Continuity is king for the Chicago Bears; at least on the offensive side of the ball. While the defense is due for a complete overhaul, the Bears will return all of 2013’s offensive starters back in 2014. That’s huge for the second ranked scoring offense in the league, which shattered all sorts of Chicago Bears offensive records in 2013.
The state of the offense was a huge question mark as the Bears departed Soldier Field following a disappointing loss to the Packers to cap off another playoff-less season. Phil Emery and the Bears brass made quick work of addressing their biggest needs by bringing back quarterback Jay Cutler to a monster contract extension. During that same presser, they also announced the extension of guard Matt Slauson. Now that they’ve worked out a 1-year deal with center Roberto Garza, they’ll be able to build on what they did in 2013.
The Bears will have their entire offensive line back in tact with Garza and Slauson returning, joining last offseason’s big free agent fish Jermon Bushrod and draft picks Kyle Long and Jordan Mills. Mills will be coming off offseason surgery to repair a broken foot that he suffered in the season finale vs the Packers. The line will build on the continuity that was built by having all five starters starting all 16 games last season. That’s a recipe for success.
The skill positions will all be returning as well with Cutler, Marshall, Jeffery, Forte and Martellus Bennett all under contract for 2014 and besides Marshall are all set to be around for another couple of seasons.
With the coaching staff and key players all in place, the offense will only continue to improve and build on a tremendous 2013 campaign that saw light years of improvement in just one season under Marc Trestman. I can’t remember the last time the Bears offense would have this type of continuity.
There could still be some opportunities for improvement. The Bears need better production from the backup running back position and a better blocking tight end. Don’t be surprised if the Bears try to create some competition for Jordan Mills, who struggled a bit as the season went on. Of course, the Bears will also look to groom youngsters like Marquess Wilson and backup center like Taylor Boggs. Don’t be surprised if the Bears try to bring back Eben Britton, who played a key role as an extra blocker and swing tackle.
While the other side of the ball is mostly up in the air, the Bears offense will be the stable side of the ball for a change.