Replacing Lance Briggs is Harder for Bears than Replacing Jay Cutler

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Aug 15, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears inside linebacker Jon Bostic (57) during the second half against the San Diego Chargers at Soldier Field. Chicago won 33-28. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Can rookie Jon Bostic, who will be making his second career start against Aaron Rodgers on Monday Night Football on November 2nd, make the calls to get everyone in position?  Would first year Bear James Anderson be a better fit to get everyone aligned?  It would seem that his experience overall would benefit him over a rookie like Bostic, whose head must still be spinning with game plans, alignments, audibles, blitz packages and keys to read.

Besides everything else, Briggs is the team’s leading tackler.  Besides his leadership, the Bears actually have to find someone to play over 400 snaps that Briggs has played so far this season.  Rookie Khaseem Greene seems to be the most likely candidate to step into the Will linebacker role.  Blake Costanzo jumped into the mix when Briggs headed for the sidelines with his injury, but he’s a primarily a special teamer, so he’s not the best option.

Greene was on the field for 1 defensive play last week when Costanzo got dinged up and promptly got himself a penalty.  Can the 4th round draft pick out of Rutgers fill the shoes of a perennial Pro Bowler?

The whole point of the Bears keeping the Cover 2 defense was for the sake of continuity but now because of injuries they don’t get a whole lot of consistency.  With Briggs out, the Bears front seven will have Julius Peppers, Shea McClellin and Stephen Paea in the same positions they played last season.  Peppers is a shadow of his former self and Shea is on the train to Bustville.  All three linebackers will be new and both safeties should be.

Josh McCown showed signs of hope that the offense can coast while Cutler nurses his groin back to health.  There are sufficient weapons around the quarterback position and a scheme in place that can tread water.  On the other side of the ball, there are no easy answers for a unit decimated by injuries and depleted of depth thanks to a decade of bad drafts.  They’ll go with the cliche of “Next man up” and hope for the best.

What do YOU think?  How will the Bears deal with the loss of Lance Briggs?  Which loss is going to have a bigger impact on the Bears?  Can they survive either of the injuries and still contend for the postseason?



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