Aug 15, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears defensive end Corey Wootton (98) sacks San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) during the first quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
The top 6 defensive linemen are about as solid as it gets. Peppers will continue to dominate at one end and Corey Wootton is emerging as a force on the other side while Shea McClellin will continue to grow as a pass rush specialist. Henry Melton is playing for a big ticket contract under the Franchise contract. Stephen Paea has shown flashes to be disruptive as the nose tackle spot but needs to continue to improve on his consistency. I really like what Nick Collins has shown with his opportunities.
The linebackers will be anchored by Briggs, who will be like Robin fighting crime without Batman, as his running mate Urlacher watches from the Media Deck. James Anderson and DJ Williams will serve as stopgaps while the youngsters Bostic and Khaseem Greene wait their turn and contribute big on special teams.
The depth behind the front line guys is a little concerning, especially at the cornerback spots. If Peanut Tillman goes down, it could get a little scary. If Peppers is sidelined for any amount of time, I’m not sure I’m comfortable with Shea McClellin as an every down, hand on the ground DE.
The elephant in the room for the defense is the age of their stars. So far, they’ve aged like a fine wine. But even a fine wine will eventually go bad. It won’t necessarily happen gradually; it could happen overnight. Just look what happened to Urlacher.
If the defense can hold up their end of the bargain and maintain a level somewhere near past performances and the offense can take the next step under Marc Trestman’s leadership, this team could make some noise come January.
What do you think? What are your expectations for the Bears defense?
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