3) Who’s going to step up and lead?
You know what else made those Lovie Smith era teams competitive as well? Leadership. Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, Charles Tillman, along with Matt Forte and Olin Kreutz on the offensive side of the ball. Who leads the Bears today? If you said Jay Cutler, Alshon Jeffery, Jerrell Freeman, or Kyle Long, well they’re out. However, there always must be a mentality of next man up. The reality is that Jay Cutler and Alshon Jeffery might not even be around next season. What young players are going to step up and lead the franchise going forward?
To me, the answer should be Adrian Amos. He has almost started for 2 whole seasons, it’s time for Amos to separate himself as a leader. He might not be the flashiest player, but he has generally been consistent (last week was a disappointing outlier). However, Amos shouldn’t be alone. How about that big free agent signing at the dawn of the Fox-Pace era that was supposed to anchor the new 3-4 defense? That guy, Pernell McPhee, didn’t even play 50% of last week’s snaps. Despite being a pure pass rusher, McPhee didn’t record a sack despite promising to do so in the days leading up to the game. McPhee has done the talking this year, but he has struggled combining good play with it.
If there is a player who should be in control of the team right now, it’s Danny Trevathan. While the Bears needed to upgrade their linebacking corps, Trevathan was signed for another purpose altogether. Trevathan was a part of the Super Bowl winning Broncos last year, and he was supposed to help bring that winning culture to Chicago. Unfortunately, Trevathan has been one of the most quiet voices this season. While he has battled injury, Trevathan was signed with the idea in mind that he would be an impact player and leader from day 1. Chicago desperately needs that side of him to show up on Sunday.