With Summer Camp Looming, Bear Fans Ponder 2017
The Chicago Bears have several question marks and training camp will hopefully answer some of them.
The Chicago Bears report to their summer home in suburban Bourbonnais, IL in 2 weeks, and fans are somewhat lackluster in their expectations for the 2017 season. Who can blame them?
After the 2013 team fell apart in the last weeks of the season, needing just one win to punch their playoff ticket, Bears fans have endured three miserable seasons. Last year the team posted their worst record since the 16-game regular season era began in 1978.
Several question marks loom:
How will the team rebound from an injury plagued season?
Who will fill the void at WR with the departure of Alshon Jeffery?
Will the 2016 draft class take a step forward?
With no QB on the roster from last year, how long will it take for the offense to gel?
With the departure of Alshon Jeffery, there is a huge void at WR. Unproven former first-round draft pick Kevin White needs to prove his worth. Cam Meredith emerged as a viable target last season. GM Ryan Pace is hoping depth and production will come from veteran free agent acquisitions including Victor Cruz and Marcus Wheaton.
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The offense will have a QB under center who has never taken a snap in a Bears uniform. All indications point to Mike Glennon being that QB when the season begins. The offense must find an identity early and Glennon must take control of the offense immediately if the Bears hope to avoid the miserable starts of the past two seasons. The offense lacked an identity most of last season. This year, however, the identity will be run first with a healthy OL in front of second-year RB Jordan Howard.
Along with Howard, other second years players from a solid 2016 draft class will also need continued contributions, most notably Leonard Floyd and Cody Whitehair.
Whitehair was originally drafted to play guard, but Hroniss Grasu was injured and lost for the season prior to the first exhibition game. With the unexpected addition of Guard Josh Sitton, Whitehair moved to center and is now part of the best offensive line interiors in the NFL.
Leonard Floyd showed promise in his rookie yea but was slowed by injuries, including 2 concussions. He did start all 12 games when healthy. With added muscle and better technique, Floyd is eagerly anticipating 2017 and the Bears are also liking the early signs.
Jordan Howard, despite coming off the bench at the beginning of the season, finished second in rushing last year, with 1,313 yards. With a healthy line and a run first offense, Howard could be headed to an extraordinary year!
The Chicago Bears look to improve from a miserable 2016. But as fans ponder what is to come, there are signs of a confident team. None other than their first round pick in this year’s draft, Mitch Trubisky is saying this team can make the playoffs this year.
Fans are anxiously waiting to see what this team looks like once pads go on. The first tune up for the season is August 10, when the Bears host Denver in their first preseason game. This is a critical year for the Chicago Bears. Time to prove the personnel strategy is headed in the right direction starts now.