concerns after the First Quarter of the Bears Season. All hope is not lost. After all, the Bears have been completing an offensive overhaul in the process of getting to a 3-1 record. Here are my Top 5 Pleasant Surprises through Q1 of the Bears season:
5. James Anderson
Anderson was a very under-the-radar free agent pickup. DJ Williams got more headlines because he was replacing the legendary Brian Urlacher. Anderson drew more attention for dusting Mike Singletary’s #50 off the shelf and putting it back into circulation.
Anderson has been a more than adequate replacement as the strong side (Sam) linebacker. He’s been terrific in pass coverage and has stayed on the field in nickel situations as Williams has headed to the sidelines. With rookies Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene nipping at his heels, Anderson makes a strong case to return beyond the 1 year, veteran’s minimum deal he’s playing under.
4. Martellus Bennett
The Black Unicorn rode into town under a much brighter spotlight. He was one of the marquee free agents that Phil Emery brought to town at the start of Free Agency and has exceeded my expectations. Isn’t it nice to have a tight end how can not only catch the ball, but can also do something with it when he does? On the rare occasions that Kellen Davis did catch a pass, he usually fell down immediately after. Bennett has 20 catches for 225 yards and 3 TD’s through four games. The entire Bears tight end group last season? They had 25 catches for 257 yards and 3 TD’s ALL OF 2012.
Besides the on-field production, the intangibles that Bennett brings to the team are fantastic. He’s one of the most interesting characters to roll into town since that 1985 group.