Ten Questions Facing the Chicago Bears in 2015

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Jan 19, 2015; Lake Forest, IL, USA; New Chicago Bears head coach John Fox speaks during a press conference at Mugs Halas Auditorium. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears of 2015 should be one of the most interesting Bears teams of the past three decades. Note that I said interesting, not best.

The changes, and potential changes, surrounding the team are breathtaking, as the franchise adjusts to a new general manager, completely new coaches and schemes, major position changes for players on defense (and possibly one on offense that we’ll get to in a bit), questions surrounding the future of their quarterback and running back, all while trying to compete in the best division in football.

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There’s enough drama on either side of the ball to make fans nervous. The defense is shifting to a new 3-4 scheme with major question marks about how the 4-3 holdovers from last year’s catastrophic defense will fit into Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio’s scheme. There’s uncertainty at all three defensive line positions and along the linebacker corps, while the team is hoping that the imported Antrel Rolle can solve the decade-long hole at safety.

That’s just the defense. On offense, don’t look further than the scowling lightning rod behind center for drama. Jay Cutler doesn’t need to win this season – I think fans, if they’re honest, realize this is a multi-year rebuilding approach that’s underway, even if the coaching staff won’t say it – but he needs to cut down on the turnovers and boost the offense’s efficiency.

Dec 28, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) after the game against the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. The Minnesota Vikings win 13-9. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Stop me if you’ve heard someone say that about Cutler before. But this time, with a new coach who seems less inclined to put up with Cutler’s surly shenanigans, Cutler could find himself on the first train to the Canadian Football League if he fails to deliver.

And that’s just Cutler; there’s questions about Kyle Long moving to tackle, who will back up Matt Forte (and what about his contract status?) and who will start opposite Alshon Jeffrey and what is Martellus Bennett’s mindset after the offseason contract drama, and what is the Bears backup plan if Bennett decides against playing?

So, the short way of saying all that is that there are far more than 10 questions facing this team going into the 2015 season, not the least of which is can they get back to where they were in 2010-2013, when, even if they weren’t that good, no one could look past them. In 2014, they became a laughingstock, a team imploding from internal strife and exploding from poor execution and lack of talent on the field.

It’s a tall task for Fox and company to return the franchise to where it should be. It’s a tall task to only pick 10 questions with a franchise in flux. So, on that note, and in no particular order, let’s get started.

Next: What can the Fox do?